The Green Devil
A green, long, and lanky monster let out an incredibly depressing war cry and attacked me.
Though it might looked unimpressive, this monster was apparently considered quite high-ranked, even feared and named by the locals as the ‘Green Pole Devil’.
It can bend its tough yet flexible body to absorb 60% of the physical damage it receives.
Its level is only around 40-50, lower than me, and it doesn’t really have any troublesome attack skill, so the monster isn’t a threat to me… but due to its nature, defeating it takes a long time.
If only I could leverage its weakness to fire, I’d only need one shot… The only reason why I couldn’t was that the monster would get burned, and I wouldn’t be able to use it as materials.
“Mmmm… Grrrr… S-So annoying… You’re just a freaking green bamboo!”
That’s right. The monster that’s been rampaging and swinging its long body in front of me was officially called the ‘Bamboo Devil’. It looked exactly like a bamboo tree…
Long time no see.
I am Arakura Shiori (25), the overpowered half-human half-spider monster Arachne.
In this world, I would be called the owner of Arachne Tailor, Shiori Arachne, instead.
By the way, it’s been one year since I reincarnated in Falyias, the world where I’m currently living in, so I added 1 to my age in the self introduction.
If I round it off, I’d be stepping into the 30-year-old threshold.
Well, I’d be barely 1 year old if I’m counting by the number of years since I’ve reincarnated in this world, though.
And if you ask me why I’m fighting with this bamboo monster…
I wanted an ‘earpick’.
Furthermore, I wanted the bamboo type, similar to those sold in Japan.
Apparently, the concept of ‘tools for cleaning ears’ didn’t exist in this world, so I had no choice but to shave some random stick of wood to make an earpick… but I just couldn’t get it right.
Looks like I really do need to use some kind of material with the characteristic pliancy of bamboo… The wooden earpick felt sort of hard.
And so, I tried to ask the customers visiting my store to see if there’s a way to purchase some bamboo… but apparently, they can’t be found in the markets around this area.
Bamboo does exist, but they only grow in a place far east, across the ocean.
And I can’t afford to leave the shop empty for several days for just an earpick… Just when I was racking my brain over the problem, a repeat customer of my shop, Ronica the magician, told me some welcoming news.
“Bamboos themselves don’t grow here, but within the category of plant monsters, there is a type of bamboo monster, you know? Well, not only are they quite powerful, they only drop ‘bamboo’ when killed, so no adventurers bother with them.”
When I asked her for the exact location, surprisingly, it was in the nearby ‘Forest of the Tree King’. If I skip over there in Arachne form, it’d only take 2 days for a round trip.
There’s no reason to not go! And so, I aimed for a regular holiday, when the shop is closed, to leave for the forest.
… I just didn’t expect the monster to be making me feel so tired.
The Bamboo Devil swung its branches, as thick as a person’s wrist, to attack me from all directions while letting out that depressing shriek.
Looking at how big its branches were, I could easily guess the size of its real body.
It’s so big I couldn’t even see the top even when I looked up.
While throwing out a few casual slashes of my hand to parry its attacks, I jumped forward to get into close range with the Bamboo Devil.
This has gotten way too troublesome now. I decided to use a finishing move, even if it resulted in less usable materials.
“Arrrghh, just die already… 4 Strikes Combo!!”
The claws growing out of my lower body – my spider body – minced the Bamboo Devil’s torso as if slicing through thin air.
Seems like the Bamboo Devil’s physical damage reduction has finally reached the limit. With the four-hit combo from my claws, a large rip immediately appeared on the monster.
The Bamboo Devil let out a final shriek and fell down.
Its scream didn’t feel like something a dying creature would make at all, but that’s probably just my imagination.
“Haaahhh… I should have done this right from the start. Actually, don’t I only need enough material for an earpick?… With the size of this thing, just 1% of its undamaged body would have been enough…”
Well, having a reserve of materials is never a bad thing.
If I ever want to, I could begin selling bamboo products, starting from earpicks. Bamboo helmets, bamboo armor, bamboo shields…
Different from normal bamboo, the materials I acquired have a lot of magic inside them, so they’ll probably make for some pretty good quality armor.
…Wait a minute? I heard that you can only get normal bamboo from Bamboo Devils. This is weird.
“Hmmm… Activate [Tactile Thread]”
I felt like this monster was quite a lot stronger than what I’ve heard, so I decided to use [Tactile Thread] to recheck just in case.
HP 0 (Max 4555)
MP 0 (Max 300)
Physical Resistance (Large)
Blunt Weapon Resistance (Small)
Photosynthesis (Slightly Auto-Heal HP)
A plant-monster subtype, bamboo species.
Lord of the Bamboo Devils.
Due to the skill Physical Resistance (Large), which has the effect of reducing physical damage by over 90%, its physical endurance is even better than the Demon King.
On the other hand, it has no resistance to magic at all, which is the reason why its juvenile form – a bamboo shoot – are often eaten by the lower-rank monster Flame Boar.
Lord of the Bamboo Devils?
…So it was a boss monster… over 90% physical damage reduction. No wonder it was so tough.
Hahhh, so tired…
Right, so after getting high-rank materials for nothing, I picked myself back up, returned to the road, and ran full speed back home to my store during the night.
I made sure to return to my human form before entering the village, of course.
It might have been night, but in the village, you can’t be sure if someone’s looking.
“Well then, let’s get on with it.”
I took some monarch bamboo, the material taken from the King Bamboo, out from the bag of holding, then used my right hand’s nails to cut the bamboo into appropriately-sized slices.
Next, I split the slices vertically into sticks the size of chopsticks… The next step is just shaving, shaving, and more shaving.
I made one side of the earpick’s body flat, for a better grip.
The spoon part of the pick was shaved as thin as possible, which helps it clean easier. It’s also spring-shaped to make it gentler on the ear.
I took extra care on the end of the pick to make a smooth curve, since this part will be directly touching sensitive skin.
Don’t underestimate it just because it’s an earpick!
In the end, after trying and failing twice, I finally managed to shave the third pick into the ideal shape.
I used my threads to make that white, fluffy ball that looks like a pom-pom – the official name for it is bonten, apparently – then used adhesive threads to glue it on the earpick.
And finally. I used my nails to carve some healing runes on the body of the pick and enchanted it.
This was only possible because the material wasn’t just normal bamboo, but monarch bamboo taken from the King Bamboo… This normal earpick turned into a type of magical tool, so to speak.
Hahahah, now I no longer need to worry about hurting my ears due to picking them for too long!
The next day.
With the completion of the supreme earpick, I immediately tried it out at the store counter.
“Auhhh… uff… this is… really nice… “
Mmm, this felt much better than I expected.
I knew it, earpicks just HAVE to be made from bamboo.
“Shiori… What’s with that sexy voice?”
Oh my, I didn’t notice that a customer has arrived.
When I turned my eyes toward owner of the voice, standing there was a young woman with chestnut hair.
She’s one of my repeat customers, the magician Ronica.
I unwittingly got too into picking my ears and didn’t notice her coming in.
“Ah, miss Ronica. Welcome. Ehee, sorry for showing you that…”
“No, I didn’t really mind… What’s that?”
“Aaah! I’ve been thinking about giving you my thanks, Ronica! Thanks to your information, I got my hands on some bamboo.”
“Aaaah… I see, so that thing is made out of bamboo… What is it used for?”
Ronica played with the earpick with a curious look.
“This thing is, in fact… a tool used to clean the inside of your ears.”
“Mm? Don’t you just use your fingers to scrape out the earwax?”
“This thing can clean deeper than fingers can. And it feels good too, you know? Do you want to try?”
“Eh… That stick goes inside my ears? Kinda scary. I feel like I’ll poke my ears out if I do it myself…”
“Hmm. Then how about I do it for you? Here, if you could just lie down and put your head on my thigh…”
“Eh, you mean… A l-l-l-lap pillow from the lovely Shiori?!”
Suddenly, Ronica jumped forward and asked me with a face as serious as it gets, her cheeks flushed.
Wait, too close! Your face is too close!
“Y-Yeah, we can sit on the raised floor over there, so…”
“It’s all good! I’m fine with wherever as long as I get a lap pillow from Shiori! It’s worth sacrificing an eardrum or two!”
How rude. I’m not that bad.
I may not look like it, but in my past life, I’m already experienced in cleaning my little brother and sister’s ears.
“Yes, well then, put your head here…”
“Waaaa… Shiori’s lap pillow…”
“Hey, don’t grope around! My hand’s going to slip!”
After lightly hitting Ronica’s hands, which were fondling the back of my hips, I immediately got to cleaning her ears.
I already knew this world didn’t have the culture of ear cleaning, but this is terrible.
This is truly worth cleaning.
First off, I enchanted the spell Illumination onto the tip of the earpick.
The light helped a lot in checking the inside of her ears.
Next, I wound some more adhesive threads onto the earpick.
This was to preventing the earwax that I scraped off from falling back inside.
With the preparations complete, I began to carefully clean up Ronica’s ears.
Ronica’s body nearly jumped off my lap.
Whoops, that was dangerous… I secretly used a bit of my threads to bind her.
“It’s dangerous to move, so try to bear with it, oka~y?”
With that sentence, she should be convinced that the reason her body’s not moving was because she’s keeping herself still.
Right, let’s continue.
*scratch* *scratch* *scratchy* *scratch*…
Oooh, what a haul.
The earwax has already hardened into the shape of the earhole.
I stuck the earpick into it and carefully scraped it out.
“Ahhaauhn! Wa… Wait… Wait a minute…”
“Not wai~ting! Ah, there’s another big one here. *scratchy scratchy*…”
“Ahhh… aaaahh… hiii…”
Around 20 minutes later.
After getting both ears violated by me, Ronica’s whole body got flushed, with a bit of sweat sticking on her skin… she’s almost hyperventilating, even.
Next, the final finishing touches.
I slightly inserted the puffy part of the earpick, the bonten, into her ears, tapping and rubbing the inside…
As Ronica was already exhausted, she couldn’t even make a sound, but her body was twitching with what I thought was a face of happiness, so let’s just consider this a win. Yeah.
One month later.
Even though it’s not yet opening hours, but there’s already a long, long line of people in front of the Arachne Tailor since early morning.
After that day, Ronica kept on coming to the store and begged me for some ear cleaning again and again. Because of her glowing reviews, I decided to turn it into an official service for the store.
Ear cleaning service, done on a lap pillow by the owner with all of her heart.
(For the first 5 customers with a purchase of over 1 silver coin)
*Only on the first 3 days of every week.
…And with that piece of paper stuck on the door…
The news quickly spread thanks to Ronica’s reviews, and the line got longer with every passing day.
…Or rather, is it fine for the hero and the crown prince and the ex-demon lord to line up together?
Well, sales shot up and I earned a whole lot more, so I didn’t have any reason to complain.
As usual, below are stats of the item created:
Earpick [Emperor Bamboo]
Type: Earpick with bonten
Attack Power 0
Basic Stats Dexterity +1
Passive Healing Effect 3%
Can use the spell [Light, cleanse my body] 5 times per day.
The user may feel some slight pleasure as a side effect of healing magic being cast on the ears.