Chapter 50: Despair
About the subjugation contest in the Deus Plain, from a pretty early stage, there were a number of reports stating: “Even though I should have defeated all the monsters, the competition is not ending”.
However, reports like that coming up in competitions is an usual occurrence, and because there were many such reports of the same thing in other places, it was simply brushed off as ‘There must have been some you didn’t defeat.
However, a while after Nekomimi Neko came out, even midgame characters who have many enemy search items and abilities suffered from that very same phenomenon, so the suspicion that there must be some sort of bug happening here was born.
What surfaced at that time was the rumor of the Hidden Monsters at the Giant Rock.
The rumor is that, at the back of the giant rock southwest, in other words, if you check the south side of the rock, you can apparently hear strange sounds every now and then.
Those sounds could be heard at 5 minute intervals, but even when the 45 minutes of the monster spawning passes, you can still hear it.
From this, rumors surfaced that maybe there are special event monsters inside the rock, and that is impeding the end of the subjugation contest.
However, in the middle of that turmoil, there was a person who moved his attention to the special characteristic of the Deus Plain without being complacent with the conclusion that it is an event monster.
There would be stuff like bushes and rocks in the Deus Plain at somewhat set patterns, but there’s a place where there’s none of that a bit away from that south giant rock.
There’s grass growing there just like the other places, but for some reason, there were no spawn points in that area only, and there’s not only no trees, not even small rocks were placed there.
Also, the strange thing is that: the place with nothing there and the giant rock by the side are almost the same size.
And then, he (or she) was the first one to discover that this giant rock might have moved for some reason from its original position.
If that’s the case, the aforementioned strange rumor would have more credibility to it.
It has already been said that, if there’s an obstruction in the spawn point, monsters will spawn slightly to the side, but in the case the obstruction is gigantic, the spawn of the monster itself will be canceled.
In other words, because the giant rock was moved to a place that was originally normal, a spawn point ended up being inside the rock, creating a spawn point that is impossible for monsters to spawn.
This is truly a convincing argument, but if that’s really the case, it can’t be verified.
After all, you can’t interact with rocks or ground in the game.
It is an indestructible object, or more like, it wasn’t set to be possible to destroy.
The rumors eventually withered down, and I had forgotten about it until now.
However, this world is a game and not a game.
With this world that is a mix of game and reality, we can confirm that.
“Ringo, here! Gouge out this place full force!” (Souma)
We moved at full speed to the back of that giant rock, and found the apparent location spoken of in the rumors.
All that’s left is to open a hole here.
Ringo, who has faintly increased how much she talks recently, gives me that short response and shoots a Lightning Strike.
The Lightning Strike of Ringo equipped with the rare drop, Golden Sakura, gouged out the rock with visible progress.
“Continue, continue just like that! Aiming as low as possible, in a way that the rock doesn’t crumble.” (Souma)
3:14, it will be 15 soon.
I wait patiently while listening to the ear piercing sounds of the Lightning Strikes.
“Ringo, stop there!” (Souma)
And then, 3:15:00.
Particles of light gathered from the cloud of dust and…
“There it is!” (Souma)
From within the gouged out giant rock, one Golden Wild Slime appeared.
“Damn it, this really tests one’s patience.” (Souma)
A while after that, we were in bliss at the new hunting spot, but as time passed, impatience and irritation accumulated.
We are currently monopolizing this point completely.
However, not a single monster showed up at this point, so that would mean it will happen 10 times, in other words, monsters will continue to spawn in a span of 45 minutes.
If someone were to catch wind of this place at that time, it would get problematic.
That said, I have no intention of letting go of this place we finally found.
We of course defeated the 1st one that appeared, and brought the score up to 67.
If we camp this spot, we should be able to increase our points to 76 without much trouble.
There will be people who will say that a mere 10 won’t be enough to go against Hisame.
It is true that, if Hisame had seriously continued hunting until the end, 76 probably wouldn’t have been enough.
However, Hisame said: ‘I will be done soon’.
If Hisame has stopped her hunting in the middle because of self-conceit, there’s still a chance.
As proof of that, there were spawn points that were still not hunted in the south side.
Even if it is impossible to get them all, I want to stick on until we get 3 more for 70.
With that thought in mind, time passed slowly.
The second one showed up, but we have dealt with 10 at once, so there’s no way we would fail at defeating one at this point.
We easily deal with it in less than 30 seconds, and 5 more minutes of waiting come.
There’s no other place we can go to, so we can’t move from here.
No choice but to wait here.
A small hand was placed on me when I couldn’t hide my irritation.
“Is something the matter” (Souma)
When I asked this, Ringo didn’t answer with anything.
I was confused here, and Ringo kept her hand on my shoulder in silence, and then…
“…Let’s do…our best” (Ringo)
She muttered this and soon moved away from me.
I don’t really get it, but could it be that she was trying to cheer me up here
There’s no point in getting impatient here.
What’s more important is to use our time efficiently.
I decided to test out the fire magic that I have been able to use recently in this lull time.
In Nekomimi Neko, magic is a little more problematic compared to skills.
Different from skills that can be used as soon as you Order it, magic has ‘Chant’, ‘Chant Standby’, ‘Multi Chant’, and ‘Time Activation’.
I need to properly confirm if those haven’t changed from the game.
“[Power Up]!” (Souma)
In order to use the spell, you have to Order the spell you want to use.
When you do, the player will enter a set Chant period according to the difficulty of the spell you want to use.
I say Chant, but it is not like the player has to say something out loud.
MP will be consumed automatically, and the system will complete the spell on its own.
That’s great, but in the time you are in Chant State, your stats all around will reduce greatly, and you can’t use skills.
It is full of disadvantages, so it is normal for mage characters to reduce that time with equipment.
And then, when you finish your Chant, you enter Chant Standby state.
In this state, your stats won’t be lowered, but you still can’t use skills.
In the Chant Standby state, you select your target, and Order the spell’s name again, which will finally allow you to use the spell.
However, since I have the chance here, I try testing out the Time Activation used by warrior types.
Time Activation is a technique that allows you to set a time to delay the activation of the spell.
The benefit of this technique is that, the moment you choose when it activates, you are freed from the Chant Standby, and if you pull it off properly, you can use both magic and skills at the same time.
Of course, you can use not only skills but spells as well, so you could use the same spell at the same time.
The disadvantage is that you can’t cancel a Time Activation spell and can’t change targets, so if you mess up the setting, it will be useless, and at worst, end up attacking an ally.
However,if it is a spell that targets yourself like Power Up, you can set it at Time: 10 seconds.
And before that time comes…
“[Side Slash]!” (Souma)
I activate the skill with Shiranui.
The skill activated without any issues, but…
I felt a dull resistance and the attack bounced off the rock.
But the 10 seconds set came.
The Power Up is cast on me then.
“[Side Slash]!” (Souma)
I activate the skill once again without delay.
It is different from before I was buffed.
An even stronger attack hit the rock, and…
It bounced off.
It seems like my powered up attack is still not enough to break a rock.
Just how strong is the Lightning Strike of Ringo that easily managed to do that
My shoulders dropped there, but my impatience went off somewhere thanks to that.
O-Oh well, the spell and the Time Activation worked, so I should be satisfied with that.
I would like to test out Multi Chant as well, but Multi Chant is a mage technique to increase the power of the spell by chanting the same spell, so I can’t use it.
I tried testing out Petitplosion after that and it activated without any issues.
The shabby explosion of Petitplosion drew the attention of Ringo.
Is what she asked as if finding it fun, so it got in my head and used it like crazy, ended up using all of my MP, and my magic experiment ended there.
While I was doing all that, I forgot about my worry that maybe people would come, and we smoothly continued our hunt.
We defeated the 8th Wild Slime and I was about to bend down to check if there was a drop item, and…
“Wow… I didn’t expect there to really be Slimes remaining at a place like this.”
I heard the voice of a man from behind.
“Who is it” (Souma)
I snapped around.
There was a single man standing around 10 meters aparts from us.
That appearance of his made me gulp.
“Tea Drinker Raiden, huh.” (Souma)
When I unconsciously mutter this, that man, Raiden, smiles as if he found that amusing.
“Hoh, you know about me I don’t remember receiving a title like Tea Drinker, but a person I met for the first time knowing my name doesn’t feel bad.” (Raiden)
Tea Drinker Raiden is a 20 year old man with long hair tied up behind him, and gives off the feeling of a general.
His number one policy is to ‘meet people that are stronger than me’, and the result of that is that he is a character that is extremely loved by the Nekomimi Neko players.
His Tea Drinker title came from there.
It is apparently from a loved character with a name that has that meaning in a manga of the long past.
However, that’s only in the game.
There was no event where you encountered Raiden in a subjugation contest.
Despite appearances, Raiden is a level 130 seasoned adventurer.
Even if our level has increased, he is someone I wouldn’t want as an enemy.
(…What should I do) (Souma)
Our score right now is 74 even without counting the Golden Sakura.
Even if we were to withdraw here, our score can be considered plenty good.
However, Raiden must have felt that mood from me, he hurriedly spoke.
“Woah there, no need to look at me with such dangerous eyes.
I was simply left with a message from the princess.” (Raiden)
I look at Ringo for an instant there.
But there’s no way.
Then, could it be Maki
I had that expectation for a second, but…
“Aah, can’t tell when using princess, huh.
I am talking about Hisame-san.
The one with big ears and uses a katana…” (Raiden)
It was completely different.
Looks like that cat eared samurai is being called princess despite being a samurai.
“I couldn’t find any Wild Slimes anymore, so I went back to the city too.
When I did, Princess-san came and told me that there might still be Wild Slimes remaining, and told me about this place.
I told her that it sounded interesting and I would be checking it, and then she asked me to pass a message.” (Raiden)
“What message” (Souma)
“‘I am waiting in the city’.” (Raiden)
That’s truly simple and I already heard that.
I spun the gears in my head at the mysterious message and Raiden showed a bad natured smile.
“No, the message was most likely an excuse.
Princess-san might have been unexpectedly worried about you guys.
She did say: ‘If there’s a collapsed adventurer there, bring him to me no matter what’ after all.” (Raiden)
Raiden then followed with an ‘Oops, I wasn’t supposed to tell you that one’ and laughed in such a blatant manner that it baffled me.
It looks like he really is not hostile here.
At the very least, if I were to believe the setting of the game, he isn’t the type who would deceive or steal sneakily.
I relaxed a bit there.
“That said, it seems like you are doing well.
How many did you defeat” (Raiden)
He must have noticed that my guard loosened there, so he made a slightly more forward question.
I hesitated whether to answer or not, but…
“By the way, I defeated 21!” (Raiden)
Those words relaxed me.
“…Around 90, I guess.” (Souma)
In the end, I answered like that.
I do feel like he read my lie a little bit there, but I did say ‘around’ so it is not wrong.
“Hooh, that’s impressive! I can’t match that at all!” (Raiden)
Raiden got surprised in an exaggerated manner, but the moment I said the number, I didn’t miss that his eyes grew sharper.
He really feels like a two-faced character.
This is why I can’t lower my guard in Nekomimi Neko.
“From what I can see, you two look like newbies though.
I knew it, the power of my Horse Hit was not wrong.” (Raiden)
I heard a nostalgic name and almost laughed out loud there.
But Raiden continued speaking as if amused without being bothered about it.
“Ah, right, I didn’t tell you.
I actually have the eyes to see through the strong, and have the luck of meeting strong people.
The first time I learned about this was at a horse race, you see.
I gave the name Horse Hit to this ability that lets me find strong horses, and have treasured it since then.” (Raiden)
Raiden boasted about his power to find winning horses, Horse Hit, all pridefully, but a different name was given among players.
Raiden shows up countless times in the story and the sub-events, would encounter enemies stronger than himself, and would fight them.
If you only hear that, it does sound like a protagonist, but the problem is that Raiden…would definitely lose those fights…
Thus, a new name was given to this Horse Hit that let him meet strong ones.
The power to meet strong opponents and put up a good fight, yet lose and bring up the power of that opponent…
In other words, the power: Punching-Bag Horse.
What is there to hide Raiden is the number one punching-bag in all of Nekomimi Neko!
“And so, what will you do from now on It is about time for the monster outbreak to end.
Are you planning on staying here” (Raiden)
The punching-bag horse of Nekomimi Neko, Raiden, asks me again.
Even if the monster outbreak time ends, it is not like the monster outbreak monsters will disappear or the subjugation will stop counting, but if you don’t report after 1 hour of the outbreak ending, you won’t get the contest prize.
“I am thinking of making the next one the last.
I will end this after one more comes out at 3:55.” (Souma)
Once it hits 4, the monster outbreak will end, and normal monsters will appear in this map.
As we are now, we can deal with level 50 monsters, but I am still in beginner equipment, so I can’t risk that.
I actually already told Ringo that we would defeat 9 and would give up on the last one and go back.
What bothers me is Raiden coming along.
Since I am already here, I will observe that.
Oh well, you can look forward to my escort on the way back.” (Raiden)
I don’t know if it is because he is trying to learn about his enemy, or because he likes looking after others, but he proposed this.
I honestly don’t want to show him how we hunt, but it should be fine to end the last one with the Lightning Strike rush of Ringo.
I accepted that and decided to wait until the next one came.
However, I should have thought of it.
About why Raiden appeared at this timing and at this place.
The first one who noticed the signs of this was Ringo.
The time must have come.
The light particles gathered and were forming a monster, but…it was looking strange.
“Oi oi, this is quite the big wild slime…” (Raiden)
Raiden is throwing a carefree comment on the side, but I had no time to pay him mind.
(Could it be…) (Souma)
At a place like the Deus Plain, at a spawn point inside a rock forgotten by the game, by the side of Raiden who is said to always be present where a strong enemy is at…
Those 3 points brought the worst possibility in my mind.
The particles were shaping up a monster.
That shape fluently spoke that my worst feeling here was right.
“We are still in the monster outbreak, right Why is a monster that big showing up here” (Raiden)
Raiden asked me as if trying to confirm with me, but I couldn’t answer.
My body couldn’t stop shaking.
Even though I tried to talk, my mouth couldn’t find the strength to, and my head is in a mess.
Ringo had come to my side at some point in time.
But I couldn’t respond even to her.
I was simply watching absentmindedly as the light particles shaped up the most wicked of monsters.
(It is coming…!) (Souma)
An ugly giant covered in soft and flabby white meat.
A brutal beast swinging a cleaver so thick it could be categorized as a blunt weapon already.
“King Butcher…!” (Souma)
Even within the many bugs in Nekomimi Neko, the one that killed the most players and was supposed to have been patched right from the get-go: the Mincing Festival.
That fear was about to be reborn into this world.
RIP in pieces…