(Patreon) Strength Chapter 48

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Since I was injured, I was supposed to just sit and rest… but I couldn’t. Besides my arm, everything felt fine and healthy. Furthermore, I couldn’t help but think about what happened. The ambush probably couldn’t have been avoided- the goblins stayed hidden out of sight and scent. Halette was already beating herself up about not noticing them, but that wasn’t my concern.

I wanted to think about what I could have done better in that battle. Saying that I did well wasn’t good enough. There were definitely areas to improve. It would be too late to improve after I got myself killed. First, I shouldn’t have been hit by the arrow. Obviously that couldn’t have been completely avoided, but I could work on proficiency in Martial Trance and increasing my Focus. If I could find a way to increase my total mana, that would be good as well.

Other than that, after my arm was injured… though I managed to defeat goblins, it could have been dicey if there were stronger enemies around. Fortunately, I just had to swing vaguely through where they were. Even so, I was aware of the shortcomings I had with my left hand. That was the case with almost everyone using their non-dominant hand- though some people were ambidextrous, or close.

In short, instead of resting I was swinging my club around with just my left hand. There was a sort of swooshing sound it made when I swung it correctly. I usually got that with my right hand or when I used both, but my left hand was a bit worse. I didn’t have to be perfect with it, but I didn’t want to be too much worse. I also practiced with my halberd, though it wasn’t really meant to be used in one hand. I couldn’t do any of the proper stances without both hands.

I wanted to try shooting my bow or using my sling left-handed, but the bow absolutely required two hands. My sling needed two hands to load, or it would take me a long time of fumbling… so after a short time I gave up on that one. That seemed like a slight issue. Maybe I could get some javelins. The problem was I couldn’t carry javelins, my club, my halberd, and my bow all at the same time. Not and fight, anyway. There were only so many spots I could strap things on before they started getting in the way. Instead of javelins I got a few throwing knives. I could strap those to my belt, where I still had some room.

I practiced with those too, of course. It wasn’t too hard to pick up, but I imagined it would be harder to stick them into a moving goblin and not a still target. My practice with other things would help there though. The real issue would be anything with armor. Goblins didn’t have any armor on the first floor, but on the second floor they sometimes would. I doubted the ability of the daggers to penetrate armor. It wasn’t an issue of how hard I could throw them, but instead almost any metal armor would resist the dagger. At some point, the dagger itself would break, likely far before armor. There just wasn’t enough weight behind it, and with that structural strength.

As I thought about that, I wondered what it would be like to throw sling bullets. I tried that, and found they weren’t terrible. They were heavy enough to cause some damage, though of course they were much less effective without the actual sling. I would only want to use them if I couldn’t actually use my sling and didn’t have anything better to throw.

—–

Kantrilla checked on my wound every day, and applied more healing magic. Though I wasn’t staying in bed resting, I mostly avoided straining my right arm. It was only a few days before I was healed up.

The rest of the party also took time off. Though they were mostly uninjured, they needed rest too. It was especially important to get out of the dungeon and its strange blackness sometimes.

It wasn’t too long before I was recovered, and during that time I bought some armor and had it fitted. I was lucky there was so much variety in size in this world, or I wouldn’t have been able to find anything. I already had gambeson, which was useful but clearly not effective enough against stabs and arrows.

The new armor I got was steel plate. It was heavier, which meant it would tire me out more quickly… but it would also train my Constitution faster as well. I wouldn’t actually train Toughness faster, but I could afford to take some hits which would allow me to train it a little bit. It would be good enough for normal goblins at least.

Hunting goblins had been profitable for us. Everyone already had some money, and after killing 30 goblins we had gotten eight small magic gems. Almost everyone got something new, if not much. Alhorn got new under armour. It was lighter but just as padded. Apparently it also did a better job of keeping its wearer cool, though there were almost always better materials. Those materials just happened to be rarer or more expensive. Otherwise, the worse more expensive materials fell out of use. Kantrilla got a new shield- it was bigger but made out of a lighter material so it remained the same weight. Kasner got new shoes. I don’t think there was anything special about them, except perhaps being fashionable and comfortable. Halette didn’t seem to get anything for herself, but Socks looked somewhat different. Her coat was shinier in a peculiar manner. Apparently, Halette had been applying a special sort of oil that could make fur tougher, like metal. While it wouldn’t last forever, a wolf couldn’t really wear armor. At least, not easily. Apparently there were some people who made custom armor for Beast Tamer’s companions, but since it was all custom it was expensive. I knew Halette also spent a lot of her income on treats and food to make Socks grow stronger. I hoped she kept enough money for herself.

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