Chapter 98-99: Fated Reunion
“Get away from the Princess!”
I was stopped by the knights that ran my way.
Speaking of which, the attack that defeated the Lich Ghost, it actually hit it with the dark element that should heal, so the HP of Maki inside of it should have recovered, but for the people who don’t know the circumstances, it wouldn’t be strange for them to think I attacked the Lich Ghost without caring about Maki’s life.
Looks like they are pretty on guard towards me, and I was soon parted from Maki.
Or more like, the eyes of the surrounding knights are awfully filled with killing intent and it is scary.
I worked pretty hard to save the city, and even helped out the knights, so I thought the misunderstanding had been completely cleared, but it looks like the Nekomimi Mansion has been ingrained deeply in them.
After that, I saw Jessica within the knights that ran here, so I called her, but that might have been a bad choice
If only they would let me explain, but the knights are facing here with an incredible look in their eyes, so I can’t find any room for conversation.
It would be normal to talk to the person that I am acquainted with even if it is even for an instant.
“Ah, looks like you are alright.” (Souma)
I tried to speak to her with as much of a gentle voice as possible so as not to stimulate the other party, but she really might have received a mental shock there.
Reading this, I tried to be as considerate as humanly possible.
“But it would be better to be properly careful, you know Wounds are not limited to the ones you can see.” (Souma)
I smiled at her after saying that, but it seems like it ended up having the complete opposite effect.
Looks like my words served to trigger her trauma of the attacking monsters.
Jessica held her stomach and trembled.
Thanks to that, the surrounding knights…
“What did you do to Jessica!”
They shouted this at me, glared; the whole combo.
If not for the intercession of the king and Asahi who heard about the commotion, it might have devolved into a fight.
With Asahi assuring my identity, and the king acknowledging me as the biggest contributor in this time’s invasion, their hostility has at least been subdued on a surface level.
I am honestly grateful for that, but because of this, it is not an atmosphere where I can say I want to talk with Maki.
When I was about to try and do it still…
“…No, you will have to explain a number of things before that.”
A familiar voice held my right arm tightly from behind.
When I turned around, there was a cat ears samurai there.
Her cat ears were standing more upright than ever before to the point that it felt like they would pierce the heavens, and they were fluently saying ‘I won’t be letting this one go!’.
And while I was distracted by Mitsuki…
“…I also…have something I want to ask you.”
Ringo appeared at some point in time and grabbed my left arm.
Leaving aside Ringo, I…can’t match the powerful bullet train of Mitsuki.
And in this way, I, who should have been the biggest contributor in this invasion, was made to exit without even being able to talk with Maki properly.
Fortunately, Mitsuki and Ringo didn’t seem to actually be that angry.
They freed me by the time we moved away from the city, and were instead happy I was alright.
On the way, I also met up with the people of the Hisame Dojo, and returned to the dojo with them.
Ah, by the way, I didn’t see them much while I was fighting, but it seems like Asahi and the other members of the Hisame Dojo, half of them were helping the civilians evacuate and the other half were fighting at the adventurer side.
When we arrived at the dojo, I asked Mitsuki and the other disciples the details and…
“Eh Their misunderstanding of me is still not cleared” (Souma)
And it seems like the knights are still wary of me.
“Rather than calling it a misunderstanding…it is more like your fighting style is a bit too uhm…unique.
People who see it for the first time will find it odd.” (Mitsuki)
That might be true.” (Souma)
For the people of this world that don’t have the technique called Order, using Skill Cancel and KB Cancel would be a high threshold.
That’s why I tried to not show the Cancel type techniques in public, but this time around was an emergency, so I fought pretty hard there.
Even if describing it as ‘a weirdo’ like Ringo says is exaggerated, the people who are somewhat quick-witted will feel it off when seeing skill chains.
Also, now that I unravel an unpleasant memory of mine, there was a town child that told me I moved weird.
“That said, I doubt you will be antagonized by them from here on.
It is for the sake of that that we forcefully pulled you out from that place and lowered their fearsome impression of you…” (Mitsuki)
“S-So that’s what that was for!” (Souma)
Even if it is someone who defeated a whole ton of monsters, if they see how he is being dragged by two girls, their fearsomeness should dim.
Mitsuki recently has been pretty sharp, or like, even though she looks like a muscle-brain, she unexpectedly thinks about a lot of things.
“The city might have fallen in this time’s monster invasion.
Who do you think would try to actively oppose someone that managed to single-handedly wipe them out” (Mitsuki)
“Aah, yeah, you have a point there.” (Souma)
Thinking about it logically, that certainly does sound like a conclusion you would come to.
Nekomimi Neko has the tendency of throwing away all common sense to the trash, so it is troubling that this isn’t giving me any peace of mind.
Even so, when pointed out like that, I feel like I have done quite the big thing here.
In a game perspective, it is simply as if I finished an intermediate level quest that had its difficulty increased a little bit though.
“Also, tomorrow, you will be awarded a medal of honor to extol your contributions of today.
When that happens, the knights won’t be able to show antipathy towards you even more in public.” (Mitsuki)
Now that she mentions it, there was indeed an event like that.
When you defeat more than a certain number of enemies in the Attack on the Capital, you will be called to the royal castle, and will be awarded a medal of honor.
I feel like a medal of honor the very next day of the incident is a bit too fast, but it would be boorish to retort to that game setting.
A medal of honor was a specially useless item in the game, so you would immediately sell it at the shop or have it rot in your Adventurer Bag, but it should have its uses now that it is a real world.
I have been acknowledged by the king, so stuff like my influence and the weight of my words might have increased.
While I was thinking that, someone tapped my leg.
The Bear that contributed greatly this time too.
“Good job today as well.” (Souma)
Saying this, I hugged it up and the Bear smacked my arm as if finding it a pain, and then, brought out a paper in front of me.
It is the letter that I entrusted to the Bear for Maki but…
“Could this possibly be a response from Maki!” (Sonuma)
There were things written at the back of it which I don’t remember writing.
Looks like the Bear managed to make contact with Maki and had her write a response when I was dragged away by Mitsuki and Ringo.
This Bear has been so capable recently it is scary.
(Let’s see here…) (Souma)
Considering the danger of other people reading our letter, I simply wrote straight to the point that I would like to meet her somewhere, and it seems like the response of Maki was equally short.
Maki probably wrote it in a hurry.
It is more like scribbles than a letter, but I am used to her peculiar writing, so I could still read it.
At the royal castle after you are awarded the onor medal.
And the fact that she couldn’t write the honor part of the medal of honor was terribly real and truly saddening.
Are her studies going well
Well, leaving aside her grammar, the meaning in itself was transmitted.
The medal of honor award will be done in the audience room, but we should be able to make contact at some point around that time.
With this, I feel like I will be able to have a proper talk with Maki tomorrow.
(For now, we just wait.) (Souma)
It should be fine to consider the matter of the city and Maki to have been appeased for now.
There’s still a variety of tasks that remain, but according to the Hisame Dojo, there has been no deaths confirmed in this invasion as of now, so I would say this is a passing mark.
I was relieved at having my past distress cleared, and fatigue immediately pressed on me right after.
Now that I think about it, I have continuously moved around from dawn till now with barely any breaks.
Leaving aside my body, my mind is already at its limit.
“…Souma…are you okay” (Ringo)
Ringo had noticed my state and she spoke to me in a low volume.
The cat ears of Mitsuki twitched as if saying ‘Eh Are you not feeling well’.
“Let’s rest early today.” (Mitsuki)
And just as Mitsuki said, we finished the day with just a talk, and went to bed early.
I was sound asleep until the next morning.
And then, the next day.
The conferment of honors apparently happens at noon.
However, if I honestly spoke about this, the Clumsy Maid-san might give me a whole ton of mitarashi dango.
We departed for the city while it was still morning.
On the way to the city, we of course encountered monsters in the field, but it is not like there’s a monster invasion event anymore, and thanks to the Attack on the Capital event having ended, the Monster Invasion Progress of the monsters at the west of the capital has decreased greatly.
There’s nothing to be wary about.
I walked leisurely with the Bear in one hand while chatting with Mitsuki and Ringo.
And just when we were going to be arriving in the city soon…
Mitsuki’s cat ears suddenly stood up as if they had caught something unearthly.
“Something big is approaching the city at a pretty high speed.” (Mitsuki)
We immediately get ready for battle at the words of Mitsuki.
(What’s this ‘something big’ The monster invasion should be over already.
Or is there some sort of unexpected factor again…) (Souma)
Even at that time, I desperately turned the gears in my brain, but the result was nothing.
At our right, in other words, at the south, that had showed up.
“That’s an…Express Carriage…!” (Souma)
A fantasy carriage that’s used to move from city to city.
Of course, that’s just a vehicle, and there’s no danger to it.
After confirming the identity of this ‘big thing’, I could tell that the two by my side relaxed.
But I…only I didn’t relax.
That’s a ride that’s used to move from settlement to settlement.
If it is coming from the south, it means that that carriage is…
The moment I noticed that possibility, I immediately chanted Air Hammer.
At the same time as I finished, I jumped with Step.
“Sorry, I am going ahead!” (Souma)
I said only that and used KB Cancel to move seriously, running to the gates of the city.
When speaking of a settlement at the south of the capital, it would be Lamurick.
That might be a carriage that came from Lamurick.
(If that carriage is from Lamurick…) (Souma)
There’s obviously merchants who use carriages to carry their goods from Lamurick.
I don’t really hold any expectations there.
But there’s always a number of adventurers who are hired to accompany those merchants as escorts…
There’s adventurers that want to go to the capital who would get into the carriage.
(Am I just expecting too much here But…) (Souma)
However, the Express Carriage wasn’t too popular of a means of transportation.
On top of taking more time than the Magic Airship, the amount of times it operates are outstandingly low compared to the Magic Airship that operates once every day on average.
The only ones who would purposely take the Express Carriage are people that don’t have the money to ride a Magic Airship, people that hate the chance of crashing from the Magic Airship…or people that really hate Magic Airships.
(That’s why…just maybe…) (Souma)
Even when thinking it is impossible, I end up expecting it.
I make a sudden stop in front of the gate, and the carriage stops at almost the same time in front of the gate.
The door of the Express Carriage opened and a number of people got off from it.
An adventurer-looking man, a merchant-looking man, and an adventurer-like man and woman.
They are all faces I have seen in the game, but there’s no way there would be a miracle like having an acquaintance of mine riding a carriage that I coincidentally saw.
Games and reality are different.
What was I getting all excited for
The moment I thought this and was about to give up…
The last person finally showed up from inside the carriage.
Seeing that, I gulped.
“Could it be…” (Souma)
The miracle really happened.
The one who got down was certainly an old adventurer friend of mine.
This reunion was by no means set by the game.
That’s why this is purely a coincidence.
But now that I think about it…
I might have already expected this somewhere in my heart when we separated.
As if fate had a hand in this.
Or maybe the world is retrieving a past flag as if it were a game.
“…That person…what was the name”
I reunited with the bald eyepatch adventurer that I mistook for the owner at the weapon store in Lamurick.
Chapter 99: Adventurers
Reigokai: Oh hell nah, you damn author.
I ain’t letting you end a chapter like that!
Here is another chapter!
“I see, the boy from before! I came to the capitol pretty fast myself, but to think you would get here before me, boy! Gahahahaha!”
The last one to come down from the carriage was Kragus-san.
The person that I met at the weapon store at the time when I just began moving together with Ina.
The first time I met him, I mistook him for the owner of the store, and…
I asked him with a straight face: “The bill please”.
A really shameful episode of mine, but let’s forget that.
I already did.
I don’t remember anything anymore.
At that time, Kragus-san scratched his head and said: “Sorry, boy, I am a customer…”.
I don’t have a single recollection of his apologetic expression or my cringiness at that time.
Nope, don’t remember at all.
It flashes in the corner of my mind every time I enter a weapon store and it depresses me a bit.
No wait, no, I don’t remember.
…I will leave it at that.
Well, leaving that harmless thought of mine on the corner…
“Ah, by the way Kragus-san, if you were in Lamurick, I would like to ask something.” (Souma)
“Hmm, what is it Booze Women” (Kragus)
“No, it is not booze or women…well, it is a woman though…” (Souma)
He gave a lead up that makes it really hard to ask, but I still asked.
“Do you know an adventurer named Ina Trail” (Souma)
I asked without much hope.
Kragus-san is an adventurer like Ina, but this world doesn’t have something like an Adventurer Guild, so I would say it was a 50/50 whether he knew Ina.
But Kragus-san said as if nothing.
“Hmm, Ina Trail, huh.
Of course I know her.
She is a part of the…most famous adventurer duo in Lamurick after all!” (Kragus)
At first, I thought that I heard wrong.
Ina was always a lonely adventurer.
She got close to me because she could only adventure alone no matter what she did.
It is clearly strange that he said ‘duo’.
But from what Kragus-san said, it doesn’t seem like we are talking about a different person.
“The reason why the girl Ina got famous was not because she is an adventurer, but because she suddenly began doing weird stuff.” (Kragus)
She apparently began doing something eccentric like single-mindedly cutting a wooden stick with a knife while mumbling something around 10 days ago.
…It pains my ears, or like…I do have an idea about this.
10 days ago was right around the time when I arrived at the capital from Lamurick, and the wooden stick is probably the Master Torch I gave to Ina.
I can tell that Ina read my letter and began to use Master Torch to increase her Weapon Proficiency.
Lamurick is not that big of a place.
If there’s someone doing weird stuff, they will be standing out to a decent degree.
But the decisive thing was that she collapsed in the middle of the town.
In the middle of the town that has absolutely no monsters, she suddenly collapsed with her stomach bleeding.
I thought for a second that it was failed suicide, but I soon noticed the truth.
What Ina had was a Wakizashi which is categorized as a Dagger and a Ninja Sword.
Within the skills you can learn when you increase your proficiency, you will obviously learn the skill that’s called the one-hit one-suicide, the self-destruction skill, Bloody Stab.
(Crap! I should have written that in my letter too…!) (Souma)
Even if she doesn’t fight monsters or cause events, if she tests out an unknown skill in the middle of the city, there’s the danger of dying.
That is Nekomimi Neko.
But it fortunately seems like Ina managed to survive the baptism of that Nekomimi Neko.
“However, she found a partner from within the medics that carried her.” (Kragus)
The name that showed up there was a nostalgic one.
My first companion in my game days, and the only person I have activated the marriage event with: the Healer, Thiel.
I don’t see any connection between Ina and Thiel even when searching my game knowledge, but it seems like they connected in some way.
The two apparently formed a party soon after.
“From there on, they were blasting through everything.
At first, that Thiel girl was the one pulling her leg, but that Ina girl managed to properly raise her level, and they are now both high level adventurers in Lamurick.” (Kragus)
Ina is using an unusual two-weapon style with the knife and wooden stick.
As for Thiel, she is using a wand with a fearsome design that doesn’t suit her appearance as she fights.
The weird battle style of the two immediately made them the talk of the town of Lamurick.
This is just a possibility, but the weapons of Ina might be the Wakizashi and Master Torch.
The weapon of Thiel must be the Guernica Wand.
The capabilities of the Guernica Wand are outstanding in early game, and Master Torch could be used as a shield of sorts.
Both are quirky weapons, but their practical use is high.
“I departed from Lamurick yesterday morning.
At least half of the conversations at the tavern at that time were about those two.
That’s how much they stand out.” (Kragus)
After that, the two apparently hunted, hunted, and hunted the fields and dungeons around the town at blinding speed.
If they are so well known by the adventurers of the town in just 1 week, they must have really been going crazy there.
(But…I see…) (Souma)
Now that I have heard this much, there’s no room for doubts.
Ina really did find a companion.
I am filled with disbelief here, but now that I think carefully about it, it might not be that impossible of a thing.
Ina being solo in the game was simply an assumption from the situation, but it is not like I properly observed it.
I met Ina soon after arriving in this world.
In other words, it was right after the start of the game from the game perspective.
Putting it in an extreme way, The reason why Ina didn’t make companions until now was simply because in the beginning of the game ‘Ina was solo when the game started’, so there might have been a setting where ‘she can actually make comrades after that point’.
Also, from my experience until now, the discrepancy in the actions of the characters compared to the game is big -aside from events.
There was probably no setting lorewise about Ina having to fight solo.
In that case, the system enforcement must not have been that strong on this one.
Thinking about it like that, even if Ina was solo in the game, it wouldn’t be that strange for her to find a companion.
On top of that, Ina living her life in Lamurick was a wish of mine.
That’s why this is a joyful development.
There’s no need to put any complaints about this being impossible.
I should be giving my blessings here.
That should be the case.
And yet, something is still bothering me..
(Could it be that I am feeling lonely here) (Souma)
I probably thought somewhere in my heart that Ina would chase after me forever.
That’s why I was expecting Ina to be in that carriage, and asked Kragus-san about her.
I am sure that’s what it is.
When she was by my side, I thought of her as annoying and didn’t pay her much attention, and even created distance with her thinking that she was a hindrance, and yet, here I am, being selfish.
I left her there by my own will, and I now have irreplaceable comrades that will walk together with me…
Speaking of which, it has been quite a while, and yet, Ringo and Mitsuki haven’t arrived.
Not only that, even the Bear that should have been in my arms is not there anymore.
Wondering what was going on, I look back and…
My irreplaceable comrades were clearly whispering something while looking at me.
That’s really unpleasant.
I can’t hear what they are saying clearly, but I could barely pick up: ‘between men…’, ‘hurrying that much…’, ‘the balding one…’, ‘that was his taste…’, ‘*Grin*’.
I have a really bad feeling about this.
When they noticed that I was looking their way, Ringo ran here.
“…Souma, no!” (Ringo)
She got in between me and Kragus-san, and spread both arms.
“Wa, R-Ringo…!” (Souma)
Ringo is expressionless and I can’t read her emotions, but I could feel desperation from her face.
Me and Kragus-san were dumbfounded by this, and Ringo exclaims politely.
“…Please keep your deviantness…to battles only.” (Ringo)
“This is definitely a misunderstanding.
Also, I don’t remember having become a deviant when fighting!” (Souma)
This is the moment when I thought my comrades might not understand me.
Looks like they have misunderstood that I hurriedly ran after the carriage to meet Kragus-san.
I think they had an even bigger misunderstanding than that, but I cleared their misunderstanding after telling them the details.
However, even when I told them everything, the expressions of the two didn’t clear up.
“…I see.” (Ringo)
Ringo simply nodded as if displeasure still remained, and as for Mitsuki…
“…Aah, the girl that was with you at that time, huh.
I think you get too into the people that you have gotten involved with.
If you get too worried about it, it will just bring more pain when people you know die.” (Mitsuki)
She gave me that useless advice.
I was about to object by reflex, but contrary to her cold words and expression, Mitsuki’s cat ears were hanging down as if going ‘I am worried~’, so I swallowed my words.
I have been working really hard so that a situation like that doesn’t happen, but no matter how hard I work, it probably won’t be possible to avoid all casualties.
That’s why I should accept the advice of the warrior Mitsuki who has lived in this dangerous world.
There are parts I can’t submit to, but I will at least keep it in mind.
“Then, I will be going now!” (Kragus)
Seeing that our conversation was wrapped up, Kragus-san said this.
And then, at the end…
“The next Express Carriage is coming in around 2 weeks! Do your best, boy!” (Kragus)
He said something I found hard to react to as he walked off.
I could feel the strong gaze of the two from my back for some reason.
“A-Alright, let’s go to the city too.” (Souma)
I then crossed the gate with hurried steps as if running away.
It has been a few days since I have come to the capital, but I feel like the city is livelier than normal.
There’s a lot of pedestrians to the point that I would at times almost crash onto others passing.
Leaving aside Mitsuki, Ringo worries me since she is not used to crowds.
I walk to the center of the city in a way that covers the body of Ringo.
I asked Mitsuki who was avoiding the wave of people swimmingly as if nothing.
“Hey, it feels like there’s a lot of people.
Is something happening today” (Souma)
Mitsuki tilted her cat ears for a while.
“It is probably because of what happened yesterday.
Most monsters have been defeated, but there’s apparently still stray monsters in the west.
Also, after we defeated the monsters, we didn’t collect the items.” (Mitsuki)
“Aaah, now that you mention it…” (Souma)
I didn’t really fight in a way that increased the drop rates, but I defeated more than a thousand monsters there, so there should have been a good amount of drop items.
Within those, there should also be high level monsters that would normally not appear in that field.
If there’s the chance to obtain those without any risks, this would be a chance for the low level adventurers.
What bothers me is that all the adventurers we are passing by don’t seem to be heading to the west entrance.
The Monster Invasion Progress.) (Souma)
Even in the game, after the Attack on the Capital event ended, a big change in the Monster Invasion Progress happened, and a whole lot of events and quests would be unlocked.
In the game, there would also be cases when the event would end even without the player getting involved after a certain period of time, so now that the world has become real, the quests that are posted in the bulletin board should be possible to accept by everyone else and not only the player.
“Ah, sorry…” (Souma)
I ended up bumping into someone because I was too deep in my thoughts.
When I lifted my head and looked at the person, the one who was there was clearly a hoodlum adventurer.
If I remember correctly, it is a group of 3 that would become your rivals in an event at the beginning of your time in the capital.
Abel, Beat, and Cliff; names that you would hear in murders or as victims.
“You bastard, we are Rihito’s—”
The leader Abel who I bumped into was about to say something and I thought it would turn into trouble, but…
“Oi, Abel, let’s go already!”
“We have a whole ton of work waiting for us.
We ain’t got no time to waste on that guy!”
Because the remaining two said this and hurried him…
“…Tch! Be careful in the future!”
Abel didn’t stay any longer and walked to the outside of the city while pushing me away.
(That’s a relief…) (Souma)
I honestly wouldn’t lose even if it were to turn into a fight because of the level difference, but it is fortunate that it didn’t turn into a fight in the middle of the city.
I looked back to see if the girls got scared there and…
“…Are we not going” (Ringo)
Ringo asked me as if nothing happened.
“That was quite the underling display.
Those types of people get weeded out really quickly or evolve, so they are valuable.
I have seen something rare.” (Mitsuki)
As for Mitsuki, she was treating them like they were rare animals.
That’s horrible in its own way.
And the Bear…well, the Bear is fine.
Leaving the bumping into them aside, judging from what those 3 said, there really must be an unprecedented rush of quests.
(Well, work hard.) (Souma)
There’s only a handful of quests that have rewards I want, so if they are going to clear the quests that are a pain in the ass, I am all for it.
Even if they were to fail and die, to be frank here, it wouldn’t hurt me.
The thing about me ‘getting too into the people I have gotten involved with’ was a lie, is what I thought as I pushed my way through the crowd of people and advanced to the royal castle.
I waited a bit at the castle, but the medal of honor award had nothing happen to a shocking extent, and it finished pretty peacefully.
I am the only one who is receiving the medal of honor, so I had Ringo, Mitsuki, and the Bear wait outside the audience room, and entered alone.
The knights were glaring at me as usual, but there’s obviously no one who would do something to me when the King was the one calling me here.
Also, I don’t see the princess, Maki, anywhere.
Is she waiting somewhere
This is my first time in such a formal environment, but there should be no issues as long as I move in the same way as the game.
I desperately tried to remember how I moved in the game, traced it, and somehow managed to overcome the ceremony.
Even though it was only an event of a few minutes, it was really stressing, but that’s all there was to it.
However, when I regrouped with Mitsuki and Ringo, and was about to go outside the castle…
A maid that approached me while covering her face whispered this to me.
(So it is here.) (Souma)
I looked at Ringo and Mitsuki, and nodded.
Having confirmed this, the maid pulled my hand, and we advanced through the castle with quick steps.
I thought we would be going to a room where no one comes in, but the maid continued pulling me till we left the castle.
We pushed through the surging crowd of people, and entered an alley with few people.
(…Wait, if I remember correctly, the letter said ‘in the castle’ though) (Souma)
My doubts swell up.
What surfaced in my head was ‘trap’.
When people finally disappeared from sight, I raised my voice.
“Hey, just how far are we going to…!” (Souma)
But a second faster than I did, the maid…no, the something that was disguised as a maid moved.
I was completely caught off-guard.
I couldn’t react at all until she turned around and jumped at me.
What truly caught me off-guard was that those were not normal human movements.
I easily allowed her approach, and she restrained both of my arms in the blink of an eye.
And then, what she whispered in my ear made me open my eyes wide.
“—Souma, I am so glad you are alright!”
I was surprised and looked at the face of the maid again.
What was there was the face of my cousin, who is 2 years younger than me, with tears in her eyes.