The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 178

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Telling myself I would perform a technique correctly didn’t make it true- but it did help it become true. Confidence was key in everything, whether it was swinging a weapon or using magic. I couldn’t envision making a mistake, only my knife going straight through the eye of a boar and into its brain. On my third attempt, it did just that. 

Hitting the eye of a charging boar might have been difficult. However, the eye of a dire boar was at least as big as my palm. Combined with the dire boar only being five yards away and moving more or less straight towards me, it wasn’t a hard throw. If I had been throwing the knife without the use of a skill, it would have normally gone end over end… but Piercing Spear or whatever the equivalent was for a knife kept it straight as it pierced through the eye and into the brain. It went deep enough I could barely see the tip of the hilt.

The boar went down, but two more were charging- then just one, but I still wanted my weapon back as I stepped away from the edge of our improvised cliff. I used Return Weapon to pull on the knife and it held for a second… before pulling out. I was worried about it getting stuck, but it had cut open a path for itself well enough and the handle was thin. As I started running to the side, I considered not catching the dagger whose hilt was covered in boar eye juice. I still did anyway.

The final boar stomped its way up the hill, breaking the final bits of ice that Kasner had placed and barreling towards us. Then Socks came in from the side, glowing with the power of a magical barrier and knocking it over as she leaped onto it. Towards me, but I couldn’t blame her enthusiasm. She hadn’t gotten to participate in the fight at all to this point. Fortunately, the giant boar didn’t go very far, so it landed comfortably a few feet away from me on its side. As it started to scramble back up, I took note of its conveniently placed head.

With it standing up, I would have had to extend too far to attack its head but with it on its side I just had to stab it. I held the knife in a reverse grip and stabbed into the boar’s eyes- they were just as much on the side as they were on the front. The blade was very sharp… and I was strong, even if not quite as much as I had once been. However, with Rage activated I was at nearly 600 Strength. I felt the blade briefly catch on the bones behind the boars eye- but I had gotten the same knife through its eye while throwing. Doing it in melee was easier, even without using a combat skill. The boar thrashed as my knife went in, throwing me away- I preferred to lose my grip on the dagger compared to breaking my wrist- but Socks kept it pinned down during its death throes. Even so, it managed to dig a deep gouge in the ground nearby.

I took deep breaths to calm my body down. Pulling a bowstring and throwing knives were each more physically intensive than they sounded and being charged at by a dire boar certainly got blood pumping and adrenaline going… even if they didn’t quite reach you. I looked down the hillside which was now an area of exposed rock and then a puddle of mud at the bottom. “Wow, we really messed up this hillside…”

Kasner shrugged, “What’s a few trees anyway? The boars dug up at least this many in the hour or so we were after them. It’s a small hill anyway. It will recover. Or not.”

He was right, of course. The hill was only about a dozen feet high from bottom to top, it just happened to be steeply sloped. Messing up a few hundred square feet of area wasn’t much compared to the devastation the boars were doing and would continue to do.

“There should be more dire boars…” Halette mentioned, “But first we should get these back to Hazelbury. They need proof of us hunting the dire boar and it would be a waste not to use them for food or something.”

We had planned for this, and Carlos was pulling a wagon that we could hook one of the horses up to as well. We would probably only be able to put one of the boars in the wagon, but Hazelbury could send some more people out with us to get the other two later. “Do people know how to cook boar?” I asked idly.

“What do you mean?” Halette asked.

“Oh, well, wild boar sometimes have parasites and stuff and you need to cook them properly or you’ll get sick.”

“Ah, right,” Halette nodded, “That used to be a problem hundreds of years ago, but we know how.”

“…Right.” I don’t know why I thought any differently. Though this world hadn’t been industrialized, it wasn’t actually at medieval levels either. They just did things differently because they had magic. They also had to worry about monsters so certain things like large paved roads were rare. They weren’t actually in the past here.

As we brought the wagon to the boars, there was the slight problem of putting one of them on it. It was strong enough to carry it, but lifting it up wasn’t simple. A regular boar of a few hundred pounds was nothing- I could have just lifted it right up. Each of these boars weighed at least a ton. On the other hand, we had four very strong people. Alhorn and Halette were near bodybuilder levels of Strength… though with less muscle behind it. That was a weird thing about this world and the attribute system, though neither of them were at all skinny. I was the third, and Socks was of course the fourth. She stood on the wagon and took one leg and pulled, while the rest of us lifted the rear of the boar onto the wagon. Then it just took continual pulling and lifting and scooting to get it fully on.

In the end, it took all day to cart back the first boar and then make another trip out for the next two. It was actually nearly as exhausting as a day of fighting in the dungeon, though being out in the forest was much less oppressive than being inside the blackness of a dungeon.

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