TNG Vol. 1 Chapter 3 – Part 4

The following morning, Shin left the Bear Point Pavilion, walked down the large avenue lined with stalls and left through the southern gate. On the other side, a long queue of people was waiting to enter the country. They probably didn’t make it in time the day before and lined up as soon as the gates opened.

There were many merchant caravans, which were probably slowing down immigration procedures. Shin walked away from them, along the walls. Tsuki no Hokora was located between the southern and eastern gates, slightly closer to the southern gate.

After a few minutes of walking, Shin’s destination became visible. Tsuki no Hokora, thanks to the 1-mel wide trees surrounding it, was clearly separated from the surroundings.

Originally, Tsuki no Hokora stood in an outdoor area of the Arkreed continent; thus the Eltnia continent possibly used to be part of Arkreed.

The Arkreed continent was the area superior to the advanced player-oriented Houzand continent. It housed quests and monsters of higher level than the other 3 continents, but at the same time also offered quests for beginners and intermediate players: it was often visited by players who wanted to take on unusual, bizarre quests or monsters.

In a way, it was a place where players of any level or job gathered.

Tsuki no Hokora was in an outdoor field, though, so only advanced players visited it. Other than them, there was the rare player who reached it by chance while being chased by a monster.

The monsters prowling around Tsuki no Hokora were level 600 on average: they started from around 200 and went as high as 1000.

Being located near the dwelling of boss-level monsters, many players visited Tsuki no Hokora to stock up on items before facing bosses.

“….now that I think about it, what happened to the monsters that were on the Arkreed continent? If the geography changed, their habitats must have changed too. Could have they gone extinct when the natural disasters and change occurred?”

If monsters like that were close, as the game had them, the kingdom of Bayreuth would already be gone. There were even monsters with habits like soldier ants, after all.

These monsters, appearing randomly in all areas, all had levels over 600: for advanced players they were a pain, while intermediate players could only run or hold their ground and beginners could only wait to die.

The chance of encountering them was higher the larger the party was, so naturally a country, where many people gathered, would be easily targeted. Since they weren’t appearing, though, either a countermeasure had been set, or there was no chance of such monsters attacking from the start. Otherwise, it couldn’t have been possible to build countries or roads.

It was even possible that all land outside Tsuki no Hokora came from another continent. With no answer to his doubts, Shin arrived in front of the store.

At the time of his first visit he was too happy to see that Tsuki no Hokora was still there to notice, but there was a 20 cemel tall, 10 cemel wide wooden board near the entrance, which read “The owner is fighting”, which meant that Tsuki no Hokora was open for business.

The back of the board read “The owner ran from home”, which was used when Shin was logged out or was gathering ingredients, for example. Glad to see that it was still in use, Shin opened the door, causing the chime to ring throughout the interior.

It was set to ring when the store was empty, as it did in the game. Looks like the knights weren’t around today.

“Welcome! Oh, it’s you, Shin.”

“Hey there, I came to leave the message I forgot.”

Tiera’s expression became a smile when she noticed that the client was Shin. The sunlight peering in from the window made her now silver hair sparkle. 

“Oh! I had completely forgotten too.” 

It wasn’t strange for her to, with all that happened that day. For her, it was enough to blow away something small like a message.

“So, I’d like you to tell her that if she remembers this, I’d like to talk to her.”

Shin took a katana out of the item box and placed it on the counter.

It was a deep blue katana for ninjas, with a flower pattern Tiera had never seen before on the sheath. The intricate pattern made the katana look more like a piece of art than a weapon.

“……..”

“…..Tiera?”

“Hey, Shin. Could this be…an Ancient-grade weapon?”

Tiera looked like she couldn’t believe her eyes. Her eyes narrowed, as if she was looking at something too bright.

“You can tell? Yes, this is Ancient-grade, it’s Schnee’s exclusive weapon, called『Blue Moon』.”

“This is master’s?”

“Yes. She isn’t using exclusive weapons now, right?”

“Well, actually, I’m not sure I know what an exclusive weapon is…”

“You don’t know?”

Shin was surprised to know that exclusive weapons weren’t common knowledge.

“Exclusive weapons can only be used by people they’re registered….no, by specific people. This 『Blue Moon』 can also be used by me, since I forged it, Schnee, and anyone Schnee or I gave permission to use it. Now I made it possible for you too to touch it, but no one else can.”

In the game, this function was implemented so that items won in quests weren’t stolen, and was used for example on weapons used as symbols of guilds.

It was a fairly well-known function, but only blacksmiths and alchemists of the highest level could attach it to make exclusive weapons, so not many went all to the trouble to create them.

“User limitation….by the way, there are some weapons found in ruins that no one seems to be able to use, I heard. Could that be the reason?”

“They could be someone’s exclusive weapon. It’s a waste, so I’d advise researching a way to use them somehow. Mostly only Ancient and Mythology grade weapons can be made in exclusive weapons, so they’re generally very good. With one of those even a level 1 warrior could easily defeat a Tetra Grizzly, I bet.”

“…okay, I can’t wrap my mind around that…”

Tiera could not help but sigh in disbelief.

Had Shin just explained about it in words, Tiera would have had a hard time believing him. With the magic power-filled ninja katana in front of her eyes, however, she had no choice but to believe.

The ninja katana 『Blue Moon』 had been placed thoughtlessly on the counter. Shin had just put it there, but the space surrounding it looked warped to Tiera. Despite her relative lack of combat experience, even she could tell how powerful a weapon it was.

“This katana really has incredible power…I wouldn’t want to use it, though.”

“Oh? Why is that?”

“Because…I’d get swallowed by it, I think.”

Tiera understood it instinctively, and felt positive about it: that weapon would surely grant great power to its user. If the user did not possess matching abilities, however, they would surely be corrupted.

“Swallowed…hmm. I guess that’s because of the materials used to make it.”

Tiera’s words made Shin think of the penalty generated when equipping gear beyond one’s level. All weapons had certain stat requirements that had to be satisfied in order to equip them; if they were equipped without satisfying these conditions, the user’s status would be negatively affected.

It was still different from being “swallowed”, however, so Shin thought of mentioning the weapon’s materials.

“What in the world did you use to make it?”

“The main ingredient is an alloy called Chimeradite. I combined it with Black Death Dragon Fangs, Rioting Sea Beast Scales and Element Tail Teardrops. There are other necessary materials, but these are the 4 main ones. I suppose that the Black Death Dragon Fangs or Rioting Sea Beast Scales are what makes you feel like that? They’re both monsters of the highest class, after all.”

“…….”

“Tiera?”

Tiera, while listening to Shin’s explanation, was holding her forehead, her brow furrowed as if expressing that she was struggling to understand his words.

“…..no, I won’t be surprised anymore. Even if the monsters you mentioned are all legendary creatures…it’s okay. Yes, it’s perfectly okay.”

“You don’t look okay at all to me though…”

Tiera’s common sense had just received a powerful blow, and she was shaking her head in response. Shin couldn’t help but comment on her denial.

Shin had been far beyond the world’s standards from the start, but this time he had surpassed himself by a long shot. As Tiera had said, the monsters he had so casually mentioned were all names that, nowadays, only appeared in tales and myths.

Monsters powerful enough to cause cataclysms, used as materials…normally, that would sound like a joke.

The “presence” of the katana in front of Tiera’s eyes and the fact that it was one of Shin’s possessions urged her to believe that in fact it wasn’t a joke at all.

“The more I talk with you, the more I feel my common sense breaking down…”

“What, it’s my fault?”

“Of course it is. You take out Ancient-grade weapons like it’s nothing, it’s just beyond incredible!”

“Nothing much I can do about it…whether Schnee remembers me or not, it all depends on this.”

Shin talked while looking at 『Blue Moon』. He had taken it from Schnee before going to fight Origin (in game terms, he had put it in storage). Taking all of his support characters’ weapons before fighting a boss was something Shin always did as a good luck charm.

His other support characters’ equipment was too waiting for its turn in Shin’s item box.

He could have just left a message for Schnee, but Shin was far too common a name, so he decided to leave an item too to prove his identity.

“It would be bizarre for someone to receive a weapon like this, but refuse to meet you, I guess. But in master’s case, maybe…”

Tiera too looked at 『Blue Moon』 and nodded.

Schnee was not the type to be moved by items bought with dozens of Platinum Jul coins or even Legend-grade items: it was easy to imagine that she could treat simply valuable or rare gear like it was nothing. This time, the request was to contact Shin if she remembered the item he brought, so Tiera thought that Schnee wouldn’t ignore it. She had shrugged at Legend-grade items before, so in Tiera’s eyes she too was kind of beyond normal common sense.

“If Schnee contacts you, please let me know with this. It should reach me no matter where I am.”

Shin then placed a message card in an envelope with a simple design next to 『Blue Moon』.

“You can send a letter with this?”

“Only one way, though. Write a message on the card and the name of the person you want to send it to on the envelope. Then you just need to say “Send”.”

Shin explained how to use the card while pointing at each of its parts. In the game, this item was used to send birthday or Christmas greetings. Some even made cards that produced light effects when opened.

In the game using email was faster, so this item was only used in specific periods, but in this world mail or friend registration were not available, so this could be very useful.

“There sure are convenient items around…”

“I used them very little though, so I still have plenty.”

There were lots of other items, received as quest or event rewards, that saw little to no use. Such items, useless in game but actually useful in real life, were aplenty in Shin’s item box.

“If these cards became common, they’d be really popular, I bet.”

“For sure.”

For Tiera, to be able to contact someone no matter where they were was a massive technological revolution. Shin, however, decided to dodge the question hidden in Tiera’s comment: “don’t you want to make these popular?”

New technologies, convenient technologies, were not always used as their inventor first intended. There were countless such cases in human history. Shin was not interested or had any intention of causing technological revolutions either.

This item originally existed in THE NEW GATE, so he thought that someone would invent it sooner or later.

“….hey, I’ve been thinking, but couldn’t you contact master directly with this, instead of leaving a message?”

Tiera spoke while holding the message card between her fingers.

“I would if I could, believe me. This only works with people you’ve met in person, but for some reason I can’t send it to Schnee, even though I’ve met her before.”

Shin too had thought of sending the card directly, but for some unknown reason it didn’t work.

Tiera hazarded a guess, that the card wasn’t working properly, so they went outside and actually tried to send one.

Tiera was first surprised to see the envelope suddenly appear before her eyes, then concluded that the card had to be working properly.

(Looks like my list was resetted.)

Shin guessed the reason why he couldn’t send letters. The item description said “Convey your feelings to the people you met during your adventures”. It was probably not possible to send messages to people not met in the “new” world, even if met in the game world.

“Hey, listen, if you have so many of these, can you give me some more?”

“No problem, but I think it’s better not to send them to someone who doesn’t know about them.”

“I don’t want to use them, but research them. I am aspiring to be a mage, you know. When I see mysterious magical items like these, I want to know how they work.”

Tiera’s eyes were indeed sparkling like a child with a new toy ever since she had tried using the cards.

“That’s fine, then. I’ll give you 5 more. One of them is for Schnee to reply to me, so don’t use them all, okay? And since I’m giving you this many, give her my message for free, deal?”

Even if Shin had message cards to spare, he didn’t feel like giving them away for free, so he proposed an exchange.

“Got it, got it. I’m not going to use them without thinking, so rest easy. If I did, I bet I’d cause a ruckus anyway. I never planned to take them for free either, so I’m fine with giving master your message for free. Look forward to the rest.”

On top of the message being free, it seemed like there were some bonuses too. Shin nodded, agreeing to look forward to whatever they were.

Shin thought that if Tiera wanted to research, she’d better aim to be an alchemist, but there was nothing strange for mages to do research too, so he chose not to mention it.

There were a good number of players with Mage as main and Alchemist as sub job, after all.

“Okay, I’m off then. Say hi to Schnee for me.”

“I’ll let master know as soon as she’s back, rest assured.”

Shin waved to Tiera and left Tsuki no Hokora. It was a bit after he left that Tiera realized that, if she had sent the message card to Schnee, she could have contacted her there and then.

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