The Fruit of Skill
Unlike the muddy waters of the submerged forest area outside the cave, a pretty cobalt blue water was spread in front of our eyes.
Alongside the shining and glittering crystals, the lake made for some truly picturesque scenery.
Even without making the ice platforms, I feel like we could simply swim through it, but there’s harm in being cautious till the very end.
Esta and Mielle stood in front and dipped their hands into the water before beginning to chant their magic, and soon, a part of the lake froze completely.
We followed after the two who continued to make the ice platforms, and we continued walking towards the solitary island on which the Fruit of Skill grew on.
Since the submerged forest area was still in my head, I was still wary of attacks that may come from the water but, as my detection skills had already shown me, there were no monsters here, so we obviously didn’t get attacked and safely reached the island.
Everyone was still extremely wary due to the battle with Heracberg, so it felt a bit anti-climactic but that wasn’t a bad thing either.
Stepping foot on to the island, I took the lead again and finally walked directly towards the object of my heart’s desire, the Fruit of Skill.
The thick stalk had grown all the way to the ceiling.
The stalk at the end, split into small branches, and at the end of on those branches hung a strange but colourful fruit.
“I know we could see it from afar as well so I knew this was quite high up in the air but,……..you’re gonna have to climb all the way to the top to get it huh?”
“Yeah. If we cut the stalk itself, it’d fall into the water after all. I did consider firing magic nearby to make it fall but, once again, it’ll put the pressure of having to catch it as it falls and there’s a chance that it still drops into the water which would ruin everything. So climbing it is the safest option.”
“Chris-san will you climb it yourself? You did get hurt against the Heracberg, and it’d be dangerous if you accidentally fell so it’d be safer to let Ralf do it but……….what do you think?”
“Oi Esta! Are you saying it’s fine if I fall!?”
“Better than Chris-san falling, yes. You have high endurance right Ralf, so surely you’ll be fine even if you fell.”
“No, I’ll climb it myself. Just guide me towards the fruit from below.”
I stopped the two ho started arguing for whatever reason, and told them that I’d climb it myself.
In the first place, I planned on climbing it and if the Fruit of Skill was as dangerous of a plant as rumoured, I was too scared to let Ralf take that risk.
………Well, we don’t even know for sure if this even is actually the fruit of skill or not yet.
Although I was going to get help and directions from below as I climbed, I still put the rough location of the fruits in my head.
They were all spread about but I could see there were at least 4 of them hanging there.
I activated [Flesh Enhancement][Physical Ability Boost][Ability Unleashed], and then began climbing the thick stalk.
Since there were various stalks entwined together, it was surprisingly easier to climb than I expected and in no time at all, I climbed up high upon the stalk.
Honestly, I didn’t even need to activate the skills I used but, in the off chance I fell, it was better to keep them activated.
“Chris-san! It’s on the branch to the right of you! That branch, the one that’s touching your right arm right now!”
“It’s a lot thinner so be careful! If you think you’re losing balance, just let go of the fruit! I’ll catch it for sure!”
Following the directions from Esta and Ralf who were shouting from below, I quickly headed towards one of the fruits.
Since there was no space to keep my feet, I dangled down from the branch with my arms and continued and thankfully the stalk was sturdy enough to handle my body weight and didn’t break which means I’ll be able to gather it pretty safely.
I didn’t drop my speed even when I was using only my arms, and made it to the fruit itself in no time.
I could tell that the fruit had an odd shape even from afar but, seeing it up close made it even clear why I felt so.
Rather than one colourful fruit, it was actually a collection of multiple different coloured small fruits that made the entire thing.
Not just the colours, but each every small fruit were differently shaped as well, and made the whole thing look really inexplicably uncanny.
But, that uncanny appearance was also proof that this was not some normal fruit as well.
After doing a quick observation of the thing, I cut the fruit off the branch and put it inside my item holder.
The remaining three fruits as well, I gathered quickly thanks to the instructions from below.
By the way, all four of these fruits looked the same and I wondered if all the fruits would grant the same exact skill perhaps.
That was my only worry but, as long as it’s a unique skill, even getting one new one was quite a big advantage and that was a fact.
“I was worried at first, but it all ended pretty safely huh!”
“All thanks for the precise instructions from you guys. I was able to safely gather all of them.”
“So……..are these actually the fruit of skill?”
I don’t know that yet. I’ll need to slowly analyze and confirm things about them but……….if my intuition is correct, these should be the fruits of skill.”
“If you don’t mind, can you show it to us. Surely it won’t cause us damage from just looking at it right?”
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“I don’t think so. But just in case, be sure to look at it from a distance.”
I brought out a fruit and showed it to the four and Snow who were waiting for me below the big stalk.
It’s smell was quite strong as well, and you could tell that it was not something a normal person could eat.
Having instinctively sensed that, all of them instantly pulled back and had a disgusted expression the moment they saw the repulsive appearance of the fruit.
“Is this really the fruit we put in so much effort for!? It’s definitely horrid in taste!”
“I didn’t get it for taste you know? I’ve long since grown immune to bad tasting things anyway.”
“If this isn’t the fruit of skill, it really won’t be a laughing matter………..now then, since we have completed our objective, let us quickly return. I really want to go back, take a nice bath, and sleep on a soft bed.”
Mielle was already saying that so, we really shouldn’t waste any more time here and quickly return.
This was still only the half way point of the expedition after all.
From here, we have to make it all the way back from the way we came. And just thinking about it……..even me who had fulfilled all my objectives still felt a bit depressed just thinking about it.
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