For several hours, he had been investigating things in the library. Somehow the library was closed when the sun was a little high in the evening. When Shin confirmed it with the menu screen, the time showed 4:50. Even though he didn’t know whether the time was accurate, Shin thought that every city hall and post office had their own way to keep track of the time. Rather, he was amazed to learn that they had about the same closing time.
He thought about returning to the south district for the time being, but his stomach was grumbling while looking around the stalls. It was early, but he bought yakitori* for dinner which he saw was barbecued nicely in a stall he found by chance. It could be said that a similar yakitori wasn’t sold in Japan, as they were 30 cemels long skewers stuck into hearty chicken meat. (T/N: *a bite-size marinated pieces of beef, seafood, or chicken on skewers)
“This yakitori tastes good even in a different world…but did I buy too much?”
He took out a freshly cooked skewer from a bag while smiling wryly. He bought four yakitori. It was a quantity that could be said was too much to eat before dinner.
He sat down on the edge of the fountain in the center of the square to relax after walking and eating. He stuffed his mouth with meat while looking at the passersby for no particular reason.
After all, there were still many appearances of adventurers since the information regarding the Skull Face was published.
Although information regarding the subjugation completion was also made public, the adventurers seemed to be still on guard.
While looking at the hustle of the town and chewing on the yakitori, after he had investigated, he organized the information he had acquired in his head. There were three noteworthy things that he understood for now.
First, the book that had written about the ‘Dusk of the Majesty’ was rare.
Besides that, there was also a possibility that the book was banned or that it was stored in a place with reading restrictions. For now, Shin couldn’t enter that place, so it was put on hold. In the future, he couldn’t help but to feel prepared to visit villages of long-lived species such as Elves or Dragnils. Either way, he still didn’t have the intention to sneakily search for it.
Second, the geography of this world.
Originally, four continents existed in the world of THE NEW GATE, the 1st three continents were for beginner, intermediate and advanced level players. And the 4th continent became the area for players who had lost interest in the common fields.
Of course, Shin had almost conquered all four areas that were displayed on the map, but now the map function was no longer recognizable. The reason was simple, it was because the continental shape itself had changed due to a natural phenomenon that took place after the ‘Dusk of the Majesty’. Through movements and ground upheavals, the 4 continents turned into 5, and a lot of small island nations were scattered. This might be one of the causes for there being no documents about the ‘Dusk of the Majesty’.
By the way, the continent where Shin was currently at, was called the Continent of Eltnia.
Third, the big city that was formerly the headquarter base of adventurers.
Each continent had two or three big cities that became the headquarter base for the players. Each city featured an enhanced defense and the city’s trades were lively, it was also crowded although there was prejudice in certain races and jobs. One of the reasons why people gathered there was only because big cities have temples that could be used for reincarnation.
Those big cities were now called the ‘Sacred Place’, and were also seen as targets to be recaptured. Though the big cities that existed were mostly the same without being affected by natural disasters, after the ‘Dusk of the Majesty’, each city turned into a demon city dominated by high-level monsters. The investigation committee was sent on countless occasions, but the lowest level of monsters exceeded 500, and it was said that anyone who entered the ‘Sacred Place’ would never return.
For some reason, the high-level monsters of the ‘Sacred Place’ never came outside the cities, and the overflowing magical power caused the surrounding land and plants to mutate. In addition, the current conditions had also caused sudden mass outbreaks of low-level monsters.
“Then, the problem is?”
He contemplated while putting his hand on his chin. If the topography itself had changed, then his memory from during the time of the game was unreliable. The locations of Elf’s garden and the Pixie’s fairy village or the other places with long-lived species, were different from his memory, too. Information collection was likely to be difficult.
Just when he thought about asking Tiera and Els, Shin looked up because he felt someone’s gaze. Shin turned his face to the direction of the gaze and saw a cat-eared girl, probably at elementary to primary school student age, who was staring at Shin from 2 mels away.
Correction. The cat-eared little girl was intently staring at the skewer that Shin held. Somehow, her strong desire could be seen.
“…Do you want to eat it?”
The little girl’s intense staring was interrupted by Shin. Besides her desire which were completely revealed, her innocent eyes caused Shin to feel bad.
Since he thought that he bought too many anyway, he took out a freshly cooked skewer from the bag while holding his half-eaten skewer in his mouth, and presented it to the girl.
Shin intended to say “Do you want to eat it?”, but only gave off the incomprehensible words “Fu fu ah it” as a result of having a skewer in his mouth.
Though it was not certain, was she able to decipher Shin’s pronunciation? Or was it simply because of the act of presenting the skewer to her. The little girl lightly ran toward Shin and with quick “Shu~batsu” sound effect, she took the skewer from Shin by force. She sat next to him as she began to stuff the yakitori into her mouth. The moment when their eyes met, her cat ears went “Syu~pin!”, even Shin was a little surprised.
“Mugumugu…Hamuhamu” (T/N: munching with closed mouth sfx and bite chew sfx)
They ate the meat silently for a while. When Shin looked at the girl working hard to fill her small mouth, he was able to confirm her appearance. Somehow it made Shin feel heartwarming.
The words young vagrant and beggar appeared on Shin’s mind in addition from it. But, he denied those kind of words immediately when he saw the appearance of the girl.
Her clothes had been mended here and there, but she wore the clothes properly, and there was no emaciation either. Also, there was no sign of aiming at one’s wallet. There might be a person who raised her with at least a home to return to, Shin judged.
“Whew, thanks for the delicious meal.”
“Mm, you’re welcome.”
After she finished eating the last bit neatly, the girl bowed to Shin.
“Onii-chan, a good person.”
“Oh, thank you.”
Shin looked at the little girl with a small laugh. From the cat ears, he understood that the girl might be a beast which belonged to the feline family. Only the tips of her yellow hair were dyed light brown, and he wondered if she was a Tiger Type. Because 30% of the population of the Bayreuth kingdom were Beast as he learned from a chat with Tsugumi, it was not particularly rare.
“I, Millie. Onii-chan?”
“Name? I am Shin, just Shin.”
“Together with Millie”
“Millie too, just Millie.”
“Ooh, indeed together.”
‘Shin’ was not a surname because the name he used exactly his player name. Particularly, because it wasn’t pointed out and he didn’t see any problems keeping his name as it was during the registration in the guild. It seemed that the thought of a timid Millie had disappeared, and she seemed to be looking delightful.
“Now then, I have finished eating the meat and I have to go soon, but what will Millie do? Should I send you home?”
“It’s alright. Pick me up, came.”
“Huh? No way! Pick you up…?”
The direction where Millie pointed to, Shin was unable to hide his surprise about the figure that walked toward them.
When the figure noticed that Millie was with Shin, it quickened its pace to approach them.
“Oh! We meet again, Shin.”
“It’s been awhile since the lunch, Wilhelm.”
A raven-haired man who had the presence of a beast greeted Shin. So, when Millie said pick up, it was none other than Wilhelm Avis.
Millie ran and clung to Wilhelm. Shin was astonished at the unexpected development.
“No way, Wilhelm’s…child?”
“That’s not it! I am taking care of her at the orphanage!”
“Ah, that reminds me, it hasn’t been that long since you came to this country.”
While patting Millie’s head, Wilhelm briefly explained. According to him, a church in the west district was doubling as an orphanage and seemed to be taking care of children who lost their parents in some kind of circumstances. Millie was one of them.
“This fellow skillfully sneaked out from the orphanage some time ago. I was searching for her like a fool.”
“Did you go out without permission? I can’t really admire that.”
“Uu, sorry, I am”
Millie, who was aware she had done a bad thing, apologized obediently. The cat ears also went “Shu~n*…” as one would expect in fantasy.
“Even so, it’s unusual for this person to not be afraid like this.”
“I don’t understand after what I have seen today, but this person is afraid of strangers. She doesn’t approach strangers at their first meeting.”
“Is that so?”
Only tempted by the meat, Shin thought, but Millie shook her head. Was she able to read Shin’s thoughts? It seemed likely he hit the bull’s-eye. And for some reason, it felt like she said “You must not say it”.
“Well, I don’t want to stay here for too long. Come on Millie, let’s go home.”
Said Millie as she ran toward Shin.
Shin squat down and brought his ear close to Millie’s mouth. Millie, who ran toward Shin in the same way as she did to Wilhelm, whispered words to Shin’s ear.
Shin saw Millie off as she was led by Wilhelm and disappeared into the crowd.
He walked toward Bear Point Pavilion while thinking about the words he was told by Millie.
After he returned to Bear Point Pavilion, Shin took a rest in his room as he had some free time before dinner.
He sat on the bed and recalled the words Millie whispered, in his head.
“Help the fox-san which is in the northern forest…huh?”
During the time of the game, he was able to determine what to expect from the area information, but unfortunately, he couldn’t make an inference now, since the topography had greatly changed.
He tilted his head in doubt about whether or not there would be a fox. At least, a fox type monster never attacked Shin. The monsters which were similar to a bear, a snake, and a dog were often found and occasionally a flight type appeared.
Other wild animals were extremely rare because there were a lot of monsters, and it was snakes and rats that he saw the most. A monster was a wild animal that mutated under the influence of magical power, so naturally there were common animals. Still, he didn’t remember seeing a fox before.
“It’s no good, I don’t know nothing about it.”
The answer didn’t appear no matter how much he thought about it. But she said “help”. That might be something imminent. Especially the area of the northern forest in the vicinity of the Bayreuth kingdom, where the risk was quite high.
She might have judged Shin as an adventurer because he was an acquaintance of Wilhelm’s, although it seemed strange that she requested Shin during their first meeting.
It was not something that he must do just because it was requested. However, if he didn’t do anything, it would leave a bitter feeling. Shin decided to plan for tomorrow as well as for Millie’s request. Incidentally, he intended to meet Tiera, and finish the message to Schnee.
“So I have decided…meal it is.”
The yakitori had already been digested. Shin went downstairs to eat dinner.
Dawn of the next day.
Shin departed from Bear Point Pavilion and passed through the main street where there were crowded stalls towards the south gate. When he exited from the gate, there were people lining up to enter the country, in contrast to Shin who was leaving.
Shin moved along the rampart, while ignoring the people. Tsuki no Hokora was located between the south gate and the east gate, in fact, it was closer to the south gate. The place where trees opened came into view after walking for a little while.
As before, there were huge trees enclosing Tsuki no Hokora with about a 1 mel thickness, it gave off the impression that it was separated from its surroundings. It was because Tsuki no Hokora was originally built at the outskirts of the Arclid continent, which was one of the 4 continents. The ground where Shin lived, which was the Eltnia continent, might originally have been part of the Arclid continent.
The Arclid continent was an even more superior area than the Houzent continent, the area of advanced level players. Moreover, there were originally many quests and monsters which had a higher degree of difficulty than in the common areas of the other three continents. Besides, there were also quests that beginner and intermediate players could receive, but players who yearned for unusual quests, wanted to fight with strange monsters, had often visited there. In a sense, the players were mostly gathered regardless of their levels and jobs.
It could be said that the visitors who came to Tsuki no Hokora, due to being built in the outskirt area, were mostly advanced level players. Seldom there were players who sought shelter after escaping from monsters. By the way, the average level of monsters in the area where Tsuki no Hokora was built was around 600. Meanwhile the lowest slightly exceeded 200, and needless to say, the highest was 1000. It was in the past, but the store was set up casually near the habitat of a boss monster. Even the players replenished their items in Tsuki no Hokora before challenging the boss.
“If I think about it… I wonder what happened to the monsters that were in the Arclid continent. They certainly should have gotten on when the continents stuck together. Did they perish along with the natural disasters?”
Certainly, if the monsters still existed, the Bayreuth kingdom would be destroyed. Anyway, there was monsters with the habit akin to ants, too. The monsters’ levels exceeded 600 and appeared in random areas altogether. It was annoying to the advanced level players, the intermediate level players ran away or went around it, and beginner level players had no choice but to acknowledge death and return. A place where most of the people gathered, such as a country and so on, was unlikely to be targeted, but because of the rate of the encounters rose, the number of party members was increased.
However, he still didn’t know, no matter how much he thought about it. Since damage was not dealt, were some measures taken? Anyway, there might be a reason as to whether the monsters that perished appeared or not. He was convinced that one would not be able to establish the country and the roads if it was not so, and he stopped thinking about it for a moment. In fact, it might be possible that there were different continent grounds outside the surroundings of Tsuki no Hokora.
He kept his questions to himself and stood in front of Tsuki no Hokora. When he visited a few days ago, he was relieved that the store still existed and did not notice it, but a wooden tally about 20 cemels across vertically and 10 cemels wide hung at the door which was the entrance of the store. It had the letters 『The storekeeper struggles hard inside』on it. This expressed that Tsuki no Hokora was doing business normally. And it had the letters 『The storekeeper has left home』 on the back. This expressed the closing time for the store from material collecting or not being logged in and so forth.
He opened the door while admiring that the wooden tally was still being used and entered the store. When Shin stepped forward in the store by one step, a light “Chiri~n” sound of the bell was made. It would ring when someone entered the store. Apparently, the knights didn’t show up today.
“Welcome! Oh, Shin.”
“Yo, I came to leave a message I had forgotten about.”
When she saw that it was Shin who entered, Tiera’s expression changed from a smile into a happy face. The silvery hair that had returned to its original hair shined because of the light from the windows.
“That reminds me, I completely forgot about that.”
When she heard Shin’s speech, she did the expression “Ah!” as if she remembered something she had forgotten. Still, there was no help for forgetting about it when he thought about the previous event.
“Then, I want you to convey to her that I want to meet and talk if she remembers this.”
Shin said and placed an object, which he took out from his Item Box, on the counter.
It was a dark blue ninja sword, there were flowers engraved on the sheath and handle, which Tiera had never seen before. It was well engraved in such detail, which turned the ninja sword weapon into a work of art.
Shin called out to Tiera who was staring at the ninja sword. Tiera abruptly returned due to his voice.
“What’s the matter?”
“Hey Shin, This…is this by any chance an 《Ancient》 grade weapon?”
Tiera looked at the ninja sword with an ‘impossible’ face. As if she was seeing a dazzling thing, she squinted her eyes.
“You know? This guy is certainly an 《Ancient》 grade weapon. This is Schnee’s personal weapon, named 『Blue Moon』.”
“Master’s personal weapon?”
“That’s right, if I’m not mistaken, Schnee might not be using her personal weapon now, right?”
“Well, to begin with, I don’t know what a personal weapon is…”
“You don’t know?”
Shin, who thought it was certainly known, was surprised that the words personal weapon wasn’t known.
“The personal weapon was set…uh, it’s the weapon which only an authorized person can use. In the case of 『Blue Moon』, only Schnee or the companion whom she had permitted can use it, excluding me who is the maker. Because if I leave it, then even if it’s Tiera who is trying to, you cannot touch this guy without permission.”
It was a function in the game that was granted to items, and could be accepted as a reward in the time of an event so it couldn’t be snatched. It was granted to weapons he made as a symbol of the guild.
There were few people who were able to grant the function of personal weapon, because only the first-class of blacksmiths and alchemists could produce it.
“The user’s limitation…come to think of it, I have heard that some of the weapons excavated from ruins are not usable to anyone. Perhaps it’s because of that?”
“It was probably someone’s personal weapon. If that’s that case, even if the weapon was discovered, there’s no way to use or even research it. Only weapons that are higher than 《Legend》 grade can be granted the function of personal weapon, so it was definitely a high power. Even a guy with level 1 becomes able to defeat a Tetra Grizzly easily, but only if he is able to use the weapon.”
“…What an outrageous ability.”
Tiera couldn’t help but be amazed by the performance that was far beyond expectation. One would be dubious if they only heard the explanation, but when the ninja sword, which hid an absurd power, was placed before one’s eyes, they had no choice but to believe it.
Shin casually placed the ninja sword 『Blue Moon』 on the counter. However, to Tiera it looked like the『Blue Moon』 had a distorted appearance around it. Tiera understood how powerful it was, even if she didn’t have much battle experience.
“It is certainly a sword with remarkable power. But I don’t want to use it.”
“Oh, for what reason would you not use it?”
“Because it looks like it’s going to engulf me, I wonder.”
Tiera intuitively understood, and was convinced at the same time. This certainly gave the user a great power. But if there was no ability to correspond with it, it would undermine the user.
“Engulf…huh? It’s probably because of its materials.”
When Tiera’s words were heard, the first thing that came to Shin’s mind was the penalty generated when equipping weapons that did not correspond with one’s level. A necessary stats value was set for each weapon. In addition, status would be lowered when equipping a weapon in the state where one didn’t reach said necessary stats value. One portion of 《Legend》 grade, 《Mythology》 grade and 《Ancient》 grade were impossible for him to equip at all. (Editor’s note: The reason for “one portion” part is probably because of Shin’s LUC only 36)
However, he thought that the phrase ‘to engulf’ was different, so he decided to explain what materials the weapon was made of.
“Really? What did you use?”
“The main alloy is called Chimeradite. And there is the tusk of a Black-Death Dragon, scales of a Sea-War Beast, and teardrops of an Element Tail, all which were fused together. The four materials I mentioned just now are the main ones, although there were various other essential materials. It’s a guess, but it’s probably caused by the tusk of the Black-Death Dragon or by the scales of the Sea-War Beast. Both monsters are the highest class.”
Although Tiera heard the explanation from Shin, it could be said that she couldn’t comprehend it, as she put her hand on her forehead and wrinkles were seen in the area between her eyebrows.
“…No, I’m not surprised anymore. Yeah, for example, even if what I heard just now are the creatures of legends…I’m all right. Yes, it’s all right.”
“No, you don’t look alright at all.”
Shin instinctively retorted to Tiera who was shaking her head to the sound of the common sense in herself crumbling.
As usual, Shin still wasn’t accustomed to the norms of this world, although this time the common sense was even further out of place. Which wasn’t surprising, because the monsters Shin spoke of were currently nothing but names that held a mighty power and were remembered only in legends. One would think it was a joke when told that the material was made from monsters that had the power to induce natural disasters.
“Haa, my common sense seems to be shattered one by one whenever I talk to you.”
“Eh, because of me?”
“Of course. You casually take out an 《Ancient》 grade weapon, even impossibility has its limits, you know?”
“Even if you say so, whether or not Schnee remembers me will depend on this.”
Shin said while looking at the 『Blue Moon』. Schnee’s personal equipment was entrusted to Shin before he challenged Origin. This was done not only by Schnee, but by all support characters as well. It was considered something like a good luck charm before Shin fought against the final boss. Thus now, other support characters’ equipment were also waiting for their turn inside Shin’s Item Box.
Unless Shin met Schnee directly, there was also a possibility that the message wasn’t read by her. Since the name ‘Shin’ might be a common name, he thought about leaving an item.
“Though such things are handed over, the people who are able to meet master are rare. But with a person like you, master might…”
Similar with Shin, Tiera looked at the 『Blue Moon』 while nodding as she was convinced.
So far, expensive clothes, jewels, and various rare items were sent. Nevertheless, the figure of her master who didn’t show any interest appeared in Tiera’s mind. Because she could easily imagine, her master wasn’t interested even in items that were equivalent to 《Legend》 grade and would simply not look at the various expensive items.
Even though Schnee ignored the 《Legend》 grade items, Tiera slightly deviated a bit from her evaluation of her master’s interest for 『Blue Moon』.
“Use this if she says that she remembers. It should contact me wherever I am.”
He said and put a message card and writing paper with a simple design next to the 『Blue Moon』.
“I can contact you by using this?”
“Yes, though it’s only one-way. Write the name of the addressee on the writing paper and the message you want to send here. After that, you only need say ‘send’.”
Shin explained the usage while pointing at the writing paper and the message card. It was an item used often on birthday and Christmas in the game. There were people who made an elaborate card which induced a fancy special effect the moment it was opened.
The item was only used at certain times, because normally it was faster to email in the game, but it was certainly a convenient item, because in the first place, functions such as email and friend list were not usable in this world.
“Items as convenient like this exist too…”
“I do not use it too much and there are plenty left.”
The item was rarely used, even if he got many message cards and a lot of writing paper as quest and event rewards. Though they were not really useful in the ‘game’, the items were unexpectedly handy in ‘reality’.
“If this thing becomes popular, I think that would be amazing.”
“I guess so.”
It could reach the addressee wherever they were, if viewed from Tiera’s point of view, it was equivalent to a technology revolution.
Unfortunately, Shin didn’t have any interest in initiating a technology revolution. In the first place, the items now were the things that originally existed in THE NEW GATE. Someone might invent it sooner or later, Shin thought.
“…Hey, I think rather than requesting me to pass on the message, aren’t you able to contact master directly with this?”
Tiera said like someone who suddenly thought about it while holding the message card with one hand.
“Well, actually, I can only send this to someone I have met directly, but I was not able to send it to Schnee, whom I should have met, for some reason.”
Shin also thought it was a good idea to send it directly. However, for some reason, the message was not sent and he was not able to contact Schnee. To begin with, it was a mystery why a message card was usable but an email was not.
Was there a defect in the card? He ran outside to show it to Tiera in practice, and sent the message. Tiera was surprised at the writing paper which suddenly appeared in front of her, but at least he seemed to understand that the item was not defective.
(It looks like the list was reset.)
This would be the reason why he was not able to send it, Shin guessed.
There was one sentence, “Let’s send your feelings to people whom you’ve met in adventures”, in the explanation column of the message card. For example, he would not be able to send the message to a person he had never met before in this world, even if he had met them in the game era, Shin thought.
“Ne ne~, can I get additional ones if you have any more?”
“Though I don’t mind it in particular, I think you should not use it with someone who doesn’t know about this.”
“Rather than use it, I want to research it. Even though I may appear this way, I want to know the mechanism when I look at this unusual magic item, because I aim to be a mage.”
In fact, ever since he used the message card, Tiera had sparkling eyes like a child that had found a fun toy.
“Well, if that’s the case, it’s good then. So I will give you another five. Don’t use them all, since it includes the one for Schnee’s response, okay? And because I give you this, please make it an appropriate service for the message fee.”
Shin didn’t think it was a good idea to distribute the items just because they were in excess, he proposed that at least a trial run for the free message service was needed.
“I understand. Be relieved, because I have no intention to use it thoughtlessly. It will turn into a commotion if poorly used on someone. And I do not mean for you to give this to me for free. For the time being, the price for the message is free of charge. You can expect compensation for the rest, as well.”
The outcome seemed to gain him some privilege, in addition to the price becoming free. When he reconfirmed that it was valuable after all, Shin made a mental note to avoid using it in public places.
As for Tiera, she wondered what to test it on, and seemed to be happy. It was Shin who thought that she should aim to be an alchemist if she liked to research, but did not say it expressively, because a mage didn’t necessarily not engage in research. Actually, there were many players with job: mage, sub job: alchemist.
“Then, that’s all from me. My best regards to Schnee.”
“Leave it to me. I will have master see it first, when master returns.”
Shin exchanged goodbyes and left Tsuki no Hokora.
I could use the message card to send it right away! Tiera realized, shortly after Shin left.