Chapter 31: Icon Sense

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Now, that Water Blobs were no longer in danger, Erika started appealing to the little blobs anew. Vivi wanted to complained about that too, but she was quickly subsided with a dose of Dragon Chocolate.

Even though Erika was angry with Vivi just a moment ago, watching the little pixie happily nom on chocolate was very soothing. The passionate argument was now water under the bridge.

S-so cute~

A new Water Blob emerged from a puddle. Erika grabbed the baby before it could run away.

"Pyu..."

The blob examined Erika in suspicion and prepared to splash her with its chubby arms. Erika had the unbearable urge to pat and snuggle the adorable critter, but she restrained herself to not scare the baby.

Communication: ON.

Erika's forehead shined and blue patterns stretched across it. Thanks to her heated debate with Vivi, Erika managed to level up her [Communication] rune. With a Lv.2 rune, she hoped to be granted the the bliss of understanding the Water Blob's baby language.

"Pyu..."

Alas, she was unable to decipher the blob's words; [Communication] didn't become any better at translating after it leveled up.

"Hm...?"

One thing was different, however. A trembling icon hovered over the Water Blob's head, suggesting that the abducted baby was afraid.

"My, are you scared? It's alright, mommy won't hurt you~"

Erika smiled toward the blob and carefully reached out to it.

"Pyu!"

The shaking icon exploded and gave birth to a raging icon instead. The blob splashed Erika's face and jumped from her palm.

"Ah~ Don't go~"

The blob tried to flee with its chubby feet, producing wet sounds whenever its watery legs hit the ground. Erika lazily pursued the clumsy baby, who tripped every now and then.

"Pyu!"

The blob turned its head every now and then, shooting water at the persistent pursuer. The aggressive icon around the blob's head never faded; no amount of "safe distance", between the blob and Erika, helped to calm down the fearful baby.

After tripping many times, the Water Blob reached the lake and dived inside. It swam away and disappeared into the water.

"Ah~ Come back~"

Erika wanted to jump into the water and to swim after the Water Blob, but Mina warned her against it. Due to some vague restriction, beginners couldn't swim in God Vessel Online.

This is so frustrating... I need to hit the gas on collecting pieces for swimming lessons.

Erika frowned at the pieces in her collection. She had a total of 218 pieces, but there were only 6 [Water] pieces among them. As far as paying Lakya for the pool was concerned - Erika hardly made any progress.

Before she continued to harass the little blobs, Erika brought up her rune's information.

【Lv.2】【You can sense the emotions and intentions of others. The sensitivity will improve as the rune levels up.】

It was a vague description, same as with the rune's Lv.1. The icons she saw above the Water Blob must have been her new ability to "sense emotions". A trembling emote appeared when the blob was scared, and a furious emote popped up when the blob turned hostile.

Erika tried to combine this information with the rune's Lv.1.

【Lv.1】【You can communicate with most intelligent species. The smoothness of the interaction will increase as the rune levels up.】.

Since [Communication] failed to translate the Water Blob's squeaks, it was likely that the baby blobs weren't considered "intelligent"; they didn't have a language which could be coherently translated.

Instead, their cute peeps were the primitive extensions of their emotions. Rather than figuring out the precise meaning of each squeak, it was easier to understand the blobs through their emotes.

Feeling confident about her newfound method of communication, Erika set out to grab more Water Blobs. Alas, all her efforts were in vain...

My, why do they get scared so easy? It's so adorable, though~

Erika could understand the blobs better, but it didn't help her convey her love for them. The blobs were scared whenever Erika approached them, and fled in terror whenever she tried to grab them.

In the end, all her abduction attempts ended with the the blobs escaping into the lake. The Water Blobs appeared clumsy and directionless at first glance, but they all shared a common life cycle.

They were born from puddles and they instinctively reached toward the lake. Perhaps it was part of the evolution process which Vivi mentioned. By spending time in the lake, the cute blobs might have been transforming into dangerous krakens...!

"Hey, Titan! Are you done with this shit yet!?"

"Oh, right..."

Erika was ready to spend the rest of the day on kidnapping babies, but both Mina and Vivi urged her to continue. In the end, they managed to force Erika to continue her journey... slowly.

Hm? My body feels... heavy?

Erika examined herself in confusion. She was dripping water all over, thanks to the mischievous blobs who sprayed her to no end. Her clothes were magically waterproof and stayed completely dry, but a layer of water stacked on top of them.

Nothing else seemed to weigh on her, but she had to drag herself as she walked. Being soaked in water was turning her fat, for some reason.

This experience was consistent with Mina's story about drowning; Mina claimed that she was "sucked in" by the water. Most likely, the water turned Mina heavy and made her sink. Swimming in Lakya's pool was probably going to fix this exact issue.

The water eventually dried off and Erika's petite body became light again. After leaving the "Baby Blobs Heaven", Erika finally reached her first checkpoint.

【Murph Village】

It was a small and laid-back village. Nonetheless, Vivi was very excited.

"So this is a village where idiot humans live!?"

Vivi flew all over the place and examined the village from every corner.

"My, Vivi is like an excited child~"

"W-wha!? Like, I'm not excited at all! This is just a village for idiots! Hmph!"

Nevertheless, an icon sparkled above Vivi's head. Even [Communication] understood that Vivi was a bratty liar.

"Hmph! Since the great Vivi bothered to come all the way to this dump, she might as well grace the villagers with her divine presence!"

The pixie announced so and blitzed into the village.

"Ah! Wait!"

Erika stretched a hand to stop Vivi and hurried after the pixie. Nervous about losing sight of her dear pixie, Erika hurried into the village as well

Right by the village's entrance, Erika spotted a Warp Stone; she made sure to briefly touch it before continuing. The stone lit up and allowed Erika to set Murph Village as her new spawning point, which she gladly accepted.

Finally, she felt she made some decent progress. It was still unclear how far Zelin City was, but Erika made the first big step towards that goal.


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