The Monster of the Northernmost Territory～Wealth and Military Strength of A Country that Begins in Debt Trap～ - Chapter 8
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
It disappeared in a puff of dust as he thrust his spear into the chest of Selvanui, the Godlis. Rodney was able to overcome Godlis on his own and he picked up the life-glow stone.
“You’re showing considerable improvement in your movements, Master Rodney.”
“You can do it too, big brother. Keep up the good work!”
While Rodney was thrilled to hear Yulin compliment him on his better mobility, Emilia’s remarks, delivered as if she were the elder sister, upset him. Emilia, on the other hand, can afford to face numerous Godlis, whilst Rodney can barely fight one on one. When it came to fighting, Emilia’s talent was superior, something he had known since her training.
Rodney and his team returned that day with 45 life-glow stones. With Yulin accompanying them, he could get the right advice. Having acquired real combat experience, it can be said that Rodney has been growing, though at a slow pace.
“The root power, though, is something that even the average soldier can’t match.”
Under normal circumstances, it would take several dozen life-glow stones to finally obtain a root power. But Rodney had already used more than a hundred life-glow stones and still had not attained a root power.
“What exactly has gone wrong for me?”
He laid out the life-glow stones he had retrieved today on his desk and picked up one of them.
“Unlike me, Emilia has obtained her root power within about 20 pieces. Is there such a thing as a difference in talent in that aspect as well?”
He toyed with the life-glow stone in the palm of his hand.
“Emilia has obtained ‘Solid Strength,’ and our gap is getting wider and wider…”
Depending on the Selvanui that has been defeated, the root power that can be obtained will be fixed. The root power obtainable from Godlis’ life-glow stone will be one of the following: “Solid Strength” for brawn, “Toughness” for defense, or “Sensitivity” for the senses.
Only one root power can be obtained from the same Selvanui life-glow stone. Since Emilia has already attained the root power of “Solid Strength” from Godlis’ life-glow stone, she cannot obtain any more. Despite this, they were hunting Godlis jointly because Rodney had not obtained any root power yet.
“How could the nobles spend money on something so barren?”
As a common practice, the children of aristocrats generally acquire three root powers. There were several ways to gather them: by having their own soldiers do the gathering, by buying them from hunters, who specialize in defeating Selvanui, or by purchasing them from other lords who put them up for sale.
Since each nobility had to collect life-glow stones in order to pay the royal family, the life-glow stones handed to their children were frequently bought from hunters. Despite the high cost, many aristocrats would consider it a necessary element of their nobility’s etiquette.
The life-glow stones lined up on the desk were carefully snapped one by one. Nonetheless, Rodney was unable to obtain any root power at all. He then picked up the last life-glow stone.
“Two huge silver coins are worth this one low-grade life-glow stone… So far, I’ve consumed the equivalent of more than two large gold coins in life-glow stones. The mere notion of it convinces me that I should utilize the funds to pay off my debts… This isn’t a one-time acquisition; it’s a long-term investment. Trying to get the root power when I am in dire straits is truly overwhelming me.”
Holding the last life-glow stone across his nose and upper lip, he leaned back in his chair and folded his hands behind his head.
Life-glow stones can be classified into lower grade, intermediate grade, higher grade, and superlative grade, but the Knights were required by law to pay the lower grade life-glow stones to the royal family. However, even intermediate-grade life-glow stones may be used for payment for the royal family, in which case the amount will be calculated as three lower-grade life-glow stones.
Therefore, soldiers of the Dedel territory will hunt Selvanui which dropped intermediate-grade life-glow stones at the fourth or deeper level of the Labyrinth of Dilapidated Houses.
What is this life-glow stone in the first place? Why does it grant root power? I have not the faintest idea.
Balancing on the back two legs of the chair, the chair swayed as he pondered, but the secret of the life-glow stone was not so easy to unravel.
At that moment, he lost his balance and the chair wobbled violently.
His voice came out as he lost his equilibrium, and the life-light stone he was holding between his nose and top lip ended up in his mouth. Rodney also fell backward, which caused the life-glow stone in his mouth to be chewed up and disintegrated by the impact.
Although his head was covered by his hands and he was fine, perhaps because the particles were absorbed in his mouth, a searing agony was felt throughout his body, as if his blood had boiled, leading him to scream incoherently.
He kept the pain at bay by clutching his chest and jolting his body from side to side, perspiring profusely from every pore on his body. When he remembered his previous life’s recollection, it left him fatigued, but this one was excruciatingly painful.
“Hah hah… what is… this..?”
Feeling a sense of having obtained a root power, he focused his consciousness, and information about the “Herculean Strength” flowed into his mind.
“Hey, hey, what’s this?”
“Solid Strength,” “Toughness,” or “Sensitivity” were the only three sorts of root strength acquired from Godlis’ life-glow stone. There was no record of any other root power being obtained from Godlis.
Nevertheless, the “Herculean Strength” that Rodney acquired this time was an intermediate root power, a superior root power to the “Solid Strength” that he was originally supposed to have acquired. The fact that a weak Selvanui like Godlis could produce an intermediate level of “Herculean Strength” was inconceivable.
“Was it because I ate it?”
He unintentionally chewed up a life-glow stone in his mouth. That was the only possible reason for him to have acquired a root power. Then something struck Rodney’s mind.
“If I’ve gained ‘Herculean Strength’ beyond the norm, then, depending on how I look at it, conventional knowledge may not apply to me.”
There was two conventional knowledge about using life-glow stones: first, from a lower-grade life-glow stone, one can only obtain a lower-grade root power; second, from the same Selvanui life-glow stone, one can only obtain one root power.
Of the two, the first common knowledge was overturned. Rodney was the witness to this. Then, he reckoned, the second common knowledge could also be overturned.
“I can verify if there are any other life-glow stones…”
Since the last life-glow stone had been used, the number of life-glow stones on his hand was zero. He wouldn’t be able to prove how his body obtained a root power even if he wanted to, but he hoped he wouldn’t have to go through such unbearable pain. However, the thought of possibly obtaining another root power compelled him to do it. For that reason, he could tolerate that level of pain.
“Anyway, I want to give this ‘Herculean Strength’ a try.”
Rodney went out to the backyard and picked up the axe he kept for chopping wood. After checking its weight, he now tried to activate “Herculean Strength”.
Root power can only be used if you consciously activate it. It was said that it would take some time to get used to activating it at first. Rodney concentrated his consciousness to induce the activation of “Herculean Strength”. He felt an invigorating sensation throughout his body after a time. By instinct, he realized that this was the power of “Herculean Strength”.
The axe was noticeably lighter in his hands than before. As he swung the axe down on the firewood, which seemed to have no weight, it split the wood in half spectacularly. He’d never cut firewood so effortlessly before. That alone convinced him that the “Herculean Strength” root power was a wonderful thing.
Perhaps because he relaxed, “Herculean Strength” was deactivated, and the axe’s weight returned to his grip. However, the feeling of elation of gaining the “Herculean Strength” was more dominant for Rodney than the feeling of almost dropping the axe on his foot.
Even I might be able to battle with this strength now. Besides, if I can develop intermediate root power by consuming life-glow stones, I may be able to gain “Robustness,” a higher level of “Toughness,” or “Acuteness,” a higher level of “Sensitivity”.
Having found it enjoyable, he decided to start training to activate and maintain the “Herculean Strength” again.
He noticed a garden stone that appeared to weigh roughly 10 rodems (20 kilograms) and used his “Herculean Strength” to raise it. The stone would have been exceedingly difficult to lift without Rodney’s “Herculean Strength,” yet he did so with ease. He held the stone for as long as he could.
Yulin approached him the next day, as he was practicing lifting the stone.
“Good morning, Yulin.”
“Good morning, Master Rodney. What are you doing?”
“I was experimenting with my new root power.”
“Congratulations on that. Seeing that you are lifting the stone, is your acquired root power ‘Solid Strength’?”
Rodney’s cheeks loosened up and he assumed a pompous demeanor.
“Don’t give me that sickening look, hurry up and tell me what’s going on.”
“Don’t say sickening look… Who do you think I am, Yulin?”
“You’re Master Rodney.”
Rodney was tempted to grumble, but he was overjoyed to have gained root power, so he refrained. He motioned Yulin to come closer to his face. Rodney blew on Yulin’s ear as she willingly brought her face near to his.
Yulin let out a lovely sound when she heard Rodney’s breath on her ear. Her piercing eyes narrowed even further, and she locked her gaze on Rodney.
“I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.”
Yulin sighed as Rodney held his hands together in front of her face.
But neither of them had anticipated Charme, Emilia, or Rithy to be watching them, and the three of them stared at them, saying things like, “You’re being impatient,” and “Hug her tighter.”
“Tell me quickly.”
“Yes. Excuse me, please.”
Rodney whispered in Yulin’s ear. He didn’t blow in her ear this time.
It was only natural for Yulin to raise her voice since Rodney said he had gained “Herculean Strength” that normally could not be obtained.
“You’re making jokes on me again!”
“No, I’m not. It’s true.”
Rodney lifted a large stone in the backyard and showed it to her. It was a large stone that appeared to be 40 rodems in size. Yulin’s eyes widened when she saw it. The three people who were watching them were equally taken aback.
“Do you believe me now? Do you really think I can lift such a large stone with just only ‘Solid Strength’?”
“Even if you had the strength, you are too weak to lift that stone, Master Rodney.”
“Weak is superfluous, but you’re right.”
Yulin was not convinced, but she understood.
Rodney’s sword skills were also poor, but he wasn’t a weakling. The daily exertion of his efforts has given him a certain amount of strength, and Rodney was always the one chopping the firewood. That might be considered weak by Yulin’s standards, but by other people’s standards, it was perfectly normal.
“At any rate, congratulations. This is a chance for the weak Master Rodney to take a leap forward. Let’s go to the labyrinth right away and see the true power of the root power.”
Rodney decided to enter the labyrinth every day with Yulin and Emilia. Anyway, he wanted to use “Herculean Strength” as soon as possible.
He informed Emilia on the way to the labyrinth that he had gained “Herculean Strength,” making her envious. Emilia was also very eager to have “Herculean Strength,” but since he did not know if it was a fluke or if there were any conditions, Rodney carefully avoided saying anything. Besides, he didn’t want Emilia to go through that pain.
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