TNG Vol. 1 Chapter 2 – Part 4
After taking a look around the room, Shin locked it and went back down. He wanted to eat and gather information. He had eaten at the guild, so he wasn’t really hungry, but the lodging fee included the meal, so he felt that it would be a waste not to: Shin was very eager to order.
The ground floor was the same as before, crowded and noisy with groups of adventurers.
As was his habit during the game era, Shin checked the level of the adventurers. According to 【Analyze X】, they averaged around 120.
Shin was reminded of the knights he had met at Tsuki no Hokora.
He hadn’t checked them in detail, but their levels ranged from 100 to 110.
Aldi and the knights who had left for last were a bit higher, but that made Shin wonder how exactly the power relations were between knights and adventurers in the kingdom, and other such things of no actual importance to him.
Shin sat down and ordered something to eat, killing time until his order arrived by listening in to the surroundings’ boisterous conversations.
Using skills such as 【Listen】, which allows to clearly hear all voices and sounds in a set range, and 【Noise Cancel】, which deletes sounds as the user chooses, it is possible to hear even the whispers of people sitting far from the user.
In the game, a menu would appear, and only the sound sources listed there could be chosen. In this world, however, all choices depended solely on Shin’s thoughts. Most things he heard were pointless chatter; but Shin thought that in places like this there was surely valuable information to be found.
It happened in any game: unexpected information was often found in unexpected locations. He wasn’t sure if this applied to this other world too, but Shin did not know what was common sense in this world, after all, so any kind of conversation could be useful to him.
“Have you heard, man? Wilhelm went and fought a pack of monsters on his own again!”
“Damn, I’m starving…give me some grub…”
“They say Skullfaces have been appearing in the northern forest…”
”There’s lot of Hillk grass to be harvested lately.”
“This beer sure hits the spot…!”
“What will it be?”
“Poster man…? What the…”
“Tsugumi, baby, pour me some liquor…no, Douma, I was just jo…ggghaaaahhh!!”
One of the drunken clients was flying through the air, but no one reacted. It looked like it happened often, so Shin limited himself to watching too.
He had picked up several intriguing words, however, so he made mental notes of them.
The most interesting one was “Skullface”.
Skullfaces were Undead-type monsters, separated in ranks such as Pawn, Jack, Queen, etcetera. The monster’s level range changed with the rank: not confirming which rank it was before fighting could easily lead to complete annihilation.
“Here’s your order, sir.”
The voice shook Shin from his thoughts. He was using the usual Skills, but the method was completely different, so he had to focus more than normal.
He looked towards the voice and found Douma’s daughter placing dishes on the table.
“What’s wrong? You were spacing out.”
“Oh, I was just thinking, er….”
“Ah, I haven’t introduced myself, have I. My name’s Tsugumi Bear. Dad and the others are usually in the kitchen, so if you need anything just ask me.”
“Got it. As you probably know already, my name’s Shin. I’m an adventurer, sort of.”
“I haven’t gotten my guild card yet, so.”
“Oh, I see. What were you thinking about, anyway? How can I raise my rank quickly, stuff like that?”
Shin thought that Tsugumi would go back to work after placing the dishes on the table, but she sat on the chair on the opposite end and started asking him questions, apparently very interested.
New adventurers were rare, maybe?
“I’ll raise the rank as I go. I’m from the countryside, really far from any village, so I don’t even know what’s “common sense” here, you see. I was looking around, trying to gather some clues.”
“Really. I only know this city, but the people coming from other countries say that it’s pretty much all the same everywhere.”
“Really? Well, I’ll be careful, just in case.”
“Hmm, you’re a strange one…most new adventurers want to become strong quickly or to get to high-rank…. Low-ranked ones get looked down upon a lot, after all”.
“I bet they do. But that’s fine, I’m a strange kind of guy. If they look down on me, I’ll do what must be done.”
Shin grinned with confidence. He wasn’t sure how adventurers were, so it was just a supposition, but many of them were probably confident in their skills, so he figured that they would act like that.
“Ooh, you’re pretty confident huh?”
“Somewhat. When things get really sour, I’ll run though. I don’t want to die either.”
Shin had no intention of creating a commotion, but he felt that he would be dragged into one in the future…or so his instincts told him.
“Rather than that, you’re sitting down on that chair as if it was natural, but don’t you have other tables to watch? You’re a waitress, right?”
“They’ll call me if they have something to order, so it’s okay. My mother’s out now also, so.”
Shin followed Tsugumi’s gaze and saw a woman with hair of her same color, tied behind her head. She was taking orders from another table.
Shin nodded to himself: Tsugumi clearly took after her mother. She was quite beautiful, suggesting that Tsugumi too will become like that once she grew up.
“So you’re skipping…”
“No, my good sir. This is intelligence gathering.”
“From a greenhorn adventurer?”
“You could be big one day. I’ve seen my share of adventurers, anyway, so I can tell when I find a promising one.”
Tsugumi talked with a hand resting on her chest, her eyes brimming with confidence.
“Oh really. How do you see me, then?”
“Let’s see…I’d give you 85 points, I guess.”
“…should I be happy?”
The score seemed high enough, but not knowing what it was based on, Shin didn’t exactly feel like rejoicing.
“It means that there’s something to be expected.”
“That’s harsh. What lowered my score?”
“Your lack of motivation, that’s all. You’re too calm for being a new adventurer, you don’t look like you’re overconfident, if you’re not bent on going higher you’ll never really succeed. That’s what my experience says.”
“Motivation, huh. Guess that’ll come about sooner or later.”
Shin hadn’t registered into the guild in order to make himself known, after all; he didn’t feel like spending every last ounce of effort for that, that’s for sure.
“Taking it easy, huh…well, I guess that’s your style. Okay then, if I hang around any more they’ll really chew me out, so I’m going back to work. Do your best, but don’t overdo it, okay?”
Tsugumi winked as she stood up, then went to take orders at the tables.
The customers had increased as they talked: all tables were now occupied.
Shin didn’t want to occupy a table for many just by himself, so he quickly consumed his meal and left.
With more people, there were also more chances of trouble happening. As Tsugumi had said, new adventurers are looked down upon: Shin decided to remember her advice well.
Back to his room, he did not have anything in particular to do. Put his stuff in order, that was about it.
He had only briefly checked through his belongings after coming to this world, so he thought he needed to see what exactly was in his possession.
After he was done, Shin went to the bath, wiped his sweat and prepared to turn in. The only difference was that he removed part of his equipment, though.
Creating a barrier inside the room before getting under the covers was one of Shin’s habits since the game era. Thanks to his detection skills it wouldn’t be easy for him to be ambushed, but there was nothing to lose in being extra careful.
The bed was very soft, a pleasure to sleep in. Thanking Celica in his mind, Shin drifted off to sleep.
In his slipping consciousness, he was suddenly reminded of something he had forgotten.
By the way…
“I didn’t leave…a…message…”
It might have led to finding Schnee, someone he knew, but Shin had forgotten to give Tiera a message for her.