Vol. 5 Side Story – Part 3

“Eh? the magic barrier disappeared?”

“Hibineko-san! Shadow-san! The Farlops ignoring my taunt are heading to you! Please be careful!”

When the magic barrier disappeared, the Farlops aiming at Shin turned toward Marino. While urging them to be on alert, the look on his face plainly expressed, “I won’t let you do as you please,” as he swooped down to attack the Farlops.

“Don’t even think about passing me!”

With Shin’s shout, light bullets flew in the air. Light bullets that were impossible even for the mage Holly to cast, were launched like a barrage of heavy rain.

Seeing the fired light bullets annihilate the Farlops, his allies’ faces, Hibineko and the rest, twitched.

“Just like Holly-san said, it was true…”

When traces of the light bullets had disappeared, the creatures that were flying over the sky were gone.

“If it’s Shin, he can shoot everything down.” The words Holly had said became true, and Marino had experienced it first hand.

“It’s absurd as usual. It’s a good thing that wasn’t weakened by an ‘Update’.”

“That’s not true, Shadow-san. I went through the formal procedure to improve my stats, so that’s just an excuse.”

To Shadow who spoke in an astonished way, Shin protested while shrugging his shoulders. Because there were human players raising their stats seriously, if they were weakened badly, it would certainly incur displeasure.

As for good and bad, it exists in the race’s inherent abilities to some extent. But when raising the stats from the standpoint of the system, it was possible for anyone to become like Shin. It would be unreasonable if only the human players were weaker.

“Oops, leaving that aside. Hey Marino, what did you get?”

As if the annihilation several seconds ago, didn’t happen, Shin asked while looking at Marino’s hand. From Shin’s position, he couldn’t see what was there.

“Um, it’s this.”

“This is, an egg, huh? Then, is it the event where you collect items and make it hatch?”

“Right. I also have the same opinion. I heard that the monsters hatched from this type of event becomes your companion and often gives out items.”

Looking at the card on which an egg was drawn, Shin listed out the quest types he could think of. Not only Hibineko, but Shadow and Holly also nodded as they had a similar opinion.

“So far, I think there was a person who had fetched a monster partner, but I haven’t heard of anyone obtaining an egg like this.”

“It’s just a guess, but what if Marino’s low level is the reason. If the boss is defeated by a person who is lower than the appropriate level for the dungeon, there are times when rare equipment is obtained.”

“Certainly. But then again, it may be a condition that unless your monster partner is a wolf or dog type, this quest is not possible or something like that.”

“This is a bad place to get excited, so let’s hold the inspection later. It’s time to decide what to do next.”

To Shin and Holly who started discussing the trigger condition of the quest, Shadow chided.

They could also proceed as is, but it was the egg that was obtained with much effort. Shadow said they should decide whether to move forward on this event or continue toward their original destination.

“Um, do such things happen a lot?”

“Though uncommon, it can’t be said that such a thing hasn’t happened. Such things like hidden quests, it’s difficult to re-challenge when you miss the timing. If it’s a situation like us this time, when there’s no important quest, it’s common to give priority to the hidden quest. What will you do? You could proceed as is, or you could also complete this quest.”

Shadow advised Marino who was having trouble deciding what to do. Shin and the others who listened didn’t have any objections so they nodded and left it to Marino’s decision.

“Um, then, since it’s a special quest, can I go with that?”

“Okay, it’s decided!”

As for the undiscovered quest and restricted quest, they stimulated a gamer’s instinct. Even though Marino’s goal was the scenic view, it seemed she have been attracted to this. But it was Shin who had the highest spirits even compared to Marino.

“What should we do first?”

“Have you not done such a quest before? It isn’t that important to the say the least, but fumbling around is one way of also enjoying the game.”

“If it’s an animal type such as Pochitama, I would think of giving food or treating its wounds. But I can’t think of anything except warming the egg. But I shouldn’t be the only one to warm it though. This was found by our members with much effort, so I’d like everyone to cooperate.”

“That’s just like Marino. And then right away… It’s not just heating, we need to build the nest by wrapping items around the egg. As for the necessary items, you need to use the appraisal exclusive to tamers and summoners. Can’t you see it, Marino?”

Shin could use it too, but without enough skill level, he could not see the details of the necessary items.

“It’s no use. I can hardly see it.”

The level of special appraisal skill Marino had, was V. Shin was also similar to her, so now the members here didn’t know the necessary items.

“What would you do? If you want to continue, this will go on endlessly.”

“That’s right…Hey Marino, I’m thinking about cooperating with Cashmere, what do you think?”

What Shin suggested was the name of the summoner and tamer, Cashmere, a member of Rokuten guild.

“I think Cashmere-chan is reliable, but I heard she is doing another quest. Isn’t she busy…”

“It’s not a problem, since I know her she won’t mind if I ask. If I inform her about the quest specific for tamer like this one, I’m sure she will ask to go together persistently. Furthermore, she will not be satisfied with just clearing the quest. From this quest generation condition until the monster’s hatching, she will thoroughly examine it at the level that isn’t mentioned in Wiki. And surely Marino who first discovered it along with the rest of us will be involved. Fortunately, ‘I don’t take up other ones if I begin a quest’ is Cashmere’s motto. We just need her to appraise and quickly get out from here.”

“Um…Cashmere-chan, is that kind of person?”

Hearing things about Cashmere, Marino felt her impression of Cashmere was off the mark.

“You don’t know since you haven’t been affected yet, Marino.”

“That’s right. That is what is called pouring into the wrong passion.”

“You too Shadow-san?!…if that’s the case, then it can’t be helped.”

“Trust me on this!?”

“It’s quite different from the Cashmere I know. Besides, Shin sometimes exaggerates the story as a joke.”

“That’s also how I talk, but if it is about the High Humans, they’re exaggerated just about right.”

Shin said while having a distant expression.

There were many stats dependent skills in THE NEW GATE, so Shin and other Rokuten’s members unleashed skills that had power that were on another level compared to ordinary players. Because of that, even if he seemed to exaggerate his talk, there were some truth in it most of the time.

“Now now both of you, if you are done with your talk, let’s get moving. If we are going to go to where Cashmere-chan is, we will arrive quickly if we use the teleportation point in Tsuki no Hokora after we leave this dungeon.”

Because what Holly said was reasonable, the party left the dungeon and moved to where the teleportation point was set up in Alloride. And then from Tsuki no Hokora, they immediately teleported to Cashmere’s place.

Moon Ground(Tsuki Teki Chi), was the second monster ranch that Cashmere managed. The other guild house with Cashmere in charge, ‘Type 6 Sky Castle Rashugum’, was the first ranch but because it was full with monsters, she had built a new one.

“I was waiting for you~ So? So? Where’s the egg-chan that appeared in the hidden quest?!”

“You’re too close and noisy. Calm down!”

As soon as they arrived at the ranch, a woman who was standing in front of the teleportation point approached Shin. With her semi-long silvery hair swaying, her purple eyes were sparkling.

Though Marino was surprised, Shin kept a distance from Cashmere without waver as it was a usual thing.

“Cashmere-chan is more high-spirited than usual.”

“When it involves monsters, Cashmere is almost always like that. Cashmere, as you have been informed, we request appraisal.”

Before they had teleported, Shin already told Cashmere they were heading to her ranch. He should have informed her that it was Marino who found the egg, but it seemed to have flown away from her consciousness.

“Ah is that so? Did Marino-san find it this time? Sorry for scaring you. Well~ When it comes to animal things, I tend to forget myself. Ah, I made everyone uneasy too. I’m Cashmere of Rokuten guild. Pleased to meet you all.”

Cashmere regained herself due to Marino who had been surprised, and she introduced herself to Shadow and the others while laughing to cover the past.

Even though they were taken aback, Shadow and the others also introduce themselves.

Marino and Cashmere seemed to have interacted even in the real world, they were acquaintances before Shin was introduced to them.

How did things get this way? Shin didn’t know either.

“Now that I think of it, you did say it would be nice to raise animals here since you love them so much.”

“That’s right. So, let me appraise the egg. You can count on me.”

The hierarchical relationship seemed to have been decided among the two. Because Marino was older in the real world too, that had been adapted even in the game.

“Well then, hmmm…Shin-san, this is quite hard.”

“What?”

Cashmere frowned and said as she had finished the appraisal.

“You will need Fumble seed, Behemoth’s skin, and Phoenix’s feather and some others rare materials. If it Shin-san, I think you have some stock in your inventory. But even with a powerful guild to collect these things, they would have a hard time. It’s at this level of difficulty. I don’t want to say it, but it would be almost impossible for Marino-san to gather them alone.”

“Let me see. Uwaa, what is this?”

Seeing the list of items necessary for hatching that Cashmere listed, Shin and the other could not hide their surprise.

Though half of the items were available by extraction and subjugation, the weakest monster was at level 600 and the strongest at level 800. It was impossible for Marino to get her hands on it.

Even for a major guild, only by forming a party could they defeat an opponent at that level. In some cases, it was a level where instead of subjugating, the party was annihilated.

As for the way of extraction, some required skills were difficult to obtain in the movement system and only available in an unexplored region.

“This is…I have no choice but to say this is harsh to Mari-nyaa.”

“Without Shin-kun here, even we can’t do anything.”

Even Hibineko and Holly were helpless.

“Although the egg doesn’t look like a low-level player’s monster partner, the items required have such a high rarity. So, what will you do, Marino. Would you be willing to clear this quest? For now, if I lightly search inside my Item Box, I almost have them all.”

“How did they end up inside Shin’s Item Box…?”

This time, Marino was surprised at Shin who spoke like he could throw such expensive items around. His title as the top-class player was not just for show.

“It’s a given that he would have such items, and Shin-san would give them to his girlfriend without much consideration. I really admire that!”

“It’s not the reason I’m giving them to her!”

From Shin’s view, they weren’t such valuable articles either. Cashmere thought if this was for another stranger player, he would ask for a reasonable value, but since it was Marino, he would freely give it for clearing the quest.

“Either way, Shin-san is interested in what it will be when it hatches, right?”

“I can’t deny that, but I’ll not say it aloud.”

A conversation between the top-class players in THE NEW GATE, Marino and the others could only laugh.

They have unreserved exchanges, not only because they were fellow High Humans, but also because of mutual trust.

“Well, putting aside Cashmere’s story, I’ll take out the items in the list. Please check if something more is needed.”

Shin pulled himself together, and took out the items from his Item Box. Marino and Cashmere checked and found there were still two missing items.

“Ah, I have those things. I am also interested at what monster would come out, so I’ll take out the items.”

Saying so, Cashmere took out the missing items from her own Item Box.

“Even though I’ve not done anything, there are so many rare items”

“Rokuten’s Item Boxes are strange as ever.”

Beside the shocked Marino, Shadow retorted calmly.

A normal player would keep their belongings securely inside a warehouse, or put them up for sale, so no matter what happened, the items weren’t stored in the Item Box.

“Then, the materials are gathered, let’s begin at once.”

“Well. Though I somewhat feel like were doing something improper, that is just my imagination, right?”

It was a clearing method that was without much good feeling depending on the person, but if the said person didn’t mind it, there would be no problem in the system.

As recipient of the quest, Marino made a nest using the items. And then, she put the egg there. As the bar indicating wait time appeared above the egg and disappeared after several minutes, a chick was hatched from the egg.

With a light blue body, feathers extended from its forehead to its head and a person would think of the pattern as a red and green double helix. And the tip of the feathers were dyed a little black.

“Pii!”

“What is this, 【Analyze】 doesn’t work.”

“It really is. When it comes to this, until it matures, we will not know what kind of monster it is.”

Almost all the monsters that has a larval body have the same appearances, their types were unknown until they reach adulthood. One such characteristic was that the name of the monster couldn’t be seen with 【Analyze】. Cashmere who knew about it, immediately presumed the reason.

“Then, I should nurture this child from now on.”

Marino said as she placed the chick who energetically sang on her palm.

“That’s right. I think the unused items can be used as a food.”

Cashmere took the tip of the rice-plant from the remaining items and hand it to the young bird. Thereupon, the chick bit it without hesitating.

“Yeah, eat it well. For the items to become food, I wonder if it’s a type that needs specific items to grow?”

As Cashmere had expected, when it finished eating several items, the chick’s body shone, and grew one size larger.

“My my. I have not seen this kind of color tone of feathers before. What kind of form will it be? Damnit, I must clear another quest!”

“Shin, is Cashmere-chan okay?”

“She’s always like that. Don’t worry about her.”

The high-spirited Cashmere was left alone, and Shin pushed Marino’s back and started to move. As for the items that became food, they weren’t enough to make the chick develop fully.

“I have time, and I know the place that drops these items, so let’s go there immediately.”

“Wa, it, a, mi, n, ute!”

“Uwaa! You’re, scary…”

Was it on purpose? Or was it natural? With a low voice and standing at his back, Shin frowned at Cashmere who grabbed his shoulder.

“Give me the information later since I have cooperated with you~”

“I understand. Since Marino doesn’t dislike giving information to Cashmere.”

“Of course, I’ll tell you the things I found out.”

While smiling wryly at Cashmere’s appearance, Marino nodded. Though they were friends, she also requested help from the High Human. Therefore, she didn’t mind sharing information.

“Thank you very much!”

After parting with the excited Cashmere, Shin and the other moved to another area.

 

Several days later, in order to gather the items that became the young bird’s food, Shin and the others assembled again. Marino and Holly fell madly in love with the chick’s cuteness. Shin and Shadow were urged and rushed to some extent.

Hibineko had a wry smile while watching them as it became a normal routine.

Even so, the place they visited for the extraction was a high-level area where monsters, with an average level of 750, appeared. Apart from Shin, it was a dangerous place for Shadow and the rest.

“For the sake of Pyotama, let’s work hard today too!”

“Yes, let’s gather them!”

The chick that was called Pyotama, made a “Pii” sound as if to respond to the two people. Pochitama who sat on Marino’s feet, looked a little lonely.

“As usual, the motivation of Mari-nyaa and Ho-nyaa is amazing. At this current age, has the number of women full of vitality increased?”

Toward the women’s eyes that seemed fired up, Hibineko spoke in admiration. His tone was like an old man watching young people.

“Hibineko-san, I think that’s wrong…”

While being cautious of their surroundings, Shin gave his opinion in a displeased voice. The women were certainly full of vitality, but Shin and Shadow couldn’t deny the feeling of fruitless effort.

“For now, let’s go as usual.”

“Yes. Maybe if the bird grows up, the two will settle down too.”

After they shrugged their shoulders, Shin and Shadow conveyed that they would first go to Marino and the rest.

Because it was troublesome if they met a monster, they moved stealthily to conceal their figure.

“Oh, found one.”

While evading the fight against the monsters, Shin and Shadow searched for an item. Because they generally knew what kind of place they were in, there would be danger if they were not careful of the monsters.

If they had an encounter with many monsters, Shin would exterminate them while Hibineko and the others confined them. If there were few of them, Shin would attack alone and wipe them out.

“Pii!”

Pyotama grew a little again as it fed on the items. After growing more than 10 times, its figure was already past the stage of being called a young bird. And it was already bigger than Pochitama.

“I feel it could fly on its own. It gradually become more imposing.”

But that was denied by Marino and Holly.

“Not yet, it’s still cute!”

“That’s right! There’s a small possibility for it to grow more.”

“No change of the objective or something like that, huh…?”

Shin didn’t understand Marino and Holly’s goal to some extent.

“If this is the type, I’m scared about what’s going to happen afterwards.”

“Is something wrong?”

“Well, in the breeding system, isn’t there a type of monster that will disappear and leave an item? As reward for ‘Thank you for raising me’ or a similar feeling to that.”

“I see, that is certainly going to be stormy.”

Shadow had a bitter smile as he heard Shin’s story. Taking into account these several days of Marino and Holly’s enthusiasm, he couldn’t help but to laugh.

It had a 50 percent probability, in fact, one shouldn’t be too optimistic.

“I think we have exhausted everything in this area, let’s return for the moment.”

Shin and the others teleported to Alloride from one of the teleportation points that were installed in various parts of the area, and then they teleported to Tsuki no Hokora.

Marino and Holly jumped out from the room with the teleportation point in order to feed Pyotama.

“Welcome home”

Shin’s support character, Schnee, who looked after his store, greeted Shin when he approached the counter. Though her movement and gesture were somewhat mechanical because she was NPC, her appearance was no different from a player.

Shin replied “I’m home” then he went outside. At the front yard of Tsuki no Hokora, Marino and Holly were already feeding items to Pyotama.

“We are feeding Pyotama well, but Pyotama still hasn’t finished growing, huh?”

“There are items we haven’t given it yet. If it reached the point where Pyotama can eat that, isn’t that the end?”

Hibineko, who was closeby, responded to Shin who was thinking out loud.

“There’s not enough levels, it’s probably that, right? Or perhaps, like in a manga, when such a story is told, something will happ――”

“It’s glowing!”

“Shin! Come here for a moment!”

Just before Shin could end his sentence, Holly and Marino shouted. Pyotama, before the two, shone in golden color.

“Fumu, is this a flag?”

“Actually this is my first time seeing it happened in front of my eyes. Shin, is this really a flag being constructed?”

“Well, this is my first time seeing this development as well.”

With Hibineko and Shadow talking in a serious tone, Shin answered what came to mind. Just like he had said, even Shin didn’t have experience with this.

However, because he couldn’t just stand there forever, Shin approached Pyotama. As for the light emitting from Pyotama, it was a little dazzling, but not to the extent where he couldn’t open his eyes.

“I wonder if it already finished growing.”

“Maybe. Are there any leftover items? Perhaps something will happen if you feed them to it.”

By Shin’s advice, Marino took out the final item. The item looked like a fruit of a red tree.

“Pyotama, come here and eat this.”

“Kua!”

Pyotama without hesitation swallowed the item that Marino held out. Because the item had been ignored when feeding until now, Hibineko’s guess seemed to be correct.

“Ku, Kua…KuaaaaAAAAAA!!”

Pyotama’s cry echoed. At the same time, the light emitted from Pyotama strengthened, and it became so bright that Shin and the others couldn’t open their eyes.

“…It seems to be over.”

“Uwaa…”

When the light settled down and they opened their eyes, what came to their view was a huge monster that exceeded 4 mels.

“Beautiful…”

Standing alone, a single word leaked out from Marino’s mouth.

Pyotama who grew up, has a dignified appearance that one would not expect from its former adorable appearance.

Both of its wings, emitting radiance that was not inferior to gold, silver or jewellery, expanded to wrap Marino and Holly. Its feet that firmly stepped on the ground had sharp talons. They revealed that this existence had definite power.

Shin felt the light of reasoning that dwelled in those eyes almost make him forget it was a program.

“KUU…”

The grown up Pyotama cried in low voice, and pressed it beak against Marino. That scene looked like a parent and a pampered child.

“No way, is this the Mystic…”

While looking at Pyotama and Marino making contact, Shin muttered as he was shocked.

The appearance that Pyotama matured into, was the highest peak of superior monsters in THE NEW GATE. The ‘Mystic’ was the apex of bird type monster.

Even a High Human would have a hard time fighting against the level 1000 monster.

But because 【Analyze】 couldn’t be activated, Shin suspected that Pyotama probably was an event limited appearance. The Mystic that Shin knew was 2 times smaller than the imitation, this was also one of the reasons Shin came to this judgement.

If Tsuki no Hokora was not located at a hard to reach place where players hardly come, it would certainly become a big uproar.

“What the matter with Pyotama?”

Before Shin’s eyes, Pyotama separated from Marino. Then it spread its wings.

After that, light emitted from Pyotama’s body, and began to focus on one point. It stayed there for around 30 seconds. When the light disappeared, a sparkling colorful ore appeared there.

“Is that, don’t tell me, ‘Drop of Erathem’?”

That was an item essential for making 《Ancient》 grade equipment, Drop of Erathem.

Even for advanced level players, it was an item that was said to be difficult to obtain. And even for Shin, it was not something he could easily get.

“Ah…”

Marino’s eyes stopped near Pyotama’s chest. Seeing her face moving sideways a little, Shin guessed that she was reading some message.

The player who received the quest was Marino. In a quest like this time, the message that only a player like Marino could see may be displayed.

“Is that so…Even though we’re getting along really well…”

“Marino-chan?”

“I think Pyotama has to go.”

Hearing the conversation between Marino and Holly, Shin was convinced that this was the type of quest that the pet would leave behind an item and depart.

Marino was getting tearful, Holly revealed reluctance, as they were clinging to Pyotama.

Pyotama unfurled its wings again to wrap the two. Even if it was a program, Shin could feel the Pyotama was reluctant to part judging from its actions. After embracing each other for about ten seconds, Pyotama slowly separated from the two and flew away to the clear sky with a loud cry.

“Pyotama has gone”

“Uuu…Sh~in~Uu!”

“Guwaa! Are you really crying? Well I can understand that.”

Was it unbearable? Marino was clinging to Shin while crying. When Shin turned his gaze, Shadow was similarly embraced by Holly revealing his embarrassed face.

“As I get older, I’m worried that my tear glands become loose.”

Hibineko wiped his eyes with his paw. He appeared to weep in sympathy.

After waiting for the women to stop crying, Shin and the other entered Tsuki no Hokora.

 

“Have you calmed down?”

“…Yea”

Several minutes later, everyone was drinking tea in the living room of Tsuki no Hokora.

“So, what did Pyotama leave behind? If it’s a memento, I’d like to see it too.”

“Um, only this.”

In order to divert their attention from the parted Pyotama, Shin changed the topic to the item. What Marino took out was the ore that shone in rainbow color, the Drop of Erathem.

“Pyotama left a wonderful item. It’s an item that is used in production of 《Ancient》 grade gear, you know? Though advance skill is needed, which is a bottleneck.”

“Really? But in the item’s explanatory note, it is written that the player who has received this can use it without the necessary skill. Moreover, the equipment made using this item has no penalty even if the user stats are insufficient.”

“What is this…hidden quest’s item that is not incomplete? Nice job admin!”

While shrugging his shoulders, Shin spoke in amazement. At the same time, he felt sorry for Cashmere when he listened to Marino’s explanation. A quest like this, was basically limited to only once. Because when such an item was obtained many times, it would cause dissatisfaction from the players who raised their skill seriously.

Even for Shin, it took him considerable time to be able to use Drop of Erathem. And it would take years with Marino’s playing style. It was only this time that there was no restriction from the system.

“Marino-chan, with this you can power up in one go.”

“The performance of 《Ancient》 grade is not ordinary after all.”

Hearing Holly and Shadow speak, they were as pleased as if they received the reward. There was no jealousy towards their companion who had obtained a rare item.

“But it may be better for you to keep this from the public. If it were a sharp-eyed person, there is a possibility of this item being targeted.”

Hibineko worried about the adverse result after the equipment had been made. Like Hibineko said, because the equipment for 《Ancient》 grade has very high market value, it can also invite troublesome players.

“Since this is the precious item that Pyotama gave, I intend to use it well.”

Marino nodded at Hibineko’s words, and stared at the Drop of Erathem that had been converted into a card.

 

Several days later, Shin, who had been called by Marino, visited the cafe ‘Nyan da Land’.

“Hello Hibineko-san. I heard Marino is already here.”

“I have heard about it, and Mari-nyaa is in the private room at the back, in the second room.”

Heading in the direction Hibineko pointed, there were several private rooms in the back of the shop. As Hibineko said, Shin opened a door to a room where ‘2’ was drawn.

“Ah, Shin”

“Yo, have you finished the equipment?”

As for Shin being called, it was also to unveil the equipment that used Drop of Erathem which Marino had obtained.

When Marino took out the item card, a black muffler appeared on a table. There were few decorations, and the entire cloths contained red lighting lines.

“That’s pretty nice.”

The muffler was inferior to the item made by first-class craftsman, but as an 《Ancient》 grade item, its performance was superior.

“It’s nice, isn’t it? Because Shin’s equipment are mainly in black and red, I made sure that it would match as much as possible with that color scheme.”

“My equipment? Isn’t that a little out of place from Marino’s equipment?”

Shin was delighted to hear that it matched with his equipment, but he also felt it didn’t match with Marino’s equipment color scheme.

“ I don’t have to wear the equipment, so Shin, you wear it. Didn’t you say you haven’t decided on the equipment for your head? Like the manga I saw before, because the samurai had something that looked like a muffler, it was made from that design.”

“Why do you want me to equip it?”

“Shin has been helping me a lot since I started this game, and you also lent me the needed items. Since I don’t have anything I can give in return, I think this is fair. Besides, even if Shin wears the 《Ancient》 grade equipment, there’s no sense of incongruity, don’t you think?”

“Is this fine? Isn’t this very valuable?”

Hearing Marino’s story, Shin couldn’t help but be surprised. To give away an 《Ancient》 grade equipment free of charge; even the retiring players couldn’t do it easily in the game.

“I’ve talked with Holly-san and the others, and they all agreed. Will you accept it?”

“…Sigh, because you won’t listen to anything once you start suggesting… Thank you, I’ll accept it, Marino.”

Shin knew Marino’s character, and even though he felt embarrassed a little, he decided to accept it obediently. Urged by Marino who told him that she wanted to see when he equipped it, Shin put on the muffler.

“How was it?”

“Well, it’s perfect. This is the right design after all.”

As Marino laughed in satisfaction, Shin also laughed.

“And with this, I wonder if I’ll be able to return the favor a little…”

The words softly muttered by Marino didn’t reach Shin’s ears.

 

◆◆◆◆

 

“Well, those feelings still remain now. Because I have upgraded a little since that, its performance has gone up.”

Inside the private room of the shop ‘Nyan da Land’ that was reborn in Balmel, in that room, Shin finished reminiscing.

Because the members at that time had gotten together, Hibineko and the others warmly talked about the previous story of Shin’s equipment ‘Dark King’s Muffler’.

In addition to the original players, Holly and Shadow, Schnee and Tiera also sat together.

“A handmade equipment, huh? Sure enough, receiving this kind of thing will make people happy?”

“I’m happy, you know? Wearing it or not is a different story.”

To Tiera’s question, Shin answered while laughing. Although it was not the best he could equip, Shin thought feelings were more important.

“Fumu, it was fun at that time.”

“Yeah.”

Hibineko and Shadow said as their eyes stared at the distance.

“Yes, I agree. By the way Shin-kun, have you received a present from someone since you came here?”

“Why do you suddenly ask? I have not received anything.”

To Holly who changed the topic abruptly, Shin denied while turning his eyes.

“If it the current Shin-kun, I thought there might be a lot of girls to give presents.”

“Even if the world has changed, I will not suddenly become popular.”

Shin said in a surprised tone. However, Holly’s eyes caught Shin from behind, glancing at Schnee’s figure.

“Shin-kun, you are more loved than what you think of yourself.”

“Is that so…?”

At Holly’s meaningful words, Shin was full of doubt.

Fun times passed, and before long, Shin and his group returned to the inn.

Later, there was sighting of Schnee’s figure, who was selecting material items or something, with an earnest face.


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