“Then, let’s start getting ready now.”
Shin decided to head toward the Falnido Beast Alliance where his old friend Girard awaited, and they began making the preparations respectively. However, because Tsuki no Hokora could wholly be carried with him, most of the preparations were unnecessary.
The elf, Tiera, returned to her room to choose the clothes that were appropriate for going out. The Element Tail, Yuzuha, stood by on top of Shin’s head in the young fox mode. The High Elf, Schnee, looked back at Shin and said;
“I have to go complete the request. Could you buy some food and supplies, just in case?”
“Okay. Since I’m going to go to the adventurers’ guild after I lightly temper a sword, I’ll buy them on the way.”
“You’re going to the guild?”
“Yeah. I guess we’ll go do our separate actions for a while; Schnee, you’re still on the Skull Faces matter, right? Therefore, I’ll take a request toward the Falnido area, and improve my rank while I’m at it. It’s regrettable, but I can’t stay a rank G forever.”
To enter the guild and stay at the lowest rank forever, was not a good thing in the eyes of society either. Because he knew that staying as a rank G for a long time was a rare case, even for a person who didn’t have remarkable abilities, he thought to at least to make it to F rank.
Since the Skull Faces’ subjugation was not a request, Shin currently had zero request achievements.
“I understand. What about the meeting place?”
“I’ll decide it after seeing the status of the request. We can always use the message card to talk to each other.”
“If so, let’s form a party. We can use the voice chat in that case. It’s easier than using message cards.”
According to Schnee, only partners in the same party could use the voice chat. Now the speaking and writing via the mind was called 【Mind Chat】.
“However, only we, the old generation, are able to use it immediately. People like Tiera, a new generation; someone who was born after the Dusk of the Majesty, I heard they are unable to use it if they don’t trust each other. Even so, I don’t know how true that is.”
“What happens if the old and new generations are mixed in a party?”
“Only the old generation is able to use it.”
Because she didn’t know on what kind of principle it worked, she appeared to be unclear on the exact conditions. In the case of the new generation, they seemed to suddenly be able to use it one day. Certainly, the 【Mind Chat】 was not usable when the party was disbanded, but if the party united again, the person who experienced that communication would be able to use it right away.
“So that means, only Schnee and I can use it immediately, huh?”
“Yuzuha is also able to talk to Shin~”
A sweet voice came down from on top of his head.
“In the case of Yuzuha, I think it is because of Yuzuha’s individual talents and Shin’s tamer ability. I also think it’s better if you don’t announce that too much. Please remember the party that we are talking about and the guild’s party are two different things.”
“What do you mean?”
Shin and Yuzuha had a question mark floating above them.
“A party is only recognized by the guild after it has registered with the guild. However, the party formation system for the old generation, like Shin and me, was performed through the menu display so the general public is not aware of it. In other words, we can create a double party.”
To begin with, the menu screen seemed to be limited to the people who are still alive since the Dusk of the Majesty. For the new generation, they couldn’t read the precise explanation notes of the skills and arts and somehow only understood how to use it, not how it worked.
“If there is no guild card for the new generation, they only roughly know my stats, excluding my level, huh? But eventually, only a party that was formed in the guild is recognized by the guild, don’t you agree? Is there an advantage of forming a party the way the old generation did?”
“It’s being able to use the Mind Chat. In this world, when there are many partners who can do long-distance communication, only that alone is useful. Since there are almost no human beings that have the message card, I guess. Also in any country, the person who has the Mind Chat is given preferential treatment. Even if that person is not an adventurer for an old generation. Because there is no need to go to battle, if that person joined a party and it was dispatched to various locations, as they are able to quickly receive information.”
“I see, so a person who is able to use the Mind Chat is hired just because of the skill, huh?”
The communication method in this world was letter delivery by a messenger or a wagon. The speed of the information transmitted was extremely slow compare with Mind Chat.
From Schnee’s story, only a small handful of adventurers from the whole new generation were able to use Mind Chat. Now, since the old generation has decreased in number, it’s worth has become immeasurable.
“Kuu~? Is it really that amazing?”
Yuzuha asked while shaking its tails.
“Yeah, it’s amazing. As an example, I can convey my thoughts to my partner who is in a remote place immediately. If I’m hurt and can’t move, I can call for help, and I can pass along important information right away.”
“Kuu! Yuzuha will help if Shin is in trouble!”
“Please take care of me at that time. Yuzuha too, can call me if you are in trouble.”
Yuzuha, who didn’t understand the advantage of fast communication, somehow understood that it was amazing from Shin’s words. It was not possible to say if it completely understood though, as it was still a child.
“Now, the old and new generation that are able to use Mind Chat have to form a party with the guild. So the Mind Chat is not usable with a commoner who has not registered to the guild. If you have time, it would be nice to help Tiera register as an adventurer.”
“That’s a good idea. Then, do you want me to bring her to the guild with me?”
“That would be really helpful. She should be able to move better than an amateur since I have trained her in basic fighting techniques for the last 50 years.”
“Eh, you trained her?”
The other day, Wilhelm, who had fought together with Shin in the Wraith Plains, said that he had received training from Schnee as well. And he was beaten up one-sidedly.
“Yes, is there something wrong with that?”
It seemed like Schnee didn’t know why Shin was surprised, as she looked slightly puzzled. That spontaneous action made Shin felt embarrassed, but he somehow kept his composure.
“Was it safe?”
“Yes, though I don’t understand what you mean by that.”
The figure of Schnee doing Spartan training just popped into Shin’s head. For some reason, that image seemed to be pretty harsh.
“I don’t know what Shin imagined, but it was only basic training that was done. Because I’m able to go outside of the barrier, I only teach her when I have time. Although her level is low, she should have superior movements compared to a newly fledged adventurer.”
Schnee, who seemed to have read what Shin had imagined, said that with a slightly displeased tone.
“Iya, that’s… well, sorry. Because I heard that training with you seemed to be a little harsh.”
Shin apologized upfront at this time. It was an inviolable rule, that his mother in the real world told him. Incidentally, in his father’s words, the situation would become worse if he did not apologize.
Somehow he recalled these kind of things from the talk with Schnee.
“Then, in exchange, you will listen to my simple request.”
“Ah yes…I understand.”
Schnee said it with a smile. The smiling face that could make the whole nation captive was a little frightening to Shin now.
He felt a little worried about whatever he was going to be made to do.
Before long, Schnee went out for shopping, and Shin then took Yuzuha along with him to the blacksmith’s workshop. He wanted to lightly temper a sword before going to the guild.
“Now then, let’s do this.”
He took out an unprocessed iron ingot from his Item Box. It wasn’t bad one but it wasn’t a good quality one either, it was just a normal ingot.
A longsword was also a common thing to make. Of course, it would be forged. Although metal casting is easy and fast, he couldn’t sell it like that.
“Does this become a sword?”
“Yes, but don’t approach me too much when I’m forging, because it’s dangerous.”
After telling Yuzuha to keep its distance, Shin began making the longsword. His body moved without trouble since coming into this world, probably because he had done this for more than 5 years.
The iron was heated and beat with a hammer. The sound of metal being struck, “Clang”, “Clang”, resounded in the forge, and Yuzuha’s tails synchronized with a small flutter.
When hitting the ingot in the game, it didn’t matter where it was struck as the result was still the same. But now that it was reality, that wouldn’t work. Nevertheless, Shin somehow understood where he should hit. It might be the benefit of the skill. While thinking whether a real craft man might have such a sense, he set the metal and hit it with the hammer again.
Yuzuha raised a cheer, as it saw the ingot changing form almost instantly. It was at a speed that would leave an ordinary blacksmith stunned. One would wonder whether it was alright to be that fast, but obviously it was not alright. Only inferior goods would be produced by striking it quickly.
It was the【Blacksmith】 skill which Shin possessed that allowed this. With the creator’s intended design known, it was a cheat skill that increased the production speed to an efficiency that was impossible to reproduce in the real world.
Certainly, it didn’t mean that any weapon could be created with the blacksmith skill. A Magic skill was needed for magic bestowal, and the skills 【Mixing】 and 【Tempered Metal】 were necessary for raw materials as well.
When the person tried to master a production job, it was inevitable that the person had to learn how another production worked.
“The first one.”
He looked at the completed sword he had made for practice. Though there was only a blade, no one would think it was only made from an ordinary ingot.
The light that entered from the entrance of the blacksmith’s workshop was reflected by the sword blade, and a dim white light on the blade showed its sharpness. Even if an amateur handled it, the item seemed to raised the probability of success in battle.
“…I was fired up a little too much.”
Though it was made just as an experiment, it obviously became goods that would cause uproar when put up on the storefront. It was not possible to simply say that this was a common longsword. When the item was bestowed with magic, it would be classified as 《Rare》 or 《Unique》 grade.
A sword that was bestowed with magic was known as a Cursed Sword, or sometimes a Holy Sword in this society. Because there were few people in this world that had a weapon that was higher than 《Legend》 grade, weapons such as a 《Rare》 grade were often found up to 《Unique》 grade. However, for weapons that were above the 《Legend》 grade, they had a higher ability than a Cursed Sword without any magic bestowal.
“No, it’s not a failure, but this can’t be sold. There are no weapon shops in the kingdom that put up magically bestowed weapons.”
It didn’t mean that there were no magically bestowed weapons on sale, but it was rare. Moreover, because it was Shin who tempered it, the weapon’s performance was different from the other cursed swords around there. If someone bought a Cursed Sword with an average ability from the weapon shop and put two longswords together, that would be the limit that Cursed Sword could break. However, one of Shin’s tempered Cursed Swords would be able cut 4 additional longswords. If he put in some serious effort, even one of his low-grade Cursed Sword could break it. The weapons that Shin made and could rally with the 《Legend》 grade ones were not just for show.
Nonetheless, it backfired this time. There were differences between the blacksmiths in this world and the blacksmiths in the game era, especially when it came to weapon design.
“For some reason, I have a feeling. The next one should be good.”
He was probably doing it unconsciously. So, while being aware of the boosting performance from the blacksmith skill, he made another longsword. The second longsword had a bit of a high performance, and the third one was somehow a normal one. Because those ready-made goods were aggravating, he continued to mass-produce swords with a similar ability to the second one.
He repeated this for about one hour, and decided to stop after he had made several of them. Meanwhile Yuzuha, instead of moving around and making noises, was watching Shin and the completed longswords for a long time. It appeared to be so interested that it lost track of the time, probably because of the concentration that was peculiar to a child.
“I guess Tiera should be ready soon.”
They left the blacksmith’s forge and headed back towards the living room. It was partly because he presumed that the presence that came out of the room was Tiera, that he finished up.
“Ah, Shin. I’m sorry to have kept you waiting for so long.”
“No, it’s nothing. I just tempered with swords here and there.”
“I didn’t think I would take up so much time myself. After such a long time, I don’t know what I should wear.”
Tiera’s point was understandable. For the first time after about 100 years, she would have to go to a place where there were a lot of people. It couldn’t be helped that she was hesitating over what clothes to wear.
Because she was told that she had to register with the adventurers’ guild, Tiera wore clothes similar to what a hunter would wear, emphasizing easiness of movement. What Tiera chose was close to what Els had equipped before. Especially the combination of long boots and leggings.
On top, she wore a light green colored jacket with black colors on the inner side. Because its design was made to fit the body, Tiera’s body shape could be seen clearly. This might be the standard for elves.
She appeared to be unarmed, but it was concealed in the form of a card. A lot of elves had a battle style that combined magic with daggers and bows.
“Well, shall we go?”
“Yeah, let’s hurry up a little.”
Yuzuha, who was in fox mode, was put on Shin’s head, and they walked out of the store. It was a fine day. Warm sunlight shined over the two people and the animal.
“Ha~, it is nice on the outside after all.”
“Yes, it is fine weather and ――!?”
It came into Shin’s view as he casually answered Tiera and he turned to face her, an astounding sight was displayed.
It was a pair of spheres.
It was the most magnificent pair of globes he had ever seen before.
To put it in simple words, while basking in the sunlight, Tiera was also stretching her body. However, when she raised her arms and bent her back in a nice way, her chest naturally stuck out as a result. Only the owner of that body could know, from the current posture, the size of what was being emphasized. Shin’s eyes were glued to it.
“Phew, shall we go?”
She didn’t seem to realize that her chest was being stared at, and Shin tried to look calm. “I didn’t see anything, at least not on purpose” was what he tried to say with his body behaviour.
While walking next to such Shin, Tiera coughed in a whisper.
“And, what are your thoughts on my chest?”
“Iya, they are seriously perfe――――HA!?”
It was said that a man’s glancing look was similar to staring for a women. Shin didn’t know whether it was true or not, but at least he knew he was found out by Tiera.
“Shin will be in charge of the shopping fee. And, really, you did look too much earlier.”
“That was my bad. Haa, that was an expensive view…”
“It’s only natural because you so rudely stared at a maiden’s breasts.”
Shin couldn’t help but smile wryly at Tiera’s smiling face. Did she aim for it? Or was it done spontaneously? Only Tiera knew the truth.
While Yuzuha tilted its head, it watched the exchange between the two people.
They left Tsuki no Hokora and arrived at the gate of the Bayreuth kingdom after a short while. Was it a slow hour? There was not a lot of pedestrian traffic.
When they passed through the gate and entered inside, Tiera looked around while surveying the surroundings.
“Uwaa, there is a great number of people. Are there always so many?”
“No, it’s not crowded right now. There are twice as many people as this in the mornings and evenings.”
“There are? I can’t imagine what it’s like when it’s crowded.”
Tiera’s eyes sparkled like those of a child who went to an amusement park for the first time.
“So the things that the people, who came into the store, said is true.”
She seemed to have heard various stories from adventurers who came to buy goods. Since she couldn’t go out from the store, she couldn’t do anything but imagine. It seemed that when she actually experienced it by herself, she realized that what they had said was not a lie.
“You sure are in high spirits, aren’t you?”
“I-I’m not…that excited…”
She was probably aware of it herself. Though she denied it, the words coming out from her mouth were a little weak.
“Let’s register you first, and then do the shopping later. You can decide to do whatever you want in the remaining time.”
“T-That’s sounds good. Then, let’s go to the guild right away.”
Was she drawn to the word ‘sightseeing’? Tiera walked rapidly while grabbing Shin’s hand.
Didn’t she just say “The crowds are scary”? Now she was charging through the main street by force.
“Wait! It’s good to hurry, but do you know where the guild is?”
It seemed like she didn’t know. She suddenly stopped, and threw glances at the surroundings.
“Come on, over here.”
Because it was truly pointed out for the second time, Tiera also finally listened.
They walked down the street as Shin held Tiera’s hand to lead her.
From Tiera’s point of view, while in the crowd, she would lose sight of Shin if she took her eyes off of him for a second.
They walked along the street while being careful not to bump into any pedestrians. As they approached an intersection with a particularly lot of people, she unintentionally saw a man and a woman walking together in front of them, and Tiera now noticed what kind of situation she was in.
(Hands holding… remaining connected…)
Probably because she was carried away, due to this being her first time in the outside world in 100 years, but she didn’t notice that she was walking hand in hand with the opposite sex until now.
Because of the size difference, Tiera’s hand was wrapped in Shin’s hand.
It was different from hers, his hand was a bit bigger and more rugged. When she saw her hand in a certain way, she had a feeling that her face was somehow blushing.
(So this is a man, right?)
Since she tended the store, she had obviously talked to men. However, she had never touched any of them. Tiera moved her legs while finding herself not really understanding her own feelings.
“Hey, that’s the Adventurers’ guild.”
“I heard it was big, and it really is!”
The largest building in the area came into view when they passed through the crowd. That was their destination, the adventurers’ guild.
While it was inevitable that adventurers would make up most of the pedestrians now, Shin was aware that an awful lot of gazes were directed toward them.
“Somehow, aren’t we being watched?”
The passing adventurers were mostly men, and Shin didn’t know the reason for why their glances were mixed with hostility. He verified if there was something wrong with his state and noticed.
“Ah, we’re holding hands.”
Even under normal circumstances, Tiera was a beautiful woman. Naturally, a man who walked hand in hand with such a woman was exposed to jealous looks.
“Sorry, I thought it was likely that we would get separated since there are a lot of people.”
He separated his hand from Tiera’s in a hurry.
That time, when he let go, he had a feeling that he faintly heard a sound that seemed to be disappointment coming from Tiera’s mouth. He decided to think that it was just his excessive self-consciousness and forgot about it.
“All right, let’s get you registered quickly then.”
“T-That’s right. Let’s do it.”
They entered the guild with Tiera looking a little flustered. Was it because the time was in the middle between morning and noon? There were not many people in the guild either.
The figures of Celica and Els were seen at the receptionist desk, and when Shin and Tiera were half-way there, the two people who noticed them showed dissimilar reactions.
Celica had a little of a sullen expression, but Els momentarily had a very surprised look on her face, which quickly erupted into one of joy.
Els jumped over the counter at the same time as she called out her name, ran straight to Tiera, and hugged her tightly.
Though Tiera was surprised at the sudden embrace, she relaxed when she realized that the person was Els.
“Wait Els, it’s a bit tight.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Though I’ve heard the news, I couldn’t contain myself when I saw you in person.”
While having tears in the corner of her eyes, Els started to gently hold Tiera. The abrupt situation caused the adventurers who were there to stare in wonder.
“I really wanted to go see you immediately, but I’ve been very busy with the guild for a while now. It wasn’t possible to leave.”
“Because you’re not my mother, you really worry too much.”
“What are you saying. If you’re the daughter of Eilen, then it’s as if you’re my daughter too.”
Els embraced Tiera like a true mother.
Away from the two people, Celica talked to Shin.
“Shin-sama. What kind of acquaintance is that person?”
“Due to a little twist of fate, we will be traveling together. So she will register as an adventurer for the occasion.”
“I heard you were walking hand in hand like lovers though?”
“That’s absurd! How did you hear that!?”
Shin was surprised at the speed of which the information travelled. Perhaps, there was a guy who could use Mind Chat standing guard! Certainly a cautious lookout, but really, this was only a trivial matter. The adventurer, who knew Shin’s name and face, accidentally saw the two people, and Celica, who were receiving requests at that time, grumbled when she heard about it.
“Because she is a beautiful woman, right? Not because you are a man, right?”
“Um, you’re not using some scathing words, are you?”
“No no, not at all.”
‘I guess there’s nothing’, was what Shin wanted to say.
While they continued on with the exchange, they noticed that they had attracted some attention as well.
“Why is it that other people seem to be distancing themselves?”
“Ara, I think they don’t want to break the deeply emotional reunion, huh? Besides, it was Els who suddenly jumped out.”
“Now, now, both of you. I want you to register Tiera for the time being.”
Thereupon, Celica and Els returned to their professional expressions, and bowed slightly.
“Ah, my apologies. I was acting shameful.”
“Just now was because I also wanted to meet the person in question.”
She was probably very glad. Els’ eyes were still a little red. Apparently, she seemed to have been a good friend of Tiera’s mother.
“Um, what should I do?”
“I will take care of the registration. It was my turn to take care of new registrations anyway.”
Els said that and lead Tiera to the second floor. Just like Shin did before, Tiera filled out the documents and listened to the explanation.
“Now then, I should go and look at the list of requests.”
“Oh, Shin-sama. I’m sorry, but may I have a bit of your time, please?”
“Me? Well, I don’t really mind.”
Shin, who was going to go to see about requests in the Falnido area, was called out by Celica. She seemed to have to talk to Shin individually about something or another.
Because he was asked to hand over his guild card, Shin took out the guild card from Item Box and handed it over to Celica. Celica then proceed to engrave the guild card, and placed it on top of the tray-like thing..
While Shin thought about asking what she was doing, the transparent guild card was dyed yellow.
“There we go, the improved rank ends with this. From now on, Shin-sama is rank E.”
Shin absentmindedly replied, due to the sudden rank up. At this point, Shin actually had a zero request accomplishment rate at the present time. If just by an evaluation of the guild; let alone rank improvement, he would be defeated even by a newcomer who had the same rank G.
Nevertheless, to suddenly become a rank E, it was too much to be expected. He didn’t think about rising to E and skipping F altogether.
That reminded him of the explanation he had received from Celica before, the talk about the classification of the card by rank.
SS was gold, S was silver, A was black, B was white, C was red, D was blue, E was yellow, F was green, and the lowest rank G was semi-transparent.
“Errr, there aren’t any accomplished requests yet, so why did I rank up?”
“Certainly Shin-sama’s official request achievement rate is zero percent. However, there are the results of the subjugation of a high rank Skull Face and the suppression of the Skull Faces’ outbreak in a large quantity. Because Shin-sama’s report was proved to be authentic by an investigation handled by us, the guild, the promotion of Shin-sama was decided as a partial reward. It is rank E, but if one more request is accomplished, it will rank up to D.”
“I see, but why do it to an unfinished state?”
“If you rank up too fast, it would not look good in the other adventurers’ eyes. I think rank A is enough for an individual like you, but when I think of the strife it would cause, it only became a rank improvement like this. Of course, the bonus is paid, too. I need to return the previously borrowed jewel before that though, please wait here for a while.”
Celica gave the guild card back to Shin, and entered the inner room of the receptionist desk for a moment. She came back in less than 5 minutes. There was a bag and a dull shining jewel grasped in her hand.
“This is the jewel that was borrowed, and here is 250 J gold coins of reward inside this bag.”
For convenience sake, it seemed like she brought them in gold coins. Though white gold exists, it was not used in everyday life. One piece of white gold could make one live and enjoy life for more than ten years. The gold coins in front of him were considered a large sum of money from an adventurers’ viewpoint, and Shin suddenly voiced his thoughts.
“I’m just wondering, but is it possible for you to make the guild card as quickly as possible in exchange for the reward?”
“The guild card? Let me see. I think it can be done by today at noon if it’s rushed.”
“Then that please. Though I will be going afar for a little while, I want to leave as soon as possible.”
“I understand. Then, the reward will be 200 gold coins. Is that alright with you?”
“I don’t care about that, but is it fine to accept a reward of this magnitude?”
Though only 50 gold coins were deducted, Shin had heard that the guild cards were made with the guild’s original special technique, so he felt that there might only be a few of them.
“I will have the experts do their best for a little while, and the additional charge is satisfactory enough from the received amount of money. There will be too much when all of the bonus is returned.”
“I see, by the way, how much is the subjugation reward for the Skull Faces?”
“5 silver coins per Pawn class. For the Jack class, it is 5 gold coins. Actually you can earn a lot more because the Jack class’ armor and swords are valuable if sold.”
Celica added and smiled wryly, the degree of danger of a Jack class is in a whole other league. In fact, once or twice a year some adventurers go off to fight with a Pawn class, in a spur of the moment feeling, in spite of the warning from the guild’s staff, and then get killed by a Jack class that is avenging the Pawn class.
When thinking about the amount of money that Celica spoke of, Shin’s reward was naturally almost 500 gold coins, but because a formal request was not issued, the reward became this amount of money along with the rank improvement. To begin with, that was not the combat capability that a rookie should have shown on his own, so without Barlux, the guild master, and Els and her acquaintances, the skill successors, it was certain that the reward would not have been so easily paid like this.
“Do the Skull Faces appear that frequently?”
“There is a nearby spawn spot called the Wraith Plains, but normally there will be more than a couple of them. It’s not so bad when it is a Pawn class, but several individuals, which are higher ranked than a Jack class, appeared; I heard it happened for the first time, too. Such an event has never occurred before.”
“Is that so. By the way, does the guild deal in information, besides monsters?”
“Information other than about the monsters? Well, it depends. There is a lot information about monsters and ruins that comes in, but you should inquire about that with people who specialize in information.”
“Indeed. Incidentally, may I ask what kind of information you have on Sacred Place?”
If they had detailed information on monsters and ruins, they might have gotten their hands on some information on the city that fell after the Dusk of the Majesty, which was called Sacred Place, too.
“There isn’t a lot of information about the Sacred Place. Even though the guild investigated it, because the danger zone is not normal at all, it’s impossible to let someone go towards it just like that. About the information, it was decided to not disclose it to adventurers who are below a minimum of rank B. I’m sorry, but showing it to you, Shin-sama, with your current rank is…”
“Ah, don’t worry about it so much, I was just interested. I will come back to hear about it after I’ve raised my rank.”
As one would expect, she could not easily give out information on Sacred Place. Shin thought of confirming this again with Schnee some other time.
“Which reminds me, you said you are going away, right? Are you looking for a request towards the destination?”
“Yes, I intend to complete at least one request. Is there a request that is going to the Falnido area?”
He could go and look at the bulletin board, but it was quicker to directly ask Celica for a good request.
Celica picked up a thick file from under the counter, and removed a piece of request paper from that.
“Well, how about this request here? There is no request going to Falnido for the moment, but this is a request for going to Beirun, which is on the way.”
“Is it alright for Tiera to receive the request too?”
“Yes, if you form a party with 2 people, there will be no problem, because Shin-sama’s rank matches the rank required. Here is the content.”
He took a look at the presented paper.
Request contents: Cargo guards to Beirun
Number of recruitment: Up to five people
Rank: E and above(Individual, party, both are acceptable)
Reward: 10 silver coins per person
Note/Remarks: Meals included
“The departure is three bells(3:00 p.m.) this afternoon. Though two adventurers have already participated, there’s still time. Other than this, I still have available requests for several days…”
“I will confirm with Tiera just in case. Can you hold onto this until she comes back?”
“Yes, I think it’s alright if she comes back soon.”
Nobody else came to accept the request, probably because of the time period. He continued chatting with Celica while holding onto the request. Tiera and Els returned before 10 minutes had passed, and Shin explained the contents of the request.
“I don’t mind. Then, it’s possible to finish our other task ahead of time.”
Tiera didn’t seem to have any problems either. They went out of the guild at once, and went shopping.
The ingredients were bought while walking along the street crowded with other shoppers. Bread was not a food to keep for a long time like dried meat was, but the strong point of the Item Box was that they could buy common ingredients. Basically, ingredients would not spoil if they were put into the Item Box, and they could buy various kinds of fresh food. Looking at the two people choosing fruits and fresh vegetables, no one would imagine that they were about to go on a long journey after this.
By the way, the luggage was already placed into Shin’s Item Box, hidden from prying eyes. Still, he didn’t boldly use the Item Box publicly in the middle of the street.
They also bought the items necessary for the trip, like hooded cloaks, insect repellent and so on.
The shopping ended after 30 minutes because there was no limit to their luggage. They still had time until noon.
“The Item Box is too convenient. I have time until the card is done, so what should I do after this?”
Tiera didn’t think it would be over this quickly; it was a little anticlimactic.
“There is a place I want to go to, is that alright with you?”
“It’s fine, where do you want to go?”
“I’d like to go to the orphanage.”
Shin too, was worried about Thoria’s situation over the seat of successor. Sister Rashia had learned the skill 【Purification】, and although the orphanage inheriting requirement had been cleared, the pig bishop* might have interfered with something when he felt that he was losing. *(T/N: Shin’s naming)
“Orphanage? Ah, the place of the person who buys the cake.”
“More of less. I thought of going there, just in case.”
“I understand. I’m interested in the church’s building too. Let’s go there now.”
They faced toward the church, guided by Shin. Did it look forward to meeting Millie? Yuzuha’s tails moved cheerfully to express a happy spirit on top of Shin’s head.
They walked on for several minutes, but the church was still not open and Rashia and Thoria were cleaning the surroundings. When Shin and Tiera entered the church grounds, Rashia, who noticed, ran up to the two people.
“Isn’t it Shin-san! What are you doing today?”
“I came to check up on the situation. How’d the matter in question turn out?”
“Well then, please come to the orphanage. Um, that person is?”
“Ah, My name is Tiera. Nice to meet you.”
“I apologize for not having told you this sooner. I am a sister in this church, and my name is Rashia.”
To Tiera, who introduced herself while feeling a little nervous, Rashia replied with a calm expression. Was there any progress in the talks? The composure she showed now was not imaginable a few days ago.
Though Rashia was surprised about Tiera being an employee of Tsuki no Hokora, since that was the case, it was no problem to lead her into the orphanage.
Shin thought the duties of the church might be delayed, but the church seemed to be closed today. When they arrived at the reception room in the orphanage, Millie was sitting on a sofa for some reason.
When she realized that it was Shin who entered after Rashia and Tiera, she jumped vigorously. Seeing the state of the girl who was clinging to him with a smile, Shin expected the transfer problem to have been settled.
“Yo, you seem to be happy.”
“The orphanage was not lost! Shin’s help. Thank you!”
She seemed to be in a very good mood as her feelings, which were coming out, were reflected on her expression. For Millie, the possibility of the orphanage possibly being lost would be a big problem.
Shin waited for Millie to settle down and then sat on the sofa, as he had decided to hear the whole story after Tiera had introduced herself again.
“Thanks to Shin-san it was settled that I would take charge of this church as the next priestess without any problems. The official announcement has not yet been publicized, but I think it will be alright unless something extreme happens.”
The priest, who lives in the upper level district where the nobles live, came to the Orphanage a little while ago; he had to confirm whether or not Rashia’s skill acquisition was authentic.
When she was asked how she acquired the skill, she answered that it was the result of training. In fact, because the priest seemed to remember that it was possible to learn skills through training, she didn’t appear to be doubted in particular.
“The children were pleased, too. Really, how can I thank you enough??”
“Since I’ve already received the promised reward, please don’t worry about it too much. Ah, this is a present.”
Because he was worried that she would worry about it too much, he changed the topic by handing over the presents to Thoria. In the middle of shopping, they bought them from a peddler due to its unquestionable quality, though the peddler was surprised because Shin purchased said present in large quantities.
“Is it alright with this many?”
“Because I’ve already bought them, I’d feel rather troubled if they didn’t get accepted. Look, Millie has already taken one.”
Thoria, who reserved herself, was won over, while Millie, who was sitting and pressing Yuzuha to her chest, opened one of the bags filled with candy. When Millie took out an orange candy from it, she put in her mouth without hesitating.
“I’m glad you like it.”
Millie’s smile made everyone around her also smile.
When the reception room calmed down, the sound of a door opening was audible.
“Sensei, is that true that onii-chan has come?”
The one who appeared from the door was the girl who mobbed Yuzuha when Shin came to visit before.
“That’s no good, Melka. Because I’m busy right now.”
“Ehh, but I want to play with onii-chan~”
“Sorry. I’m having an important talk now. I’ll play with you next time.”
“Muuuu, then can onee-chan, play?”
The girl called Melka promptly changed her target to Tiera when she was declined by Shin. Was this because she was together with Shin, or was it women’s intuition? For the little girl, it seemed like Tiera was judged to be a person whom she didn’t need to be cautious around. She had already caught the hem of Tiera’s clothes.
“Um, because it’s my first time coming today, I don’t know the games well…”
Looking at Melka staring at Tiera, Shin, while smiling wryly, thought “Can’t refuse that.” With a lisping voice, and upturned eyes, this combo from the little girl required immense willpower to decline. She might be cunning depending on the person, but Tiera, who rarely came into contact with children, shouldn’t be able to resist her.
“Millie, come play too.”
“Sorry, it’s impossible.”
Tiera called for help from Shin, but she was taken away by Melka along with Millie after all. Was she unable to just watch anymore? Thoria too followed them to save her.
“Umm, will it be fine?”
Rashia answered as if it was not necessary to stop it. Though it was another matter if it was something good or bad for Tiera, Shin thought it would be a good experience for her to play with children.
“By the way, Wilhelm is…?”
“As usual, he went to investigate the bishop in question. It’s unlikely that he’s going to leave it as it is.”
“As expected, he understands it well.”
As an adventurer coming from the orphanage, Wilhelm seemed to gather information in cooperation with fellow adventurers. This way, Shin thought it was improbable for this fellow to be obediently lead by the hand.
“Shin-san also thought the same as Wilhelm?”
“Of course. Though I don’t know why the bishop thought of taking over this church, as far as I know after having heard the story, I don’t think that guy is willing to give up so easily.”
“But it’d good if nothing happens.”
“ Indeed, that’s right. Please hand this to Thoria and Millie just in case though.”
Shin took out 2 small accessories from the Item Box and handed them over to Rashia. One of them was similar to the bracelet he gave to Rashia before, and the other one was attached to a light green colored string and was a simple wooden necklace in the shape of a diamond. If one was to say it in a nice way, it had a handmade feeling, and if one was to say it in a rude way, then it looked crappy.
“It grants various magic skills. Just in case.”
He then explained what kind of magics were bestowed upon it to answer Rashia’s question. Because he had already told her about the damage reduction effect of her own bracelet earlier, it was omitted. The necklace got the main explanation. Although it had a plain appearance, when Rashia heard what kind of material the string and wood were made from, her mind went completely blank for a short while. One of the reasons he chose this material was because it wouldn’t stand out among the children in the orphanage compared to if it was a metal necklace.
“What can I say. Just amazing!”
“About Millie’s necklace, it has the ability to block her ability. How’s it going with the bracelet I gave you before?”
“I’m still wearing it. I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to continue borrowing it, but Will asked me to wear it. Though I’m intending to return it in the near future.”
“No, I’m fine with it as it is. Since the safety of the church isn’t settled yet, there is still the possibility of Rashia becoming a target, too. The danger will be minimized if you keep wearing it.”
Rather than the problem of the continuation of the orphanage, the possibility of Rashia being aimed at was high. Therefore, besides the accessory for Millie, the bracelets for Rashia and Thoria had considerable abilities, too. They could even stand against a chosen one for a certain period of time.
“Thank you very much for everything.”
“You don’t have to prostrate yourself that much.”
Though she was only half satisfied with the way she had shown her appreciation, the words were stored in her heart.
“Please have lunch with us at the very least. You still have time, right?”
“That’s right. Shall we feast?”
She probably wanted to pay back her feelings of gratitude, even if just a little. He nodded to Rashia about lunch, and they proceeded to the square where the children were.
Tiera was surrounded by several young girls, maybe playing with dolls, since some beautiful handmade dolls were placed around her. Yuzuha, who was being mobbed earlier, was seeking refuge on top of Tiera’s head. Yuzuha seemed to have learned that no one could touch it when at that location.
In contrast to the young girls, who were happy and joyful, for some reason, the boys were looking at Tiera’s group from afar. Although the boys seemed to be kicking around a round ball that looked like a soccer ball, they glanced at the girls too much, especially toward Tiera.
“The boys are kind of quiet, huh?”
“No no, that’s a normal reaction.”
Shin said while holding his laughter, to Rashia who looked puzzled. She apparently didn’t know why the boys didn’t approach the girls.
“What do you mean?”
“They are probably too embarrassed to approach because of how beautiful Tiera is.”
Though there was a boy who was mixed in with the girls, when Shin looked at him, the boy appeared to be at the age of a child who had just started kindergarten. The boys, who were watching from a distance, were equal to children approaching puberty. When one reached that age, it became difficult to freely talk to an older, beautiful onee-san. That didn’t mean that everyone displayed the same behavior, but Shin, who had similar experiences, understood the feeling of wanting to talk but being too embarrassed to do so.
“Tiera-san is indeed beautiful, even from my point of view as a woman, but I don’t think it’s that hard to call out to her.”
“Well, I can understand, because I also experienced similar things as a boy, but it’s not strange if you don’t understand it, Rashia.”
Speaking of similar patterns, there were children in kindergarten who were in love with their teacher, and primary school children who were interested in the onee-san type.
He had a wry smile when he recalled the good old memories as an adult. The world was different, but similar things seemed to happen everywhere. He told the frowning Rashia not to worry about it, and called out to Tiera who was beckoning him.
Tiera, who noticed it, kept evading the eyes from the girls that seemed to be reluctant at parting, and came over to Shin.
“Shi～n～, how could you abandon me?”
“No, hold on, I just thought that it would be impossible to reject them.”
“That’s… certainly, it was impossible to refuse that. *Sigh* I guess it can’t be helped, huh.”
“Leaving that aside, because I’m treating you to lunch, I want to take out some ingredients. How about it?”
“That’s good. Well, since I promised to make Yuzuha-chan some inarisushi, how about I make it for the children of the orphanage as well? May I borrow the kitchen?”
Even though the sun was already high in the sky, there was still enough time. There was no problem if they overstayed a little.
Tiera also had the 【Cooking】 skill since it was taught to her by Schnee. The eyes of the children were nailed to the inarisushi which was soon displayed on a plate.
“I’m sorry. You’re the one who ended up making it, even though it was me who suggested it.”
“Don’t worry about it, since I’m the one who wanted to do it. Although I said one thing or another, it was fun playing with the children.”
The church seemed to be a place for a tranquil heart, as there were children who could approach without being timid. Even from Shin’s point of view, he had a feeling that Tiera’s expression had become softer than before.
Lunch ended and Shin and Tiera wanted to help put things in order, but Rashia’s words of, “I can’t have you do that” caused them to excuse themselves.
They left the church and returned to the guild. Because it was already past noon at that time, Tiera’s guild card should have been made.
The bar inside of the guild was crowded with adventurers having a meal. They went towards the receptionist area to avoid the crowd, and called out to Celica. Were there few adventurers receiving requests at this time? They were able to talk without even waiting.
“This is Tiera-sama’s guild card. Please check it.”
“There seems to be no problem. Thank you very much.”
Tiera confirmed the card functions without any problems. Shin also took out his own guild card at this point.
“While you’re at it, can you please register us as a party.”
“Understood. In regards to the members, there are only two people, right?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
In the case of a fixed party, it seemed that the guild required a party name, but they decided to not do it this time.
They were seen off by Celica and Els and left the guild. Their destination was the shopping street again.
This time, they bought preserved foods due to the acquaintances they’d be traveling with on their trip. Because they would be in the presence of others during this trip, the Item Box couldn’t be used lightly. However, since the rations were made into cards and taken along, it didn’t change the quantity compared to the normal preparation for a trip.
Besides that, it might not even be necessary since there was the remarks column in the request that stated that meals were included, but it was for emergencies. ‘Save for a rainy day, save for a time of need’ was thought, and they kept shopping.
“It’s time to go now.”
As they arranged the necessary items they bought, Shin called out to Tiera.
“Eh, but it’s not time yet.”
“No, I’m taking Tsuki no Hokora with us.”
He couldn’t leave Tsuki no Hokora as it was, before the departure.
“I completely forgot about it.”
“That’s not good, forgetting about it, at least.”
“I normally wouldn’t think about forgetting a 『House』, you know!”
That was quite natural. It was crazy to think that a 『House』could be considered a personal property item.
“S-Sorry. Look, am I not the owner of Tsuki no Hokora? So it’s only natural to think that it could be carried.”
“The old generation is weird after all. Or is Shin particularly strange?”
Tiera voiced the question without hesitation with a teasing smile. While receiving the mental damage, Shin took out a light blue crystal from the Item Box.
“It’s a 『Crystal Stone』. You’ve never seen one before?”
“That is a Crystal Stone? That one is big and clearly processed, something which I am seeing for the first time right now.”
“This item is bestowed with 『Metastasis』 magic. I can move to a registered point in an instant if I use it. It a disposable one, but with this we can move to Tsuki no Hokora without any effort.”
“…That’s right. The things that Shin pulls out are all unique.”
Did Tiera go beyond being amazed, and arrive at the acceptance state? ‘Shin clearly said that we could move in an instant with the metastasize-crystal.’ .
There were a lot of mages who have tried to reproduce the magic up till now, but they weren’t able to get even a little foothold on it.
This mystery, among the secrets of the old generation, was assumed to have already been lost.
No one would be able to expect things would came out from said item with a pop.
“Shin, I want to check one thing.”
“Ah, ok, what is it?”
“Maybe, just maybe…is it possible to manufacture this?”
Tiera had glossy eyes. It was completely different from the mood from a while ago, and Shin couldn’t hide his bewilderment.
Still, he understood that the item he took out appeared to be the stuff that defied common sense, again.
“Please tell me, before I answer your question, but what would others think about a Crystal Stone with the metastasis ability?”
“…Metastasis, itself, is considered a lost magic.”
Shin understood with those words. If that was the case, he could see why Tiera would be surprised. Even from Shin’s experience so far, the Crystal Stone was thought to be quite valuable.
But he frankly found the ‘lost’ part in Tiera’s sentence hard to believe. He was certain that it could have been spread out to the general public, but it seemed like such a thing was likely to have been concealed. It would not be surprising, if even the country and the organization were secretly covering it up.
“Then I will also answer, yes, it’s possible to manufacture it. If, and only if, you have sufficient materials.”
“…Sigh, I guess so. For one of Rokuten, a Crystal Stone with metastasis is easy to make, huh?”
As she settled with a sigh, Tiera too, seemed to begin to understand what sort of people belonged to the Rokuten guild.
“Ahh, though it seems bad when you are dispirited, may I transfer us now?”
“Yes, do it.”
He took the defiant Tiera to an open place with no signs of life. Together with Schnee, he had confirmed that it was usable without problems. It was possible to use it soon after having woken up in this world, but he would rather not take the risk. Unlike other tools, it was unknown what would happen if it failed, so he couldn’t bring himself to use that item.
When Shin let magic power flow into the Crystal Stone to act as a detonator, the magic stored inside the stone activated itself. Their vision distorted, and shelves that lined up with goods came into view in the next moment.
The two people were certainly in Tsuki no Hokora.
“T-That’s a strange feeling. And, how are you going to carry this place?”
“Let’s go outside for a moment. Then we can start on that conversation.”
Shin went toward the door as he mumbled a bit. Because Shin turned his back, Tiera didn’t see that Shin’s mouth continued moving.
It was the familiar woods outside of the store as they exited it. Shin glanced around as he surveyed the surrounding area.
There was a green marker which was not there when he came to Tsuki no Hokora before, glowing on the map screen.
“What’s the matter?”
“There’s a rat. I think it’s time to tease that guy a little.”
Shin said that while looking at the trees or at the rat? Tiera had a question mark floating above her head. Though she wanted to retort that he might be looking for a rat in the wrong place, the opponent was Shin. Common sense wouldn’t work anyway, so Tiera stopped questioning it.
Shin finished the preparation, stopped talking to himself, and held up his hand toward Tsuki no Hokora.
Simultaneously with those words, Tsuki no Hokora began to glow faintly. The light extended out to cover the whole store, and in the next moment, the lights were converging into a single point.
It stayed in the air for only a few seconds and then slowly flew and settled in Shin’s hand afterward. When the light disappeared, a necklace with a crescent moon shape was grasped in his hand. It shined silver and seemed to be more valuable than its poor artwork showed. The transparent glow was proof that it was not ordinary silverwork.
“Yes, this is Tsuki no Hokora, carry mode.”
“You really can carry it! As expected.”
Tiera’s doubt was answered while he put the necklace away into the Item Box.
Did she tire of getting surprised? Or did she grow accustomed to it? Tiera’s words contained pure admiration.
There was no reason to stay forever in a place that had gone, although Tiera looked at the place where the former Tsuki no Hokora was for a while, so they decided to head toward the departure place on the request. It was just the right time. Shin knew this because of the time displayed in the menu screen. Furthermore, it was because he was wearing a wristwatch-like item.
The other two possible applicants had already arrived. Because of that, he planned to have a conversation for a little while. They would participate in the same request for some period of time, so there was no loss in deepening their friendship.
When they entered the country in the direction of the east gate from the Tsuki no Hokora site, in a corner of the plaza before the east gate was where the departure point was located, the wagon upon which the luggage was already loaded had arrived. A group of two people who appeared to be a Dragnil and Lord race were standing on the side.
“Excuse me, this is Nack-san’s wagon, correct?”
“Hmm? That’s right…Oh, both of you adventurers are joining us, right?”
It was the Dragnil who responded. Probably because he had thought words similar prior to joining, they served as confirmation and he therefore called out to him. The blue scales that were covering its whole body gave out a really strong impression. Judging from the deep voice, it was probably a male. The longsword on his waist and the chest protector were made with some kind of skin that stood out. If he didn’t put on that much protective gear, he was probably the type who played around with speed. Or maybe, he probably didn’t need much protective gear because the scales were hard enough?
“Yes, we will be going together, although it’s sudden. By the way, I’m Shin. This here is Tiera who is made a party with me.”
“I am Tiera. I hope to get along with you.”
“Yea, my name is Gaien. It is my pleasure to get along with you along the journey. And this one here is――”
“Tsubaki, best regards”
The one who had introduced herself with a few words was a girl with crimson hair that reached her back along with red eyes. The red eyes, which were transparent in contrast to the hair which was darker in color, were observing Shin and Tiera.
Her height was considered short. At least one fist lower than Tiera. Probably about 150 cemels. Though the features were in order, it would not be strange if someone said that she was a high school student only by appearance. However, he had a painful experience because of judging from appearances in the THE NEW GATE.
Since she could work as an adventurer, he judged that they wouldn’t have any problems. He was positive that she should at least have an E rank ability.
Gaien’s level was 187, and Tsubaki’s level was 133. If one judged it only by the level, Gaien might be an A-rank adventurer. The sword on his waist didn’t seem to be for decoration.
As for Tsubaki, her level already exceeded rank E.
“Oh! Did additional faces appear? I am Nack the merchant. I hope we get along until Beirun!”
When they introduced themselves to each other, a dwarf showed up from the shadow of the wagon and started talking. Apparently, this person seemed to be the client of the request. The muscular body which differed from the usual Dwarf, was wrapped in well-tailored clothes, which gave off the feeling that something was wrong. They properly exchanged greetings, and boarded the wagon in order.
“Everyone has gotten aboard. It’s a little early, but let’s depart!”
Nack’s voice was cheerful while the whip slash was heard from the driver seat, and the wagon started to move slowly.
As the wagon with 5 people passed through the east gate, it began to advance straight north, to Beirun.
Afterwards, the news of the disappearance of Tsuki no Hokora made the higher-ups of Bayreuth Kingdom arrive at the pinnacle of the confusion. It would be a story for the future before Shin and the others knew it.
The disappearance of Tsuki no Hokora.
That information was not only known to the upper echelon of the Bayreuth Kingdom, but it was spread out even to the other countries, which were monitoring Tsuki no Hokora, in a flash.
Initially, everyone had to confirm whether it was a mistake. For more than 500 years, preceding the Dusk of the Majesty, the immovable building existed without change. People couldn’t invade it no matter how powerful they were, it didn’t permit any high-level monsters to invade, not even a single step. It was the secret shop that was made with lost technology, that was Tsuki no Hokora. When it was said to have disappeared, it was impossible to believe it so easily.
However, after verifying it many times, the only answer was: “No doubt about it”. The side that received the report was still good. At the actual scene, the shock of the people seeing Tsuki no Hokora vanish before their eyes, was also indirectly affecting the superior who heard the news from far away. At this point, a strange situation occurred, where the spies who monitored Tsuki no Hokora revealed themselves in broad daylight, and ascertained each other whether the scene they just saw was true.
“What the heck just happened!?”
It was their superior who was shouting.
It was noisy in a corner inside a castle.
They had gathered in a meeting room, talking about the important matter at hand. Although they were roused up from bed before the first sunshine appeared on the horizon, no lack of sleep appeared on their faces. To begin with, there was no such margin for that, except one part.
“Well then, there is no mistake in that report after all?”
“Yes, there’s no doubt about it.”
The one who asked from that place, where the head of the table sat, was the King of Bayreuth Kingdom, Jeon Courtade Bayreuth. With blond hair, blue eyes, and 2 mels of height covered with muscles; this person had the body of a warrior.
By all means, it was a splendid king who clad himself with dignity as the ruler of his body, but it wasn’t going so well today. The agony-clad expression on Jeon face made even the prime minister worry about whether they should continue answering his questions or not. This time, it was not just a problem for Bayreuth Kingdom. Let alone the neighboring countries, an inquiry would surely come from the Empire and Imperial if they did a bad job.
“Tsuki no Hokora…Disappeared…huh?”
Everyone who gathered had a dark complexion.
The one who was, more or less, better off was the first princess, the royal magician. Jeon saw the report while knowing that it would not change no matter how many times he read it. Here was the summary.
–Report About the Disappearance of Tsuki no Hokora–
Fourth month, second day.
At the sound of the 12th bell, that indicated it was noon, all of sudden the Tsuki no Hokora begin to emit light.
After a few seconds, when the light settled, Tsuki no Hokora was already gone.
The spies for each nation were confused about the sudden occurrence, too.
This caused the situation where we mutually contacted each other.
There was no reaction from the skill detection system, though we did investigate the hollowed-out mark left in the ground.
Again, there was no sign of anything happening in the surroundings either.
The whole occurrence was a complete mystery.
The people who were assigned to the monitoring job jotted down the details of what they saw in the report. It was written as detailed as possible, even though the amount of sentences were few. It was not possible to report it any further, as they didn’t have much information.
The spies of the other countries in the vicinity whom they exchanged information with and of whom they should be wary of, understood the disordered state of the site well. It was that crazy.
However, they didn’t want to go back without understanding anything. Even though Tsuki no Hokora did not belong to Bayreuth Kingdom, it was almost next to them. They took pride in having a more intimate relation with the shop than any other country.
“Do you know what happened to Raizar-dono?”
“No, however the second princess, Rionne-sama has reported that she came into contact with her in the Wraith Plains. Because of the considerable distance, it is the only place to think of when Tsuki no Hokora disappeared.”
“I see. There’s no mistake if Rionne said so, but…as long as Raizar-dono does not have some problem, she will at least show up for the distribution of the spoils of war several days later, because if Raizar-dono is healthy, it should spread to the many countries.”
Even if Tsuki no Hokora disappeared, if Schnee Raizar was alive and well, it should not become a lethal problem. The important one was not the building, but the person who lived there.
“Tell Rionne that when Raizar-dono appears, she is to report it with Mind Chat immediately. That’s an order!”
He passed on an order to one of the soldiers who was standing guard, and left. There were a few of the old generation who served the king, and every one of them was currently in the midst of gathering information by Mind Chat. Jeon had to change his plan, as there was no other way, even though it put a strain on his information network.
And then, because the disappearance of Tsuki no Hokora had never happened before, he ordered an investigation.
Let’s rewind back the time a little to the previous day.
While Shin and the others who left the kingdom were jolted about in a wagon, they confirmed each other’s hands. They confirmed what they were able to do and what they couldn’t do, because it might cause a delay in judgement in the case of an emergency. It was mainly confirming each others job and rank, also whether having the ability to use magic or not. The level and way of fighting could be understood roughly with this. Since there was the danger of revealing level and trump cards during the first meeting, it might be concealed somehow or another.
“As you can see, I am a samurai. Adventurer rank is A. I can use charms to some extent, but I don’t not want to rely on it very much.” (T/N: Gaien uses “sessha” to refer to himself)
It was Gaien who gave information about himself first. It seemed he was an A-rank adventurer after all. His equipment itself was unrelated to his job. So when he said “As you can see” with his current state of not wearing a kimono, no one could have guessed it without 【Analyze】. Samurai was a vanguard job, it was natural that they didn’t use much magic as they didn’t get an occupation bonus for that. As for expecting a proper magic attack, the rear guard jobs that get an occupation bonus (in INT/WIS) commonly used those.
“I am a fist fighter. Rank is E. I can use a little support magic to raise agility.”
The next one who opened her mouth was Tsubaki. Her level seemed to be befitting of a rank D, but it appeared that she had only newly joined the guild. Incidentally, he was told that she was going to be rank D very soon.
“I am more or less an alchemist, but I can use a bow and dagger…if I have to… I just registered to become an adventurer, so my rank is G. I can use water and wind magic arts and create simple recovery medicines, if necessary, please call out to me…”
Tiera, who almost spoke in formal lines, did so partly because it was their first meeting. Though it was a great difference from when she met Shin in Tsuki no Hokora for the first time.
It was Gaien who suggested first to speak casually, so they didn’t have to pay attention to their wording. Since they had to entrust their lives to each other, and there was no objections, which lead to the present.
Even though she was worried about having a low-level and rank, her recovery medicine was reassuring, Gaien and Tsubaki encouraged Tiera who was feeling a little small.
In reality, it was very difficult to consume a potion during a battle. Though the story was different when there are a lot of people, there were many situations where there was only a little bit of time when hunting a dangerous monster. For the few adventurers who fight regularly, having an ally who could cast recovery magic could make a big difference in the survival rate.
“I am similar to Gaien, a samurai. Rank E. I can use a little fire and lightning magic. And this is Yuzuha. Even though it might appear this way, this is an excellent monster.”
Shin told them about himself and Yuzuha. Including Tiera, he didn’t forget to inform them that they did a guarding-type job for the first time, too. This was because experience could be the factor which makes the difference between life or death. He was not asked for his level this time, but if he was, he ought to pretend that it was low. Because he didn’t know what surprise it would cause, if he carelessly said that his level exceeded 200. When one thinks of Shin’s age, it was indeed too abnormal.
Just in case, he had already arranged beforehand to tell the same story as Tiera. Of course, he had already forbidden Celica, who knew the circumstances, from speaking about it, too.
For Yuzuha, he talked about it being contracted by the tamer contract, and informed them that there was no danger.
“Oh, you can use magic while being a samurai, huh? I didn’t hear about it in detail, but it seemed that doing so requires extraordinary training. It is also unusual to have tamed a monster.”
“Well, that’s that. I’d be troubled if you expect me to be at the magician level. I only use it for diversions and surprise attacks to a certain degree. Yuzuha, by the way, is unexpectedly strong, right?”
Although these diversions were a far cry from the instant kills he could produce if he was serious, it seemed to be moderate for a rank E.
Since for a vanguard to use magic was enough, Gaien and Tsubaki should not have high expectations, like magician level, either.
“Are you people coming from Hinomoto?”
“We’re not, but why do you think so?”
“Almost all people from Hinomoto are samurais. This is the first time that I’ve met a samurai other than Gaien.”
Shin looked puzzled at Tsubaki’s question, but understood it after hearing the reason. Even though Shin had also collected information via the 【Analyze】 and【Listen】skills, finding a person who had the samurai job was nearly impossible. That was probably why Tsubaki said that it was unusual. But, it didn’t mean that Shin had never seen one. When he was walking toward the guild for the first time, the Dragnil he saw wearing a long sword at his waist was actually Gaien.
“Usually it is a warrior or knight one sees in this country. And then there is the job specialization. A lot of the people who are aiming to be a samurai are oddballs.”
“Oddballs!? That’s absurd… because it is a job that is excellent for raids…”
In a basic strategy, it is a hit and run job that deals out a heavy blow while playing around with speed, but the samurai could also tank if equipped with warrior armor.
The job that was popular in the game era regardless of generation seems to be different in this world.
“That is probably because the prerequisite is the necessity to master both the knight and berserker jobs.”
“Ah… I see.”
Shin consented to Gaien after hearing the reason.
In the game specification, one needed to have two jobs, knight and berserker, to become a samurai. The requirements seemed to be identical in this world.
On one hand, a knight put emphasis on defence, and on the other hand, a berserker put emphasis on attack. Mastering two contradicting jobs was the reason that samurai were known to be able fight versatile. That was the reason a samurai was easy to use. Although there was high compensation, Tsubaki seemingly found it difficult to understand somehow or other.
“I understand it, but to put it bluntly, it’s strong?”
“I agree on that point, but it’s strange after all.”
Then Gaien interrupted the conversing Tsubaki and Shin.
“Either way, it’s the difference in cultures. Hinomoto is an island country that was formed by a natural disaster. There are some bases of the guild where people with jobs like samurai and shinobi gathered at that time. Those people played a key role and made it possible for the country to be established. For that reason, the people who now use their body to fight for Hinomoto have a strong admiration for samurai. The country is regarded as a curiosity, even though it is quite small compared to the countries on the continent, so only a few people come near it. I, personally, was often puzzled in various ways after I left the island.”
The guild that Gaien talked about appeared to be different from the current adventurers’ guild. Hearing the story, it seemed to be the one from the game age.
Shin felt like it was too good to be true when he heard about an island country filled with samurai.
“By the way, what are the names of the guilds that founded the country?”
“Hmm, what is generally known as their pursuit of natural beauty, the ‘Dark Child Shrine’.”
“H-Heh, it that so?”
Shin showed understanding with an ‘I see’, without putting it into words.
The guild that Gaien mentioned, with a Japanese style name, represented by samurai and shinobi, was formed by people who liked the Japanese clothes, such as the shrine maiden clothing. In that guild, the samurai, shinobi, and miko(shrine maiden), ordered sequentially by the highest number, were competing for power. The guild house was a castle, needless to say a Shinto shrine, and consisted of many eccentric players. Because the armed forces that protected the guild house consisted of only support characters, they might have been able to repel monsters even if the players disappeared. Shin thought that if they cooperated, they should have the ability to govern a small country.
“In addition, there seemed to be some small guilds, too, but I don’t remember it well.”
“I understand it well, thank you.”
He didn’t know that the country had originally been a guild in the game era. Possibly, there might be a lot of surprises there.
They exchanged various information while being jolted around in the wagon for a few days. The party advanced smoothly without being attacked by monsters, and because it was a Grimm horse, a demon beast, that pulled the wagon, their speed was twice as fast as normal. By the way, this Grimm horse was the one that Shin saw at the gate, when he had visited Bayreuth for the first time. The Tamer, who he caught a glimpse of when entering the gate at that time, was Nack who was doing this request. A merchant with the sub-job Tamer could pull a wagon in the same way as players did in the game era.
Shin and the others decided to take turns watching the surrounding, and those who could take the position of coachman took over for Nack alternately as they continued traveling.
It was when Nack had just taken his turn to be the coachman that the sign for enemies was displayed in Shin’s perception range.
“Something is coming. And it’s fast.”
“What? Tell me in detail.”
“There are 12 bodies ahead. Judging from the number and speed, it might be a wolf pack, but…”
Though Shin knew the full details, he simply told them some speculation, because it would be troublesome if he told them too much.
“That alone is plenty of notice. You guys! It’s time to work!”
When Nack heard about the situation from Shin, he immediately raised his loud voice, before Shin had finished talking. As expected from a former adventurer, his courage resounded through the air. It was so loud that if a person was asleep, they would jump up to their feet. However, his words sounded more like that of a bandit than a merchant.
When his voice rose, Gaien and Tsubaki were already finished preparing. Tiera too was holding her bow, and confirming the quiver position. Apparently Gaien had also perceived the signs.
“It’s a wolf group as Shin said. I’m worried about there being no movement from the 2 animals at the rear, but first, let’s take care of the 10 animals in the lead.”
“I’m thinking the same thing. If they are willing to approach a Grimm horse pulling a wagon, then I know that they are not ordinary beasts.”
Shin, who heard Gaien and Nack exchange opinions, looked at the monsters’ details that were coming up.
The monsters’ name was Jag Wolf. It was twice as big as a normal wolf, an extremely aggressive monster. Their movement speed was in a different league compared to ordinary wolves. Ten of them were coming toward Shin and the others. Their average level was around 100, with one of them at level 120. This one was probably the leader of the pack. As for the two that were staying behind, their level didn’t even reach level 10. They might have been left behind because of the danger.
3 out of 10 Jag Wolves went ahead of the pack. The rest of them divided into two to go to the right and left, scattering between the trees successively, while the leading three, including the leader, were getting closer approaching.
The road where the wagon was on right now was caught within in the forest. They seemed to intend to perform a surprise attack using the forest as cover. Gaien appeared to grasp the position of the approaching enemy, immediately deciding the arrangement without Shin having to suggest it.
“Split into the left and right. I will hold the front. Shin to the right, Tsubaki to the left. Tiera, give support from the top of the wagon. Nack-dono, stay near the horse. I think it won’t go wild if a tamer is nearby.”
“There’s no turning back in this situation. Come on!!”
Nack stopped the wagon at a relatively wide section, and each of them was given a position to hold. Yuzuha stayed beside the Grimm horse, just in case.
“Here we go!!”
Gaien’s shout was the signal as the three leading wolves showed movement. The center one sprang forward from the front and the remaining two went to his left and right.
Gaien, with a longsword in his right hand and the sheath in his left, charged to the front.
Something like a light blue aura covered Gaien’s body as the Jag Wolf approached, flicking away the large beast.
Delayed with a short pause, the other two Jag Wolves approached. Without Gaien panicking, he sliced at the jaw of the beast on the right by brandishing a large swing and jumped to his left, where the one on that side received a hit on its mouth and thereby silenced.
The remaining Jag Wolf, which had been pushed off, saw its companions get defeated in an instant, and was disheartened.
“Mu, it’s somewhat easy.”
He scowled at the lightness of the resistance, but he didn’t need to go all out if the opponent was weak, so Gaien concentrated his attention on the approaching leader.
“As expected. By the way, there are some coming here, too.”
“The left side is quick. Do you see it from above?”
To Shin’s warning, which perceived the Jag Wolf approaching from the forest, Tsubaki answered and asked Tiera.
“I caught it!”
Tiera was already aiming at the fastest one and shot the arrow into the forest.
A howl of pain was heard from the point that the arrow landed at, and one of the markers displayed on Shin’s map disappeared.
“Did you actually kill it?”
As Tiera was relieved, Tsubaki voiced some admiration.
Shin thought she couldn’t kill it in one shot when he thought about the level differences, but the Jag Wolf seemed to have run out of energy unexpectedly. It might have hit a vital point.
Was it because they received an unexpected counterattack on the left side? The Jag Wolves turned back to where the leader was.
“It went back, huh? Tsubaki, please go support Gaien. Tiera and I are enough to hold this position.”
As Tsubaki moved according to Shin’s instruction, a Jag Wolf jumped out from the forest on the right. The claw attack of the Jag Wolf passed through next to Shin, and moved toward where Nack was. The attack towards Shin appeared to have been a feint.
But, it was too careless to have thought that it was able to outwit Shin to that degree.
Shin twisted his body to dodge the Jag wolf’s claw and at the same time, pulled out a katana to parry. The one he pulled out from the scabbard hanging at his waist was the longsword katana which he had forged in Tsuki no Hokora before. A single attack from a sword that was at a similar level to an average Magic Sword; it traced a white line in the air and the Jag Wolf’s neck was cut into two.
As the body fell over, Shin thought that his physical ability rose proportional to his kinetic vision, but he only had time to observe the Jag Wolf. And then he felt that something was wrong.
While thinking about the source of that uncomfortable feeling, Shin perceived another Jag Wolf approaching. The Jag Wolf probably didn’t want to waste an ally’s sacrifice, as its fangs were already out when Shin turned his eyes. It was at a close enough of a distance for Shin to quickly counterattack with his sword.
But an arrow pierced the forehead of the Jag Wolf before he could swing the katana. Seeing the wolf receive a mortal wound, Shin dodged with a sway as the Jag Wolf fell past him due to the momentum from its leap, and then he turned toward Tiera.
“It’s not nice, geez.”
Tiera, who shot the arrow, breathed out as she was relieved, and nocked the next arrow.
Instant sniping was quite a sight to behold. No matter how one looked at it, that was not a move a newly fledged adventurer should know. Schnee training her was really not just for show.
“If you can do that kind of movement, you would have no problem at rank E. Go cover the other side quickly!”
“Tsubaki also said something similar. Well, I got it.”
They shifted their attention forward as Gaien and Tsubaki fought against five of the wolves, including the leader. Did Tsubaki use magic to raise her agility, as she mentioned earlier? Her body was enveloped with a thin white aura while she was trifling with the Jag Wolves.
One of the wolves was unable to keep up with her pace and received a direct hit from her fist and vanished.
Tsubaki’s radiant blunt gauntlet sunk into its body, and it was thrown off at the tree while bending back and forth, without moving. It was a scene that would make one question where that power came from, with such a thin arm.
Tsubaki’s level was 133. There was nearly a 30 level difference compared to the Jag Wolf; even so, she gave off a feeling of power.
“This is strange. These fellows’ movements are rather slow.”
“Agreed. Their reactions are pretty mild.”
While Gaien muttered that while throwing an enemy down into the ground, Tsubaki also agreed. Apparently everyone seemed to have felt that something was wrong.
Shin joined in and it became 3 against the remaining 3 members of the pack, including the leader. They didn’t show any behavior of turning their backs at all. Normally, they should have already tried to run away.
“Hey, don’t these fellows look a bit thin?”
Shin said as he noticed it when the other two people spoke of a sense of incongruity. The Jag Wolf appeared to show its ribs if one looked closely, even the leader as well.
“It’s like the demon essence affected these monsters somehow or another. They probably aimed for the Grimm horse because of its meat and demon essence. That certainly explains the lack of resistance I felt a while ago.”
Gaien nodded when he understood it, without dropping his guard against the Jag Wolf.
There were monsters that were born from the demon essence’s influence, and wild beasts that became monsters due to the demon essence. The former could live on demon essence alone, but the latter was different. They had to eat meat and could not just absorb demon essence to maintain their bodies. The majority of these latter types often attacked people and domestic animals, but it didn’t get much public attention, because the former have such a strong demon essence. Gaien explained the situation on the way. As for Shin, since he didn’t remember in detail how the monsters spawned during the game, he memorized it for future reference.
“It is prepared for death as there’s nowhere for it to go.”
Tsubaki said it plainly. Even for the monsters in this world, they had to be strong to exist. Before the rule of the survival of the fittest, all living things were equal. There was no line dividing the humans and monsters here.
It must be remembered that Shin’s and the others’ request was to guard the wagon. If it ran away, they would not chase after the wolf, but they could not help but kill it if it continued to attack.
The choices left for the Jag Wolves was either to die starving or to die fighting.
“We are also risking our life for this. Shin, it’s useless to hold back.”
Shin answered him briefly, as this was not the first time he fought a monster to live.
However, he had never met such a desperate opponent prior to this time.
(The resolution is different from the previous guys. Though that’s the only difference, it couldn’t have done that so easily.)
It was not about challenging a strong opponent, nor the hunt or fight.
It fought to live.
To the extent that the pressure they received was remarkably different.
(Moreover, the two of them that are behind it are still pups.)
The two that were approaching little by little were still children with the shapes of puppies.
Was it because he was a Japanese person, that his blade was getting blunt?
“I will kill the leader. Tsubaki on the right, Shin on the left.”
The timing was matched to each other.
Tsubaki and Shin were the first to begin.
Tsubaki stepped into the fight with her aura continuing as it was. Judging from the Jag Wolf’s point of view, it felt like there was a chance of being cut down if it blinked. To the opponent, which froze by reflex, Tsubaki swung down her fist without mercy.
The Jag Wolf slammed into the ground with a cracking sound, and then twitched a few times before it stopped moving.
Shin also took a stance and raising his sword above his head, stepped in with a speed superior to Tsubaki’s. The katana swung down as he stepped forward. The Jag Wolf didn’t move. No, it was not possible for it to move.
At the same time as the arc in the air disappeared, its body slipped diagonally. The eyes of the Jag Wolf blinked a few times as it turned toward Shin. It might not even have noticed the cut.
“Then after you.”
Gaien stepped forward between Shin and Tsubaki. The reason why the leader didn’t attack Shin and Tsubaki was because Gaien had overpowered it.
There was no longer a chance of winning. Still, the Jag Wolf leader didn’t back down. It raised a short howl and put its strength into its limb. Its intention to live was straightforward. Even if he thought it was hopeless, Shin felt a sense of respect for that figure.
The leader exerted its power for a few seconds. In its last dash, it squeezed out all of its strength, aiming at Gaien. The speed was as expected from the alpha of a pack; powerful.
It was Gaien who spoke words of praise. He prepared his longsword while facing the oncoming leader.
For the leader, which was approaching straight, Gaien moved calmly. The figure of Gaien wavering, with his feet side-stepping.
The moment of their clash. In the next moment, along with Gaien’s swung down sword, there was the figure of the leader split in two.
While waving the blood off of his blade, Gaien turned his eyes toward the last, small Jag Wolves ahead.
“What should we do?”
How would a person of this world make such a decision at this time. To find out the answer to that question, Shin called out to Gaien.
“I will kill them if they attack, but I won’t give chase if they decide to leave. Our work is to guard, not to hunt monsters. In any case, I don’t know whether it’s possible for those two children to survive on their own.”
In case they survived, they might get attacked by someone else. However, that was for another story. If they appeared outside a village in this world, it was a common sense to employ a bodyguard or to learn some self-defense. They might get attacked by other monsters or even by bandits in either case. Even if they killed the Jag Wolf children here, the possibility of someone else attacking the wagon, as well as themselves, didn’t decrease.
The children might have understood that their parents had died. They disappeared into the forest to escape.
“Somehow, it leaves a bad aftertaste in the mouth.”
“It was different from a fight against common monsters, huh.”
Shin nodded to Tiera’s words.
“I share your sympathy. I’ve never experienced such a fight before.”
“But it’s not good to mind it too much either.”
What Tsubaki said was right; if they worried about it too much and thereby let it dull their blades, a companion might be sacrificed next. They had to be practical.
“Is it over? Then let’s hurry up and leave.”
Nack, who was near the Grimm horse, called out to the four people. As expected from an elderly former adventurer, he changed gears quickly. He was not shaken to see the scene from a little while ago either.
“Still, for them not to eat to get thinner, there must be something in the forest, right?”
Gaien then answered Shin’s question.
“Well, there’s nothing I can add. Jag Wolves are smart monsters. It’s hard to think that they failed at hunting until they reached such a condition.”
“Even if the food supply diminished?”
“These guys also eat goblins. It unreasonable to think that the goblins were swept away, right?”
“I agree. If one of them was found, 30 of them would come out.”
Tsubaki said it in a way that was like saying a G* was lurking in the house. After all, the goblins’ reproductive power didn’t seem to have changed, just like in the game era. (E/N: G = cockroaches, ‘cause Goblins are like cockroaches)
“I heard a story that said Skull Faces were appearing in large numbers in the Wraith Plains. Wouldn’t that have an influence?”
When Tsubaki said that, Shin opened his mouth as he suddenly remembered.
“Ah, that reminds me, I overheard that all high-rank adventurers are away the guild, wasn’t there something like a large-scale request?”
“That matter, huh? At that time, I was going to go home for a few days before, at Bayreuth’s southern town with Tsubaki. So I didn’t participate there.”
Then Tiera secretly whispered into Shin’s ear.
“(What’s the matter?)”
“(The Skull Faces, was that the request that came to master?”
“(Yes, those fellows were quite strong. That might be the cause.)”
There was the possibility that their territory was overflowing with Skull Faces.
“Either way, we don’t know the reason. It’s useless even if we think about it. So I’m going to go to sleep.”
Doing things at her own pace, Tsubaki said that and put on her overcoat. It was typical for adventurers to be able to sleep in a shaking wagon. Because there were shifts between being coachman and standing guard, it was an important duty to rest while one can.
“It’s as Tsubaki said. There’s not enough information even if we think about it. Since that took a significant amount of time.”
“That’s right. For the time being, should I do maintenance on our weapons? What are you going to do, Tiera?”
“Because it’s my turn soon, I will be at the coachman box.”
When Tiera said so, she exited the canopy, and moved next to Nack.
According to Schnee, Tiera learned most of the necessary skills for an adventurer, so she could take the role of coachman without any problems. Rather, it was Shin who didn’t have the experience. That was because a horse could advance without him having to guide it when he set the direction in the game, so he was not used to doing such things.
“What adventurer can’t drive a wagon? Even a young woman can do it.”
Even though they were just simple words, what Nack said made him feel a little down.
Afterwards, they advanced without another incident and went toward Beirun while camping. They had to take a detour around the forest surrounding the Wraith Plains, not only merchants such as Nack, but large scale caravans did the same, too. Thus, not a lot of monsters came near them from the start. The reason was that, there was already plenty of prey inside of that forest. And one day before they were due to arrive in Beirun, Shin and the others encountered what they were asked to defend the caravan against.
“Poor merchant-san. If you don’t want to die, hand over the money and baggage.”
They were bandits.
Though according to the information Shin and Tiera exchanged with Gaien and Tsubaki, bandits seldom came out; they did not seem to have any luck. It goes without saying whose ‘luck’ it was.
They were not a numerous group, but they were properly armed in leather armor and were holding longswords as well, which was likely to earn them money. Though one might not want to know how.
“Then, how? I don’t know if I’m confident enough to ambush and take on 6 people head-on all alone, what should I do?”
Shin looked back at Gaien and Tsubaki.
“That won’t change anything. If we attack, they might turn the table.”
“One person should leave the right to slay someone with impunity to me.”
Ignoring Tsubaki’s remark, which they didn’t know whether she was joking or not, the three people moved out.
The strategy had already been decided. They formed a basic formation with three people, where Shin, Gaien, and Tsubaki stepped forward, while Tiera was to cover them. Yuzuha was left in the wagon in case there was an opponent they couldn’t perceive.
The enemies level were about 150 on average, although the man who started to talk was unexpectedly higher-leveled at 163. Shin was a little surprised by that. They could make a living as normal adventurers, but he thought that they might have had various things happen to them to make them stay like that. No matter how much he thought about it, it wouldn’t change anything.
Nack as well this time, held an axe for self-defense.
It was only a matter of time before the battle began. While the tension increased, Tiera was holding her breath inside the canopy, and recalled what Gaien asked earlier.
‘Shin, Tiera. Have you ever killed someone?’
When the trip first began, it was the first question that Gaien had asked of the two people. Even though this was the first barrier that adventurers aimed to strike at, it was because the request for the guard was an E rank request. Therefore the possibility that an enemy related to this request would appear existed. The mortality rate was divided by each rank for adventurers; high rank requests at rank B and above had a much higher mortality rate. Aside from monsters, many of them were killed by people. It was a rank E.
(It’s alright. I will defeat them.)
Only Tiera hadn’t killed anyone yet among the members. Shin’s worrying about this was reflected on his expression, but she said it would be alright. She ought to do it. If she couldn’t do it, the danger toward the three people stepping forward increased.
“Oioi, do you intend to fight with only three people? There’s still time now?”
“Shall you leave the young lady too? I can entertain her in a bunch of various ways!”
The stinging lines from the bandits was heard by the three people. Of course, it was only natural.
While looking at such three people, it was Shin’s name that came out from Tiera’s mouth. Tiera’s sensitivity was particularly strong even among the elves. That’s why she understood it. Just after the bandit said to leave Tsubaki behind, the feeling from Shin changed a little.
It didn’t change to bloodlust. But it became sharp and dark. The calm presence that Tiera knew vanished, as she felt some kind of sinister feeling coming from Shin. From Tiera’s perspective, it was already another person’s presence. Was Tiera not keen enough? Neither Gaien nor Tsubaki seemed to have noticed it. Be it fortunate or not, it was only Tiera who felt the change to the present Shin.
(I can’t leave Shin like that any further. That Shin is no good!)
The hand holding the bow filled with power.
Before she knew it, Tiera’s thoughts of killing without hesitation, disappeared from her head. The opponent was a bandit, and in addition to that, he was obviously a habitual criminal. To be a bandit repeatedly in this world was equal to having a worthless life. There were no other destinations except the execution stand if caught. For such opponents, to compare them with Tiera’s worry for Shin, their existence itself was already too light.
The arrow was nocked in the bowstring, which in turn was drawn to the limit. She aimed at the bandit lurking in the bushes nearby. That person might have had the intention to hide, but it was no different than casually going for a walk for the elf Tiera. While aiming, she waited for the signal from Gaien.
“I don’t like useless killing. I will stop if you pull back, but I will kill if you don’t.”
“Oioi, can you see the situation? I know that one is merely a rank E.”
“No matter how much of a rank A you are, don’t you have to fight while protecting other members? You better turn a blind eye to us without causing trouble rather than showing off that strange spirit, don’t you agree?”
Where did they learn that information from? The bandits knew that they were all low-rank with the exception of Gaien. Even though the number of bandits hidden and visible aiming at Nack were unknown, it was clear that this was not an accidental encounter.
“There’s no need to listen any.”
“Leave the number of people to two.”
Shin and Tsubaki made eye contact. The negotiations broke down. No one here thought it would end any other way. They only wanted time to prepare so as to lessen the damage while observing the other side.
Gaien shook his head a little, reacting to Shin’s and Tsubaki’s remark. That was the starting signal for the attack.
In the next moment, an arrow shot by Tiera flew out from inside the canopy, and was sucked up into the thicket where the bandit hid in.
There was no scream. However, a dull sound of something hitting the ground was audible.
One red marker that existed on Shin’s map disappeared. Was it the head or the heart? It might have hit one of the two. The HP vanished in a single blow. It was an instant death.
“Tsk, what a failure. You guys, do something!!”
The leader appeared to curse, far from mourn over the death of their comrade. The bandits rushed to attack after they received their instructions.
“Then, two bandits per person. Leave the person alone if you can’t do it. You heard the story.”
“With no injuries?”
“You should listen to the directions, do as you like to the others, I don’t care.”
Gaien and Tsubaki calmly exchanged disturbing words. It was as if they were used to it. Even though there was sure to be a level difference between Tsubaki and the enemies, she didn’t seem to be eager at all.
Gaien stayed as he was, and Shin and Tsubaki scattered to the right and left, distracting the bandits.
Three bandits were going for Gaien, one for Tsubaki, and two for Shin. Was there any 【Analyze】 skill holder among them? The low-level was after Tsubaki rather than Gaien.
“Are you making fun of me?”
Anger was mixed in with Tsubaki’s words. The bandit whom she faced was certainly stronger than Tsubaki when one only looked at levels. Still, just because the bandit was stronger didn’t mean that they would be able to knock her down easily.
A chill ran through the back of Tsubaki’s neck, to place where the she thought the bandit hid his hand. She immediately close the distance, caught and pulled the bandit’s sword with her gauntlet.
“Heh, you have some nice intuition, don’t you?”
The man looked at her, like he was making light of Tsubaki’s body. Red aura was being released from the sword grasped in her right hand.
She shifted her gaze and saw the surrounding state. All of the bandits, though the colors were different, had weapons that gave off an aura like the man in front of Tsubaki. Did all the members have a Magic Sword, they appeared to have weapons with similar characteristics.
Apparently, besides from the level, there also seemed to be a reliable chance of success due to the equipment.
“Don’t put up much resistance. I can’t enjoy it if I kill you, kukuku”
The bandit noticed that Tsubaki’s gauntlet was just a common mass-produced item. It was not possible to defend with this. Therefore, he had no doubt about his superiority.
“If you see me as being only small, you’ll experience pain for looking down on me.”
“Haa, say that after you defeat me!!”
The bandit lunged at her while speaking. Was the attack aided by the sword? Obviously the speed level was faster than before. However, Tsubaki didn’t lose. She was enveloped in a white aura and ran before the bandit arrived at her position. The real nature of the aura was 【Spirit Manipulation • Katsusen】.
As the name implied, it is a martial art skill that strengthens the body, although an inferior version. As for the ‘Katsusen’ that was attached there, aside from body strengthening, it indicated that it specialized in speed increase.
Tsubaki left a white afterimage and jumped toward the bandit’s chest, and drew back her fist. Though the bandit was surprised that Tsubaki’s speed was faster than his own, he judged that it was not possible to clash with it, and instead tried to guard with his hand that wasn’t holding the sword.
But Tsubaki’s aim was not to deal damage. She aimed at the hand that was holding the sword. The bandit’s reaction was good, but he didn’t read Tsubaki’s aim until after it happened. The fist wrapped in her gauntlet directly hit the bandit’s right hand, breaking all five of his fingers. Bones poked out from the bandit’s fingers, as they bent in the wrong direction.
“Even if you have a good weapon, you are untrained.”
No matter if his weapon was a Magic Sword or not, the user’s ability didn’t change. The bandit, who was screaming intensely, couldn’t defend because of the excessive pain. In front of that virtually defenseless enemy, Tsubaki accumulated power in an instant.
Her fist was released along with that word. At the same time, a dull sound that wasn’t supposed to come from the body was heard. The bandit was sent flying off into the sky while continuously vomiting blood.
Beyond that point, there were figures of bandits surrounding Gaien.
Without any time to react, the bandit who was sent flying crashed into one of them, and disappeared into the thicket. Because the sound of heads-butting together was heard, the person who was thrown would probably not move for a while.
The bandit who was hit again had the pit of his chest cave in, so that rather than his intestines, it was certain that his heart had exploded. It was an instant death similar to the person who had received the arrow from Tiera.
“W-What it is now…”
One of the bandits, whose comrade was suddenly sent flying, looked at the thicket in in a daze.
When in front of an enemy, that was a fatal opening.
“Idiot! Don’t turn your eyes away from this fellow!!”
It was already too late when the bandit’s leader yelled out.
Gaien approached the bandit who showed the opening and swung his long katana down.
The bandit barely reacted to the voice of the leader and broke his posture, thereby he became unable to defend against the single blow from Gaien that was filled with power. The long katana raised a buzz as it clashed against the Magic Sword. The Magic Sword was repelled, and from the single blow of the long katana, it was blown away together with the body. By a miracle, the Magic Sword seemed to act as a substitute for armor, defending the bandit from the long katana. But unfortunately, although the Magic Sword gave off the impression of protecting the bandit’s life by reducing most the momentum from the long katana, it was disappointingly not enough and broke in the next moment. Naturally, the bandit’s body, which the Magic Sword protected, was still in one piece.
Looking at his subordinate from the side, the squeaky voice of the leader came out. It was unthinkable to beat a Magic Sword and cut it in two, even for a rank A. His eyes were wide open as he looked at Gaien like he saw something unbelievable.
“Though you guys are Magic Sword holders, unfortunately, they are no match for my Magic Katana.”
The battle situation that they thought to be to in their favor was overturned in an instant.
The incident that happened in front of him was unbelievable for the bandits’ leader. The information he had received claimed that they all were rank E, with Gaien as the sole exception. They were supposed to only lost half of their men at worst. For the one who went up against Tsubaki, despite being a Magic Sword holder at C rank, he was a subordinate that was worthy enough of being her opponent.
The confused leader clung to the tiny bit of hope that a subordinate would save him, but he even turned toward his aide. And then, what came into his view next, was yet another impossible scene.
Immediately after the battle started, two bandits went to face Shin. One of them had brown hair and the other man had blond hair. The one with brown hair was level 151, the blond hair was 153. If one were to say it in adventurer terms, they would be C rank. Looking at the deployment, Tsubaki had taken down her sole opponent quickly, Gaien was holding four people, and the two people here, probably going after Nack, were already expected by Shin. The man who lurked in the bushes was the lowest level among the bandits while the blond man had the highest level next to the leader. At that level, he might even be able to deal with the flying arrow. The air he gave off was clearly different.
“Well, what has been done can not be undone.”
He muttered, and blocked the route of the two people.
To force Shin out of the way, the guy with brown hair went ahead and unsheathed his sword. The aura attached to this Magic Sword was yellow. However, the katana Shin was holding was different in a big way. For the Magic Swords of the current world, the definition was different compared to the Magic Swords from the game era.
Though the place where the aura leaked out from on the blade was identical, the sword itself was originally classified as a 《Legend》 grade, not a Magic Sword. The swords that the bandits had were not Magic Swords in the true meaning of the word.
The bandit’s sword gave off an aura like steam, but the white aura which Shin’s katana emitted was converging in the form of a sword in order to fit around the katana’s blade. The air pressure of the aura, released from the Magic Sword showed the quality. An aura that did not scatter, and instead surrounded the sword’s blade was said to be the top in ability.
Therefore, the natural outcome of the two people clashing their swords was displayed.
After the blades clashed with a little rivalry, it ended when a clear sound rang out and the sword of the bandit was broken. Both items could be called Magic Swords but one was a Magic Sword imitation. However, the katana that Shin held displayed its ability multiple times, and could exchange blows like the real deal. The sword that uselessly discharged its aura was so different from Shin’s standard that he would call it a fake.
The brown hair looked at his sword that could even inflict a wound on a Horn Dragon but yet was broken in a single blow. And then, continuing with that gap, with the same stroke, Shin cut down the brown haired man.
“Waa!? broke――n !?”
The voice raised was filled with surprise because he was cut, and the bandit with brown hair collapsed.
Like a flash. There was no hesitation in that movement.
For Shin to kill a person, it didn’t mean that he was used to it. But he was already beyond the stage of hesitation, worry, and other such things since a long time ago. During the death game, nobody wanted to get tangled up with a person who fought on the front line.
Besides, the opponent was a bandit who wielded a sword with evil intentions. When he saw the blood remains from a previous victim on the armor, it was impossible for his sword to be dull.
He never looked at life lightly. However, he shouldn’t be too serious either.
“Now then, what are you going to do?”
Shin didn’t look at the brown haired man that collapsed, instead he stepped in front of the blond hair.
Shin had a light tone. Speaking as if he was asking for the description of a meal, giving the blond hair more pressure.
The blond hair, who was shocked, was making an ugly face. He looked at the place where the brown hair’s Magic Sword broke, perhaps, for the first time. Then his line of sight changed to compare Shin’s katana with his sword.
“Anyways, that sword is a nuisance.”
Shin casually stepped forward, and waved his katana. With that alone, the blond hair’s Magic Sword was smashed apart.
“Wha!? T-That’s ridiculous…My Magic Sword is…”
The blonde hair muttered dumbfoundedly after seeing his Magic Sword that had already become only a hilt. He was not able to see the single blow from Shin from a distance where he should have been able to. Shin didn’t use any skill. With only stats and ability, he closed the distance of several mels in an instant.
“Next, to immobilize.”
With those words, Shin’s figure vanished. Thereupon, an acute pain ran through the blond’s limbs.
The body, without the support of its hands and feet, collapsed onto the ground. At the rear, Shin put his katana back into the sheath. He had shattered the bones just by striking with the back of the sword.
“Did it end there too?”
“Yeah, Shin was tormenting him.”
“He just going easy on him!”
While they were exchanging jokes, the leader, who was the opponent of Gaien, looked at Shin. The blond hair was equally confused about the situation. No matter how much he thought about it, that was not the fighting power of an E rank.
“Now then, let’s have a talk about the person who handed over the information to you.”
The situation was explained to Nack, so there would be time for them to interrogate the leader. When Nack understood that he might have been deliberately targeted, he consented.
The interrogation was performed by Gaien and Nack, as they entered the thicket and Shin and Tsubaki returned to the wagon.
Tiera had a worried face toward the two people, especially as she approached Shin――――
“Good job, for the time bei――muguu!?”
―――― And she suddenly held Shin’s head, embraced to her chest.
Tsubaki stared in amazement at the sudden action, and Shin, whose speech was interrupted, was confused. Tiera’s jacket was open, exposing the chest, and Shin’s face was in held in there. Though there was the inner cloth, the fabric was not thick enough. Therefore, a fairly vivid sensation enveloped Shin’s face.
Though there was no space to completely enjoy the sensation, as the person in question, Tiera’s action, was too abrupt.
“Um, what are you doing?”
“Don’t move…just a little…bit…okay…”
It appeared that Tiera had some sort of purpose for the time being. Tsubaki, who was forcibly convincing herself to watch their progress attentively so as to understand. This situation was too incomprehensible to get involved with. Above all, Tiera’s expression was awfully serious.
When he heard Tiera’s oddly charming voice, Shin became docile too. That state was maintained for a while and when Shin was about to start being able to enjoy the soft sensation that surrounded his face, Tiera let Shin’s head loose.
However, both of her hands firmly held onto Shin’s head.
Tiera, who said nothing, stared into Shin’s eyes with a serious face. Shin felt it was awfully long, although it was only a few seconds.
Finally, after nodding a little, Tiera released Shin’s head, and went outside the wagon to be on lookout.
“What is it…now…”
Though he asked Tsubaki, she similarly didn’t understand it either. Shin had a question mark over his head as well.
While taking distance from Shin and Tsubaki, Tiera searched for Shin’s presence. Even though it was only a fairly small range from Shin and others, it was still out of normal for G rank adventurers.
Relief spread through her chest as she secretly moved to behind the wagon. Until a few minutes ago, Shin, who returned with Tsubaki, still slightly wore that presence as usual on the surface. That dark, sharp, and unpleasant feeling that she wanted to run away from by reflex.
Although it was a momentary thing, when looking back at the action she took, it was an action which she really thought of seriously, but at the same time her face became almost as red as a beet.
In the beginning, when Tiera hadn’t come to Tsuki no Hokora yet, Tiera, who was totally frightened, was gently embraced by Schnee. Her anxiety was softened by that act alone.
Thus, she thought that the presence might disappear if she did the same thing. For Tiera, who had limited contact with others, she thought that it was the most effective way.
Anyways, the result was a success. If anything, she was a little panicky when she returned to her sanity, but because the goal had been reached, she considered it a good thing.
(Am I the only one who noticed? Or am I strange?)
She felt the familiar thirst for blood at the time when she was driven out of her village. She was still mentally young back in those days, but she only felt fear. On the other hand, when Shin confronted the bandits, she noticed the change in the nature for the thirst for blood. No, it might be good that she noticed.
Tiera personally didn’t understand her sense well, but it was because of the sense of impending crisis that it became stronger. The impulse that she couldn’t understand. Though it was not regarded as manipulation of the heart and mind, there was strangely no discomfort. She seemed to understand that there was no danger at all; there was a strange trust.
When she composed herself before long, in a sense, it was obvious what Tiera would think of next.
(After this, what kind of face should I make when I talk with Shin…?)
Where had the seriousness, when embracing Shin tightly, gone? The bewildered appearance of saying “Au Au”, when seen by a person who knew the usual Tiera, would think of it as really cute.
Though she intended to hide and move, Shin and Tsubaki having perfectly witnessed her appearance, was a fact not known by Tiera.