At nightfall, Shin secretly left the town with Schnee, Tiera, and Yuzaha and headed for the forest he had cleared up before. Shin deployed and entered Tsuki no Hokora, where he then checked the manufacturing machines first.
Inside of the manufacturing machine room, the machines were organized into categories such as ore, ingredients, and materials that were obtained from monsters.
The manufacturing machines looked like boxes measuring 30 cemels on each side. They were worth almost as much as 《Ancient》 grade weapons in this world.
Materials that couldn’t be obtained or required great troubles to obtain could be produced without limitation, so long as time permitted. The ‘machine’ was especially amazing since this world was now reality and certain materials could no longer be farmed.
Generated items would be changed into cards that were stored in an Item Box within the machine.
“What is this…?”
Shin checked the ore and materials first.
When he opened the list inside of the Item Box, a considerable number of items were listed. It wasn’t like 100 or 200. It varied depending on the type but even the smallest stacks exceeded 1000, and most of them were more than hundreds of thousands.
The Item Box should only be able to store 999 of the same type of item, but the maximum stack number must have changed.
“There’s lots of items…Kuu”
“Indeed. There are lumps of orichalcum, mithril, adamantine and even refined Scarletite. The tusks and claws of Bahamut and even the liver of a Behemoth… Wow, the amount of ‘Drop of Erathem’ is amazing! It’s like you could make as many 《Ancient》 grade weapons as you want.”
Nodding at Yuzuha, he scrolled down the item list.
Even rare items that were likely produced only twice a year in real time, a poor management system which Shin had complained about during the gaming era, were present in incredible numbers.
Though it was understandable that the items had accumulated for the past 500 years, Shin’s pride as a gamer was hurt as he felt his efforts in mining were in vain.
“The ingredients also seem the same. Though, there is an astounding amount of the highest rank ingredients.”
Schnee who checked the list of ingredients in one of the manufacturing machines was also surprised at its contents. It was so shocking that they could easily stay indoors for at least 100 years.
“These items are something I have never seen nor heard of. What are they?”
Due to her lack of knowledge, Tiera was surprised at the number not the item itself.
Since it was a rare opportunity, Shin moved a portion of the items into his own Item Box.
Shin was planning to inspect whether there were any differences between the items in his own Item Box and the items in the manufacturing machines.
“I’m going to forge for a bit. I’ll see whether the materials are usable or not.”
“Understood. I’ll prepare dinner.”
“Maybe I could make some simple recovery potions.”
“Please do so.”
After he passed over the basic alchemy set to Tiera, Shin headed to the smithing area with Yuzuha.
He started a fire in the furnace and took out the orichalcum ore card from the manufacturing machine.
When he was about to materialize the card, Shin noticed an aura coming from it.
He stared at what looked like a heat haze, then it became clear, like an image focusing in a camera.
“That’s magical power, isn’t it?”
There was a light silver color similar to the aura from a magic sword.
For the sake of comparison, Shin took out the orichalcum ore card from his own Item Box and saw that it radiated a light purple. However, the color didn’t stay the same as it changed to a dark grey then a light blue.
He hadn’t noticed this when he upgraded the equipment of Shadow and the others, or when he repaired Girard’s equipment.
“Fumu. I don’t understand it. Should I strike it for now? Yuzuha, please stay back.”
He put aside the trivial things for a moment, and materialized the two cards.
At present, there was no difference except their aura’s colors. Though the amount of ore was somewhat different, there wasn’t a problem since it wasn’t fixed to begin with.
Shin put the orichalcum into the furnace and refined it. The refined orichalcum that had its impurities removed radiated a stronger aura.
Then, he placed it on the anvil and swung the hammer down.
The two swords, made with the same procedure, were both at medium 《Legend》 grade. They looked almost the same except for the aura that enveloped the swords.
When he compared the sharpness of the edges, the difference became clear.
The sword made of orichalcum from Shin’s Item box, covered in an aura of multiple colors, was sharper than the one made of orichalcum from the manufacturing machine, covered in an aura with a single color.
“Kuu? It’s different, though they’re similar?”
“Even if the materials are the same, the power is different, huh? Is it related to the magic color? …Come to think of it, Tiera did say my magical power is strange or something like that.”
He remembered the time when he first met Tiera, she said she could feel multiple races’ magical powers.
“Is Shin’s magic power different from others’?”
“I wonder. Though I still can’t perfectly control my power, so I’m not sure.”
Shin moved to the main building where Tiera was, thinking that there might be some hint.
After Tiera had set up the alchemy equipment and materials on the table, she began making the recovery potions. Shin didn’t disturb her, as she seemed to be concentrating. After several minutes, she finished brewing the potions.
“Did you finish it?”
Shin chose to wait for Tiera to finish her work before speaking up.
But, since Tiera didn’t notice him, she was surprised and gave a small cry of alarm.
“Ah…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to surprise you.”
“Don’t sneak up on me like that! I was so surprised.”
Tiera glared at him while putting her hand on her chest. Perhaps she felt shy as she was seen the moment that she was surprised. Her cheeks turned red.
Shin didn’t intend to hide his presence, but it seemed like he did so unconsciously.
“I’m really sorry. I wasn’t trying to distract you since you seemed to be focused.”
“*Sigh* Be careful next time. I nearly dropped the potion.”
When Shin bowed, Tiera’s anger seemed to settle down.
“At any rate, I tried to make the recovery potion according to instructions using these materials. I don’t have the appraisal skill, so I’m not sure of the difference. Can you check them?”
After Tiera calmed down, she handed the recovery potions over to Shin.
They looked the same, but when he saw the analysis, Shin found that the potion made of materials from his Item Box were more effective.
However, the one that used the materials from the manufacturing machine was twenty percent more effective than a conventional potion.
It seemed like using materials that possess magical power raised the effectiveness of the items made from them.
“I see. I was expecting an increased effect, but it’s really amazing.”
“Were you expecting it?”
Shin asked about the reason for what Tiera said after she heard the result of the appraisal.
“Well, it seems like Shin doesn’t know this, but when an object stores magical power, it shares its owner’s spirit and characteristics. It was said that was a condition of something like power without definition. I’ve only seen these objects a few times though. Since only Elves and Pixies can see this power, you may not understand it, Shin.”
“Interesting…By the way, I wanted to ask you something.”
“What is it?”
“Well, when we first met, you said various races’ magical power or something after you looked at me, right? I wanted to ask about it.”
“Eh? D-Did I say something like that?”
Tiera answered evasively. Her face that turned her eyes to the wrong direction expressed exactly someone who was trying to hide something.
“? …Well, if you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine. I won’t force you to tell me. I’ll ask Schnee if there is anything that seems strange in her ingredients. You can keep the potions.”
“Eh!? Wa, wait!!”
Everybody has something that they don’t want to share. Even though Shin was concerned about the magical power, somehow he could guess the reason.
Since he thought it was a bad idea to ask forcefully, Shin decided to go to Schnee’s place first, but surprisingly Tiera pulled him back.
“What’s the matter? You look so confused.”
“B-Because… aren’t you going to ask about it? Though I’m here with you, I’m clearly hiding something from you.”
“But you don’t want to tell me, right? Of course I can’t leave it alone if it’s about a life-threatening situation, or something similar. But I can somehow guess that it’s not like that, and I don’t want to forcefully ask you to tell me. When I look at you, I can just tell that there are some things you don’t want to tell me. So I think it’s not right to share everything just because we are together. In fact, I also have something that I haven’t shared with everybody.”
“I understand, but…”
“It’s fine with me to wait until you think you are ready to tell me. When the time comes then――”
Then Shin’s stomach rumbled “Grruuu”. It was so loud that they could hear it clearly.
“…I, I’ll also tell you what I haven’t shared with you?”
Because of the stomach rumbling, the serious mood vanished, but Shin said everything that he wanted to say.
“Shin, are you hungry?”
Right after that, Yuzuha, who was just observing, quietly said explosive words.
“Hey! I was saying something serious!”
“But you said ‘When the time comes then Gruuu.’”
“Nooo! Why did it happened in this timing?”
Maybe that hit the spot. Tiera held her laughter in until her ears turned bright red.
Because she lowered her head, he couldn’t see her face. However, he guessed that it wasn’t as serious as before.
It was a pleasant situation for Shin as he wanted to change the atmosphere, but it couldn’t be helped if he thought there might have been a better way.
“I’m sorry. Even though we’re talking seriously, b-but, pfffahaha”
“Well, I made my point, but, it’s fine I guess. Though you have something you can’t tell me, don’t worry about it. And don’t tell anyone about my stomach rumbling! Never! Yuzuha, you too!”
After the parting remark, Shin went to the kitchen.
Tiera looked at his back with tears in her eyes. Shin didn’t know her tears weren’t only from laughing. “I am sorry.” What Tiera whispered didn’t reach anyone.
When Shin entered the kitchen, there were already several dishes. He could smell them while he was talking to Tiera, so he couldn’t help thinking what would happened if he had not smelled these dishes.
“Kuu~, smells good!”
“Yes, it does… what a great smell.”
“Shin? You look troubled. Did something happen?”
“No, nothing. Yeah, nothing happened. By the way, it smells delicious. How were the ingredients?”
“I didn’t see any problems. The freshness was satisfactory too.”
Schnee answered while wiping a knife.
It seemed like she hadn’t noticed any differences in the process of cooking.
Considering the swords and the recovery potions, the differences would probably be seen in its flavor.
“The results of Tiera and my experiments showed that the ones from my Item Box were more effective. However, the quality of the things made using materials from the manufacturing machines were better than normal.”
“I see. I have just finished cleaning up, so we should test them. How’s Tiera doing?”
“Oh, she finished making the recovery potions, so I’ll bring her here.”
“You don’t need to.”
When Shin turned around to go to call Tiera, Tiera showed up.
Since she had a little time to calm herself down, her complexion returned to normal. Her eyes seemed bloodshot, but Shin just felt awkward wondering if she had been laughing till she cried.
“Nothing. The dishes are ready, so let’s compare the tastes.”
They put all dishes on the table and sat down. Yuzuha was also in human form at this time.
Everyone said “Itadakimasu” together and then started tasting.
What Shin ate first was the dish made using ingredients from the manufacturing machine.
He put the foods he used to eat in reality, such as stuffed cabbage, pot‐au‐feu, pilaf, and so on, in his mouth.
“This is far better than a family restaurant.”
“This is better than what Master usually makes.”
Because these foods were something they often ate, they could tell how much better it was. It didn’t mean that the foods they had been eating were low quality, but still these were delicious enough to tell the difference.
Because there were other dishes to taste, they used all their willpower to stop themselves from finishing the dish.
“Then, the next one.”
The next dishes were the made using the ingredients from Shin’s Item Box. Since it was for comparison, the menu and cooking processes were the same.
They cut the stuffed cabbage in two using chopsticks, then ate it.
In that moment, Shin and Tiera stopped moving.
Their first thought was ‘Is this really a stuffed cabbage?’.
“What is this? To be frank, I can’t think of anything besides how delicious this is. But if I were asked the difference, I can’t explain it.”
“I agree. I don’t know what to say besides delicious.”
“Kuu, delicious, delicious~”
Yuzuha was the only one eating like normal. With dishes made of materials from either source, Yuzuha stuffed her mouth happily while smiling.
In a sense, this might be the correct reaction toward the dishes.
Shin had tried dishes using ingredients his Item Box the night he met Schnee again, but there wasn’t any magical power leaking from the cards then.
Was it because it was used with the regular ingredients? He wasn’t as shocked as with this stuffed cabbage.
“Anyway, we have to be cautious when using the items in my Item Box. I don’t think they were like this before though.”
“Yes. Even the items from the manufacturing machines are more than enough. Did you notice any differences in the items recently added to your Item Box?”
“No, I didn’t see any change among those items. But as times goes on, they might change, so I’ll check those to make sure.”
The number of the items in Shin’s Item Box was huge. It would be impossible to test everything, so he would have to choose a small number of items and check them.
After they finished their meals, Shin and the others came to the teleportation device room that was located next to the manufacturing machines’ room. They intended to check on the guild houses’ conditions.
“As far as I can tell, none of the devices are broken.”
“Yes. Just in case, I asked Raster to check it, but I heard that there were no problems.”
Raster was the support character who served under Cain, a member of Rokuten who was the architect. Because Cain helped build Tsuki no Hokora, Raster, as his follower, did the maintenance.
If Raster said so, it would work without any problems.
“Well, let’s open the option menu…Hmm?”
“Is anything wrong?”
Schnee approached Shin who voiced his doubt. Shin shifted the display sideway to show Schnee the selection screen for teleport destinations.
It displayed the names of the 1st through 6th guild houses. But if he tried to pick a destination, it made a muffled “Beep” sound.
This sound usually came out when one tried to use an item that was not available or choose a place that was impossible to transfer.
It seemed like they couldn’t transfer to any guild houses at their present state.
“What does it mean?”
“The equipment here is working, so something might have happened at the other guild houses?”
“No, what I am concerned about is that I’m unable to choose Rashugum. I don’t know about the others, but I can’t imagine any problems in Rashugum, where Raster is doing maintenance.”
“But, it’s hard to determine the cause of the problem. Please wait a moment. I will send a message to Raster.”
“Yes, please. I’ll fiddle a little too.”
Besides specifying a destination from the option menu, there were times when it was possible by using the terminal. For the time being, he decided to check which ones were working.
“There is no problem in Tsuki no Hokora. No error from the transferring devices. So, there might be some problems at the destinations or…”
While operating the terminal, Shin formed a hypothesis. If one had never been to the destination in this world, one wouldn’t be able to use the items, skills, and equipment related to teleporting.
Since he came to this world, he hadn’t been able to use message cards and lists as these were reset.
If the reason he could transfer to Tsuki no Hokora was because he had visited before, everything would make sense.
“If that’s the case, I have no choice but to go there.”
“If Shin’s hypothesis is correct, there’s no other way but to do that. Though Raster has been here, he can’t use the transferring devices.”
Schnee agreed with Shin. That was the only thing they could do now.
In the game era, the support characters including Schnee, didn’t have the crystal stones that granted teleportation ability. Therefore, Schnee hadn’t registered the teleportation points at Rashugum even though she had been there.
“Our conversation is based on the fact that it is natural to use teleportation. I’m scared as I’m getting used to it.”
“That’s how we are steeped in.”
Tiera had a distant look and Shin responded to her with a big smile and a thumb up.
“Stop it, I almost nodded.”
“Your body is honest.”
“Uu, I can’t deny it…”
Tiera felt that if she was not steeped in this situation, she would not be able to relax.
After that, they checked some more devices and items. As they got into it, they realized it was already late, so they decided to stay the night in Tsuki no Hokora.
While the moon was up high in the sky, Shin was sitting on the verandah at the back of Tsuki no Hokora. He held 『True Moon』, that had been broken from the battle with his support character, Girard.
“Well, what should I do… hmm?”
As he watched the moon, he sensed someone he knew very well coming closer.
“You can’t sleep?”
“Oh! Yeah, I was just thinking of repairing 『True Moon』.”
Shin stopped thinking for a moment as he was fascinated by Schnee in her nightwear, but he still managed to answer her somehow.
Shin lifted up 『True Moon』 to show Schnee as she naturally sat down next to him.
“This is from the battle with Girard, isn’t it? It looks the same as it was though.”
“I’ve thought of repairing it several times.. But, how do I say it, I feel like something is lacking. I could fix it right away, but my intuition as a blacksmith tells me not to… though, I don’t know if my intuition is reliable or not.”
Shin said to Schnee while putting a bitter smile on his face.
It was about time to fix it, so he tried out during his free time today, but it didn’t work out very well.
All materials were prepared and Shin’s skills weren’t lacking, since he was a master blacksmith. Perhaps there was something else missing besides these.
“May I borrow it?”
When Shin handed over 『True Moon』, Schnee held it in front of her chest.
While Shin was wondering what she would do, he saw that 『True Moon』 gradually began glowing in Schnee’s both hands.
『True Moon』 emitted light as if it were soaking in the moonlight. Shin was wide-eyed with surprise because of the light, but after a while, it stopped emitting a light.
It lasted for only a moment, but Shin felt that it was much more longer than that.
“Here you go.”
“Ah, y-yes. Hey Schnee, what was that?”
“I poured my magical power into 『True Moon』. I felt I should do it. I don’t know why, but I hope it’ll help you, even just a little bit, Shin.”
“No, I have to thank you instead. I am sure that something missing was filled with this.”
Shin said while looking at 『True Moon』.
Shin knew by intuition that what Schnee did wasn’t anything wrong.
At the same time, he understood three more things.
“It’s not complete yet, but I know what I should do. Thank you.”
“I am glad to hear that.”
Schnee looked very beautiful with a gentle smile on her face.
Shin gasped at her beautiful smile. Her beauty attracted people, but it made her untouchable. Her beauty was something that couldn’t be described with words.
“Well, what will you do after this, Schnee?”
“If it is fine with you, I’d like to watch the moon with you.”
“…Well, of course. “
Schnee answered to Shin, and leaned her body against him.
Shin felt a weight on his shoulder as Schnee rested her head while clinging to him.
“…Ah, Schnee-san? This is…”
“Please let me be like this for a moment.”
When Shin accepted it, the weight on his shoulder increased.
Maybe it was because Schnee leaned her whole body on Shin. The reason she didn’t do so from the beginning was perhaps she was afraid of being denied or maybe she felt shy.
They looked up moon in silence for a while.
In the moonlit night, two shadows fell on the verandah.
These two shadows cuddled together and remained together until they returned to their rooms.