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Vol. 2 Chapter 4 – Part 1

 

The next morning, after Shin had spent the night at Tsuki no Hokora.

“…It’s too bright.”

It was the first thing that he thought when he woke up.

The sunlight had reached the top of the bed because he didn’t close the curtains. Now, it was directly shining on Shin’s face.

“What time is it now?”

Because he had gone to bed without setting the alarm, he didn’t know the time. When the menu screen was displayed, it was slightly pass 6:30.

“Schnee is not here…”

Schnee, that had been clinging to his right hand, was nowhere to be seen. It was likely that she was already awake. A faint smell of breakfast confirmed Shin’s prediction.

As he had those thoughts, there was a feeling of some discomfort on his left arm. He turned toward that way while thinking ‘no way’, as silvery hair spread on the bed, entered his field of vision. If it was that alone, he would have thought it was Schnee, but the physique was too different for some reason.

The figure that was stark naked and sleeping peacefully, was a little girl of around 10 years old.

Her identity――

“Is this Yuzuha?”

【Analyze】showed the name of the little girl. Besides when Yuzuha mentioned about its head clearing up after the fight yesterday, perhaps there was some sort of seal that was removed as well. If that was the case, then the unusual level up, suddenly being able to speak, and having this figure too. All of it was explained.

Anyways, when an Element tail became a full-fledged level 1000, highest class monster in the game; human transformation and talking too, were possible by default. It just felt unnatural to see instead of the fox’s usual appearance.

Leaving behind the fox ears and tail for no special reason, it was an irresistible appearance for a person who likes these sort of things.

“In any event, this is a very dangerous setting.”

It was a common pattern, someone would come to wake another person up with bad timing and then, receive an outrageous shock due to the misunderstanding.

There was no presence of a person on the other side of the door, but he couldn’t be careless now.

“Hey Yuzuha, wake up. It’s morning.”

He held Yuzuha’s shoulders and began to wake it up. While paying attention toward the outside the room, he shook it a little harder.

“Unyu…What~?”

“I will say it again, it’s morning.”

“I’m still sleepy…”

It seemed like its appearance still similar with the personality, too. The Element Tail in Shin’s memory had an antique way of talking, but now, it talked like a little child.

“Come on, wake up, quickly.”

“Nh? Oh.. Shin~ Good morning~”

“Yeah, good morning. Please put on clothes for the time being as you get up.”

Though Yuzuha was only a little half-asleep, when it realized it was Shin that woke it up, it had an ‘awkwardly forced smile’ on its face. Depending on the person who saw the smile, they would roll over in agony. Of course, there was no such characteristic in Shin as he ignored it and urged Yuzuha to put on clothes.

“Shin is warm~”

“Why are you clinging. A girl must not do such a vulgar thing, it’s bad.”

“Eh~”

Shin warned Yuzuha while separating himself.

After all, everything would end if someone saw him embraced by a naked little girl.

While it looked like fondling a younger sister, he had to keep some distance.

“Is a girl no good?”

“Not good!”

“Then I will transform this way!”

Yuzuha, who asked that, emphasized girl for some reason. For Shin who was against it with, “Not good”, Yuzuha took an unexpected action.

All of a sudden, Yuzuha’s body emitted a faint light, and the slightly bulging chest disappeared, followed by that, the hair became very short. And then, in that nether region, there was a thing that a little girl shouldn’t have.

Shin’s thoughts stopped at that moment, the phenomenon that happened before his eyes was too shocking.

“…Oi…Why, did you become this?”

“If a girl is not good, then I should become a boy!!”

It was not a line that a nude pretty boy, while puffing out his chest with pride, should say. In front of Shin was not the coveted ‘loli’ of pretty girls, it was the desired ‘shota’ of pretty boys. There was no fixed distinction of sex to an Element Tail. This was the moment that made him realize it clearly.

“Even if it is a girl or a boy, it’s not good to embrace while naked.”

“Shin doesn’t like ‘boys’?”

“Why is it, that I feel like the way you said ‘boy’ has a different meaning to it.”

He felt the sense of incongruity from the remark. Yuzuha wasn’t supposed to know the meaning it held in order for it to say it.

“Yuzuha? I have one question for you; when you said a ‘boy’, you mean a ‘man’, right?”

“Kuu? Doesn’t it mean a cute boy? But, I wonder if this boy is a cool looking guy.”

“…………”

Although it seemed alright for now, he felt a shudder.

“Shin?”

“Well…It is not wrong, I guess.”

And then, Shin properly glossed over the question.

“Or more precisely, where did you hear that?”

“People who came to the Shinto shrine said it. In addition, the ‘BL’ they said was interesting.”

“Who the ー!! What a fool to have a conversation like that in front of the boss Element Tailーー!!”

While sending a curse to whomever and wherever the unknown players were, Shin instructed Yuzuha to return to the little girl mode. It was not so bad when it was a ‘loli’, but a suspicious ‘shota’ was too hard mentally.

“Come on, put this on for the time being.”

“It’s puffy. What is it~?”

“It is from the material that I made before. If I remember correctly, didn’t you wear clothes that had such a feeling before?”

Shin handed Yuzuha a scarlet hakama* with a kimono* undershirt and a white robe. In short, it was the shrine maiden clothes. Certainly, they were not ordinary clothes since they came from Shin’s Item Box. (T/N: A type of traditional Japanese clothing)

Even though the clothes would be suitable in the Shinto shrine, they were also the clothes that Element Tail wore during the game in human mode.

“Oh~”

“Please say if you think you want to change the color. If i’m not mistaken, it was navy blue?”

“This is fine~!!”

Yuzuha delightedly said, while putting on the shrine maiden clothes. Because the size adjustability was included, there was no problem even if the figure was small.

However, was the memory vague? A few minutes after the clothes began to change, they had lost shape everywhere.

“Shin~…”

Yuzuha called to Shin in a frail voice.

“Say it from the beginning if you don’t know how.”

Shin spoke while he repaired Yuzuha’s disarrayed clothes. Speaking of how he knew how to put on the shrine maiden clothes, it was because of the schematic attached to the note column. Such a thing was a part of the item’s clothes description.

As Yuzuha put on the Japanese sock that Shin took out as an addition, it spun around and around on top of the bed in high spirits.

“Kuu~”

“Don’t move around too much. The outfit will get out of shape.”

“Then, I will have Shin dress me again~”

“Stop it.”

What made it so happy? It was twirling around and around, matching with the tail that extended from the hakama. Somehow the shrine maiden clothes expanded from the spine muscle as a result.

Was it the close feeling of wearing a dougi*? Shin wondered. He had a hunch that the spine expanded only because it wore it like that. (T/N: martial art’s uniform)

“Hey, don’t go turning around. It should be breakfast soon.”

“Breakfast!”

“I guess Yuzuha feels hungry too.”

“Yes!”

“Then, let’s go. Hmm? Someone is coming. This response, is it Tiera?…Ha!?”

Shin perceived that it was Tiera approaching. It was different if it was Schnee, but he hadn’t explained about Yuzuha to Tiera in detail yet.

“Shin, are you awake? The breakfast will be ready soon.”

Tiera knocked on the door as she told him about breakfast.

“Oh, yes. I will be ready right away――”

Still, the door was not impudently opened like the way they did in mangas and light novels. But, was Yuzuha not able to wait? Yuzuha, who didn’t notice Tiera’s voice, pushed open the door with all of its might.

“Breakfast!!”

“――There!? Yuzuha stop!!”

“Eh?”

At the same time as Tiera’s surprised voice, a thick sound resounded as the door collided with Tiera.

“Ouch~”

“Um, ano, au…”

Shin, who appeared from the side of the door, saw Tiera holding her reddening nose and the figure of Yuzuha was also seen. It seemed like Tiera took a pratfall as she was sitting in a child-like sitting state.

“Are you alright”

“Uu~ This child is?”

“It’s Yuzuha. Actually, it has a transformation ability. Hey, apologize to Tiera.”

“I am so-sorry…”

“I see. Haha, it’s alright, Yuzuha-chan. Since I didn’t get hit with too much power. But, be careful when you open the door next time, okay? And um, good morning.”

“Okay~ Um, good morning.”

Tiera, who was seen laughing, made Yuzuha, who was panicked, feel relieved. As for Yuzuha now, one would think that it was only a child that was excited too much, because its thoughts and actions were appropriate for its age.

Shin thought about it while seeing the situation that got the two people talking. If he looked at Yuzuha’s situation, this might be the maximum growth limit in the present conditions. Yuzuha hasn’t leveled up since that time, and he knew that it’s mind state hadn’t completely returned to its original state either.

Why was Yuzuha’s power sealed? Though he didn’t understand much of the information obtained from Yuzuha itself, he would have to verify it. It was obvious to Shin that there was something else unknown that occurred.

“By the way, now that you two have reconciled, shouldn’t we go eat breakfast?”

“Yes, because I only can serve it after. Master is already there waiting.”

“Breakfast~, breakfast~”

“Huh, was it a young fox originally? Yuzuha-chan, do you like fried tofu?

“I love it!”

“Then, shall I make inarisushi* for lunch?” (T/N: sushi wrapped in fried tofu )

“Really!?”

Yuzuha rejoiced when it heard inarisushi. This appearance that wasn’t even seen in intimate sisters.

“Good morning. Ara, is Yuzuha also able to change into a human form?”

When the three people arrived at the living room, Schnee who set the table greeted them. Since she knew that Yuzuha was an Element Tail, she didn’t seem to be surprised much. And Shin decided not to touch on what happened last night.

“G-Good morning.”

“Yes, good morning. Then, shall I lay out the meal for each person?”

Was it because of the sudden encounter with Tiera? Yuzuha showed a little restraint while greeting Schnee.

Seeing Schnee, who returned the greeting while smiling kindly, Yuzuha separated from Shin’s trousers, which Yuzuha had kept holding while watching from there.

As for the table, even if four people sat, there was plenty of space left. While Schnee prepared breakfast for Yuzuha’s portion, Shin brought a spare chair.

“Then, let’s eat.”

““Itadakimasu!””

They clasped their hands and began to eat. The menu was rice, fried tofu miso soup with seaweed and tofu, and dried and opened mackerel fish.

Shin thought about whether or not Japanese foods suited elves, but there was no feeling out of place because of the figure that was holding wooden chopsticks and breaking the fish into smaller pieces.

Yuzuha was using a spoon because it couldn’t use chopsticks properly.

“Yummy!”

“As expected from Master.”

“This is great.”

Only voices of praise came out. Even though it was not luxurious, even in the real world he never ate such a delicious meal.

“That is because of the flavor boost from the skill. I can’t be proud of it very much.”

“Isn’t it a great thing?”

“The taste goes up at least two stages due to the skill.”

“Is that so, but it could not originally be delicious if there was no practice. After all, I still think it’s amazing.”

“That is so, didn’t Master practice so much?”

Tiera talked about how the humble Schnee put great effort in cooking.

As for the cooking skill, it certainly could compensate the dish in various ways, but it was not possible to improve bad foods. Because a bad thing would always be a bad thing.

Even if one compensated with the skill, there was no change if the cooking ability was good.

“Thanks for the meal!”

“Yes, I’m glad that you’re satisfied.”

 

Vol. 2 Chapter 4 – Part 2

After breakfast, Schnee and Tiera were in charge of cleaning up and Shin headed toward the blacksmith’s workshop in the inner part of Tsuki no Hokora. Yuzuha, who was probably curious about it, came along with Shin.

“What is in there?”

“It’s my warehouse and workshop, and the warehouse is a little special. It has considerable more capacity than it looks.”

The storehouse of Tsuki no Hokora was not as big as a guild house, but quite a lot of items were stored inside. Since it was Shin’s personal warehouse, its contents were inclined to be weapons and armor.

They were making a little detour in response to Yuzuha’s comment, “I want to see it”. The appearance of the warehouse was a normal door with a hanging lock. However, it was so tough that even Shin’s strongest attack in the game era couldn’t break it. It was said that nothing could break it physically.

“Just pour a little magic power, and done.”

When Shin poured magic power into the lock, a light “click” sound was made, and the lock came off. This type of lock was opened by using magic power recognition. The door wouldn’t open no matter how much someone fiddled with the fake keyhole.

He pushed open the door and they entered inside. There, it was overflowing with lines of armor and weapons side by side.

There were swords, katanas, spears, bows, daggers, large hammers, halberds, flails and all kinds of weapons displayed. In a different location, there were full body armors for warriors, gauntlets that were thought to be custom-made, and shields alongside it all. Naturally, everything was valuable, starting from 《Unique》 grade to 《Legend》 grade, 《Mythology》 grade and finally, 《Ancient》 grade.

A person would feel an enormous amount of pressure the moment they entered the room, even if the person was not sensitive to magic power. Although the quantity and the quality of each item was different, the overwhelming magic power given off was similar to the feeling of abnormal tepid water according to a dweller of this world.

If even one of them was put up for sale, many countries would have piles of their weapons lose their value when compared to its prestige. A warehouse that had a large quantity of these kinds of things for sale already felt like a ‘warehouse clearance sale’.

“Amazing! But, somehow I feel hot~”

“It is because this place is filled with magic power. You better not enter if you are not strong-minded.”

“Yuzuha is okay for this much!”

The Element Tail was indeed one of the strongest species even if it was young.

Rather than being overwhelmed by the magic power pressure emitted from the arms, Yuzuha was looking curiously around the warehouse. Even though its tail fur was fully bristled up, there are some things that are better left unsaid.

“It’s fine if you only look at it, but don’t touch without permission, okay? There are some cursed arms here.”

“Is it dangerous?”

“Ah, I just don’t want you to get hurt. There is a seal function attached to the containers, but there are several of them that you might able to break.”

“Muu, Yuzuha don’t do things like that.”

While apologizing to Yuzuha, who puffed its cheeks, they headed off to the blacksmith’s workshop. Even here, it was in a perfect state without change, waiting for its master to return.

“There’s no problem at all. It seems like I can use it right away.”

“To do what?”

“I’m making swords and armor here. But before doing it today, I have to ask you something, Yuzuha.”

“Want to ask me something?”

“There is a lot I want to ask. Well, lets return to the living room for now. After that, we will talk. As for forging a sword, that’s for later.”

“Then let’s go quickly. I want to see Shin forge a sword!”

They returned to the living room and Yuzuha had sparkling eyes with anticipation. Even though Shin didn’t know what Yuzuha was looking forward to so much, he lightly checked the tools and followed after Yuzuha. As for Schnee and Tiera, who were taking care of the cleaning after the breakfast, it should be done soon.

When he returned to the living room, the three of them already surrounded the table. He sat down on his seat while smiling wryly at Yuzuha, who urged him on with “quickly! quickly!”.

“What did Shin want to ask?”

“First of all, why were you in such a weakened state in that Shinto shrine. And, did a large amount of people disappear around 500 years ago? If you know something about it, then please tell me.”

When Shin’s question was heard, Yuzuha closed its eyes and folded its arms like it was thinking about something. After several seconds like that, Yuzuha began to talk.

“Well, err… When Yuzuha was there, I was having the most painful experience from the inside. It was very painful, so much that I collapsed.”(T/N: Yuzuha sometimes refer itself as “Yuzuha” when talking.)

“Is that so? Did you understand the drawing on that floor?”

“No~, I didn’t know it.”

Shin thought it was some sort of relief feature that delayed the condition, but Yuzuha didn’t seem to remember it.

“I understand. How about the people who had disappeared?”

“I don’t know. People didn’t come very much.”

“Now that I think about it, there was some kind of erected barrier that made people stay away from there.”

Shin remembered that a barrier, around the Shinto shrine, affecting one’s mind had been erected. A person might not come near it because of that.

“Eventually, what was Yuzuha doing in such place?”

“Uhm, I was basking under the sun, when suddenly the ground went ‘bam’, the wind blew ‘byu byu’ and the mountain went ‘clang’. Yuzuha was surprised and jumped. After that, I tried my best so that the ground would not be wrecked apart.”

“…In other words, the natural disaster occurred, and you tried to suppress it?”

“It is likely so, I have no doubt if it is Yuzuha.”

“Eh, is that true?”

When Schnee chimed in with an agreeable response, Tiera was amazed and had wide eyes.

Though Shin didn’t know what kind of technique Yuzuha used, the Element Tail was a monster that corresponded to all attributes. The possibilities of interfering with the natural disaster by some special method was high.

“A lot of power was used while I kept at it, then I took a rest in the Shinto shrine. Because my power could not be held in my body then, I thought I was gonna die soon when Shin came.”

“It was just at the last minute when I came, huh?”

“When the unpleasant wind blew, I was scared.”

When he heard about unpleasant wind, Shin was reminded of the miasma. Perhaps both of the 【Curse • Ⅹ】 and the 【Poison • Ⅹ】 at that time, were caused by the miasma. A number of monsters and levels were increased in an area with a lot of miasma during the game. Moreover, to a player, it was a troublesome way to be given an abnormality state responding to status at a regular intervals. Apart from the monsters, they had to drink potions regularly because of the abnormality state, although it didn’t affect high-ranked players too much.

“It was thanks to Millie that Yuzuha was saved. I wouldn’t have gone there if not for Millie’s advice.”

“I will give thanks when I meet Mi-chan again.”

“That’s right, let’s take some souvenirs.”

Because of the forecast ability, Shin couldn’t say it clearly. Whether Yuzuha understood it or not, it matched with Shin’s way of talking.

“Hey, who is Millie?”

Tiera looked puzzled.

“She’s a child who lives in the orphanage of the kingdom. I happened to meet her by chance. If you know Wilhelm, think of the orphanage he is protecting and you will understand.”

“Ah! that guy.”

“You know Wilhelm?”

“He comes over once a while to meet master. But I rarely meet him. However, I thought it was strange that he bought sweets while he was here on occasion. I wonder if he was going to the orphanage, if so, it is understandable.”

Wilhelm seemed to buy the cakes which Tiera made.

“It is because the cakes that Tiera makes are delicious, right?”

“No, it is because it’s cheap. Master’s cake are more delicious. Even the king’s messenger has come to purchase it. Because I learned mine in an elf’s village, it is only fine.”

They praised each other, although both of them seemed delicious.

“When you said learned it in an elf’s village, which one was it?”

“Uhm, it’s a baked confectionery called Cayfal, have you heard of it?”

“No, I have never heard of it.”

In the first place, he didn’t remember any kind of setting called skillful bakery in any elf’s village. Because cooking was not his specialty, there were many dishes which he couldn’t cook or make, even if he had the recipe.

“That Cayfal is like a financier*, huh? It will be nice to distribute it to children because the cake is as big as a mouthful.” (T/N: Financier is a small French cake)

“Though I displayed it on a whim, one or two sale items have to compete at the present time. Because I originally lived in the forest, my strong point is making cake using honey.”

“Is that so? But wait, since Tsuki no Hokora is not a store that mainly sells foodstuff, are there any other sales?”

Shin looked at Schnee while asking that.

“Because Shin was absent, there are a few items for sale. I am an amateur with smithery, and for replenishing the goods, only Shin can open the storehouse where the arms were kept.”

Therefore, Schnee had to replenish unskilled stock from somewhere, and it seemed difficult to replenish goods because of competition over that right. It was only natural that if the maker went missing, there would be a shortage of inventory.

“How should I say it…I’m sorry. Schnee is doing a good job to keep the store open.”

“Even if it is open, there aren’t many things that are able to be put up for sale.”

“…That’s true. Even if it’s open, it won’t solve anything.”

During the game era, the store was barely continuing in business. It was no wonder.

“When I have time, I will replenish the stock with the ones I have saved.”

“Roger that. By the way, the talks have derailed from the subject. Yuzuha, can we continue?”

“Yup. But, because I was in the Shinto shrine the whole time, I don’t know more than you already know.”

The interference to the natural disaster, it seemed to be an impossible task, even to an Element Tail. Although it said that it didn’t know about the world’s situation, because it made a great effort to decrease the damage of the natural phenomenon since the Dusk of the Majesty, there’s no reason to blame it.

“I see, tell me when you recall something, just in case.”

“Yes, I understand~ Umm, Tiera-onee-chan, that Cayfal just now, is it done yet?”

When the conversation settled down, Yuzuha asked about the pastry matter to Tiera. Was it interested in it that much? Even the things about the smithy was forgotten. As Yuzuha approached Tiera, its tail shook with flutters.

Such an appearance also suited its age.

“Excuse me, but there is one more thing. I have to talk to Shin.”

“…What?”

Though Schnee was in a serious mood; it was different from a while ago, as she put a stop to the air trying to clear.

She appeared to have been looking for the right time to begin the talk.

“Actually, there is a person I would like you to meet. I understand that you may have various things to investigate, but please make this the first priority this time.”

“Then, who is this person you want me to meet?”

Shin felt like it was a rush from Schnee’s tone. It was like something was running out of time, such a feeling of impatience.

He corrected his sitting posture, and waited for Schnee’s words.

“I didn’t think it was a good idea to meet again immediately so I didn’t talk about it yesterday, but the person I want you to meet is Girard.”

“Girard huh?…No, wait, is it really Girard?”

Girard was the no. 3 support character of Shin. A High Beast. But, it was more than 500 years since the Dusk of the Majesty, it should be impossible to meet Girard.

“…Is he still alive?”

Although he was called a High Beast, he didn’t have a long lifespan. Humans, Beasts, Dwarfs were said to live a long life if they lived for 100 years.

In contrast to these 3 races that have short lives, such races like Elves, Pixies, Dragnils and Lords were said to be a long-lived species.

Even though High Beasts and High Dwarfs were a superior race, still, it should be 150 years at most.

Although a beast’s length of life depends on the animal which became the model, Girard’s model was a relatively orthodox wolf among the choices. It wasn’t a model for long living especially.

Certainly, he heard the thing about Girard becoming a king. However, because that was a fairly old story, Shin never thought that Girard was still alive.

“Yes. But…I think he has a few days left and it will not be that much longer anymore.”

Schnee personally didn’t know why Girard was still alive until today.

But she was certain about one thing.

“He too, was waiting for Shin.”

As Schnee was, Girard also was waiting for Shin.

“He himself doesn’t know how he could live this long. There is likely some meaning, since he is alive.”

He didn’t seem to feel too much fear from the approaching death either since his body should already be dead.

“Actually, even if there’s no Girard, the alliance can continue functioning. The current beast king is the eighth generation, that not only has military power, but he also has the ability as a ruler.”

Falnido Beast Alliance was formed by bundling up every beastman tribe. It was built by Girard during the confusion that struck the world.

And then, as for the first beast king, it was Shin’s support character, a no. 3 of High Beast origin.

Girard Estaria.

The appearance that Shin remembered, when he was in a normal human form, was a man of about 40, characterized with an unkempt beard and brown hair that was trimmed short. Handsome men and beautiful women would be wretched, because this appearance of a wild middle-aged man was good. When Girard was fully armed, the charisma that was felt around him could be called a veteran warrior, Shin took pride at that time for not making a wrong choice.

When in combat, Girard went into werewolf mode, a figure that swooped down upon his prey, exactly like a hunter.

He specialized in close ranged combat and paired up with the no. 4 support character, Shibaid, a High Dragnil, to serve as an advance guard party. Although his offensive power from magic skills was low, it was compensated with agile movement, and perfected with hand-based martial arts skills. He could fight on par with Schnee, and would win under certain conditions.

The figure that used to strike his fist against enemies with a roar, was reproduced instantly in Shin’s mind, as he remembered it properly.

“After hearing that, we can’t afford not to go. Where is Girard’s place?”

“When we exited from the Wraith Plains the other day, just go further north ahead instead. The alliance extends over the plains and forest area, it is next to a capital city that is said to be ruled by a human king. There are 4 big villages like the capital city, and the Girard is in the village of the dog clan where the current beast king is.”

‘I see. Although I heard it roughly, there is no danger before arriving there, right?”

“Yes, I think it will be safe for at least another several more years. Because the person in question has not weakened that much too.”

“Then, should I go normally?”

Shin was going to use his trump card for long-range transfer if he was really driven into a corner, but it somehow seemed to be all right.

“Then, because there are several things I want to check, let’s leave after I am finished. I have to be ready too, will both of you be alright for tomorrow?”

“I’m all right anytime~”

“I wonder if I’m good since I’ve always been the sort of ‘stay at home caretaker’.”

Shin asked Yuzuha and Tiera, who had taken the role of listener. Basically, Tiera was entrusted for house-watching because of Schnee always being away from home, and she thought she would do the same this time too.

“Tiera, you will also go this time.”

“Eh! Me too?”

Tiera was surprised to hear from Schnee that she was also going.

“Because Shin has returned, there’s no need to stick to this place anymore.”

“Yeah, it’s the strong point of owning a personal store.”

“Um, is it okay to leave this store alone?”

Schnee smiled wrily at Tiera’s question.

“No problem. Because he will carry it away.”

“Carry it…away?”

What did she say, Tiera had an expression of not understanding. Surely, there were few people who could understand immediately when Schnee said, “Carry the store.”

“I can take it. This store.”

“…Eto, what do you mean by that?”

It was understandable that Tiera couldn’t comprehend what Shin was trying to say. No matter how one looked at it, he couldn’t easily carry the store, was what she was probably thinking.

“Is it unusual now? To carry a store or a house?”

“It’s not nonexistent, but without an expert in that field, it would not be known. As far as I know, it needs quite a large sum of money to be attached even to a small hut.”

Although it was common technology during the game era, as usual, Shin didn’t know what happened under the present situation. When he heard about it from Schnee, he understood that it was treated like a special technique.

From seeing Tiera’s reaction, the production skills seemed to have suffered a steep decline.

“Indeed. Then, it’s only natural that Tiera doesn’t know about it, huh? Then, are arts more mainstream than skills now? Is the production system too?”

“Yes. The production system is also divided by arts and skills. After the Dusk of the Majesty, people tried to restore the skills, and from trial and error, arts were born. It’s the same as the combat system, where the effects are lower than a skill.”

“I knew it.”

If it was said in a game style, they were trying to reproduce the skill without the system assistance. Normally nothing would happen, but here was a different world. Perhaps, an effect, such as a portion of the skill was produced, and it was called arts. As for a blacksmith, because there were techniques that could never be reproduced by simple physical work, it must not be an ‘off the mark’ guess.

“Since the new generation, like me, thought arts were the standard, it’s deviated from Shin and Master by all means. Were people with the same class as Master common before the Dusk of the Majesty? I can’t imagine what kind of world that was.”

“Well it had its own way, but there were not many people who had the same class as Schnee, right?”

“Still, it can’t be counted with the number of fingers on both hands, don’t you agree? It was so beyond scary that I’m amazed from that time. Those kind of people fighting were heard everywhere, and how such a society was able to maintain itself in such situation.”

“In that situation, it was managed properly, and when a guy went too far they would get expelled.”

Malignant players were reported to GM’s and had their account deleted, but because he couldn’t say that, he got by with similar words. If there really was such a world, it ought to have perished a long time ago.

“How was it able to be managed?”

“That was because there were various people cooperating in that situation. Leaving that aside, what do you mean by a “new generation” that you said a while ago, Tiera?”

“Ah that matter? It’s simple. It is a ‘new generation’ for people who were born after the Dusk of the Majesty, a person who was born before the Dusk of the Majesty and is still alive is called the ‘old generation’. It was first said by someone when the country was founded after the Dusk of the Majesty, and lasted until now. Though I think as a new generation, I obviously feel inferior when I see Master and other older generations.”

As Tiera said, an old generation was certainly superior when looking at the ability.

Shin and Schnee were good examples. However, if the skill was excluded, it didn’t mean that the old generation was high in ability.

“There are gaps in ability between the different generations, but I’m not too conscious of differences between the old and new. However, I clearly feel the generation differences from Shin and Master.”

“Not generation differences!”

To tell the truth, a piece of the generation differences didn’t make sense to Shin.

“Such recognition is all right I guess.”

Since it was already established, there didn’t seem to be any harm or anything. Although it appears to have some exceptions.

“Let’s return to the talk that had derailed away for the time being. I said it a while ago here, but Tsuki no Hokora is a store that can be moved. Because of that, I intend for the two of you to act together. In addition, Tiera is able to go out without much trouble now and I thought it would be good to take a trip. Ah, of course there is a choice, do you want to stay?”

He wouldn’t force her, against her will, to come along with him. And there was no reason he must take Tsuki no Hokora with him.

“If that’s the case, I will follow you. Though I did go out from here several times, it was still a little scary for me to enter the kingdom yet. But I think it’s all right if it were with Shin and Master together.”

“It’s decided then.”

“Everyone will be together~!”

All of them nodded at Yuzuha’s remark.

“Let’s move for preparation immediately!”

In addition to Tiera and Schnee, they aimed to meet an old friend at Falnido Beast Alliance.

The anticipated reunion and parting, Shin has decided the destination.

What was waiting for them thereupon, no one knows.

 

Vol. 2 Chapter 4 – Part 3(Side Story)

As she felt the morning light warming up her chest, Schnee woke up.

(Here is…)

She remembered yesterday’s event vaguely in her head. The things where Shin returned. The situation where Wilhelm and Rashia were surprised. The time when they sat down at the dining table in Tsuki no Hokora.

“If I’m not mistaken, I definitely put Tiera in my bed…Eh!!?”

As she muttered that, she noticed that there was somebody next to her. She was also holding somebody’s arm.

“EH? S-Shin!?”

She desperately suppressed the loud voice which came close to shouting. Schnee confirmed that it was her master’s arm that she had been holding.

The curly black hair. The deep black eyes under the closed eyelids, it was something that Schnee knew well.

That person was Shin, the master of Tsuki no Hokora.

“Huh!?”

The state of their bodies being so close and the sensation of their skin touching each other, caused Schnee’s face to turn red. Even she herself was aware of her ears turning bright red. She was aware that she had been intoxicated last night.

However, she never thought that she would do something like step into Shin’s bed in a natural fashion while being drunk.

“W-What a blunder…”

While her face was flushed red, she reproached herself, since she never had the intention of releasing Shin’s arm.

When she got out of the bed without waking Shin up, she let out a small breath. The reason was that she didn’t know when Shin would wake up. If Shin was to wake now, she couldn’t come up with any excuses.

Somehow she restrained her desire of wanting to look at Shin’s sleeping face, and she left the room.

After changing her clothes in her own room, she washed her face and cleared her consciousness. She felt refreshed due to the cold water, and her reflection no longer showed her face flushed red from a little while ago.

“First of all, I will prepare breakfast.”

As for the time, it was only a little past 5:30. Because she always finished tidying up before 7:00, this was pretty much her daily routine.

Schnee went to the kitchen, and as she looked at the fridge’s contents to decide the menu, Tiera came over.

“Ah, Master, good morning.”

“Good morning, you were quite drunk yesterday, are you okay now?”

“Uhh…I caused an inconvenience last night. For the time being, I have no hangover.”

Tiera seemed to remember, and she apologized while dropping her shoulders.

“Then, please help with the preparation for breakfast. Because it is likely that we will need to prepare portions for 4 people.”

“Yes…huh? For 4 people?”

“Well, just in case.”

“Ah, I see.”

Tiera seemed to have some doubts about the 4 people part, but she obediently wore the apron and began to help. Schnee also put on her favorite apron. Schnee’s was light blue, and Tiera’s was light green.

“What would you like for the menu this morning?”

“Let’s go with a Japanese-style meal. For the other ingredient beside the miso soup, take out the treasured fish.”

“Huh!? Master, don’t tell me, it’s THAT?”

Tiera couldn’t hide her surprise due to Schnee words. That super high-quality ingredient was said to be worth a large amount of Jul white gold coins. The name of the ingredient was ‘Diamond Horse Mackerel’. The special food was opened and dried in the sun, and it was best to be used at this time. In other words, the breakfast at Tsuki no Hokora today was the dried and opened horse mackerel, along with the miso soup which is a must in Japanese cuisine.

As for the Diamond Horse Mackerel, it was a fish type monster, like the horse mackerel, and had scales that shined like a diamond. However, regardless of its appearance, it boasted a strength level of 450 – 600. They were usually found in a school. It was a monster that ate low-level Krakens and a shark type monster that exceeded level 500 instead of normal bait. Only a few were caught, when they weakened and got lost from their school, and occasionally ended up on the market.

Among the food ingredients from the sea, it was recognized as a high-class food material with a tremendous price. What would happen if such a Diamond Horse Mackerel was processed with Schnee’s cooking skill? It was already needless to say.

“Though the mackerel has the appearance of a dried and opened fish, somehow it is sparkling.”

With the keen sense of an elf, Tiera seemed to have caught the hidden life force in the horse mackerel.

“Now then, I will prepare the miso soup first. Tiera, please cook the rice.”

“Ah, yes.”

The fish, which emitted the shine of a diamond, was first put on a plate, and Schnee took out the ingredients for the miso soup. The ingredients were miso paste, wakame seaweed, and three kinds of fried tofu. It was said to be a classic style with Dashi* and dried bonito and kelp. (T/N: Japanese soup stock)

“Master, the rice is ready.”

Tiera who finished preparing quickly called out to her master. Because it was obvious that she cooked her own meals when Schnee was away, Tiera too could prepare basic dishes. She didn’t need much time in preparation for cooking rice either. The magic stove was ignited, and the preparation was complete. In a few minutes, the aroma of the boiling soup stock from the miso began to fill the inside of the room. For Schnee, it was a smell she was very familiar with nowadays.

It was already past 6:00 at the time. It was time for breakfast soon.

Suddenly Tiera opened her mouth.

“Master, may I go outside for a moment?”

“Since the mackerel is almost roasted, try to make it brief.”

“Yes…I will return in about 10 minutes.”

Tiera excused herself from Schnee and headed toward the doorway of the store. What was Tiera going to do? Schnee knew and encouraged her. This was because Tiera needed to get over the final defense line with her own power.

 

Tiera opened the door and went out. Then, the morning sunlight enveloped Tiera gently.

“This time, it’s still only a little chilly.”

Was it the remnant of the night? She felt the air was still cold with her thin clothes. Tiera then walked slowly toward the boundary of the magic barrier that was erected around Tsuki no Hokora.

“It’s alright…it’s alright…”

As she approached the boundary, Tiera felt her heart beating rapidly. Shin was together with her when she went out for the first time. And she was able to come forth alone on the second time around.

Still, the fear that lasted 100 years was cultivated and wouldn’t disappear so easily. She might get attacked again by monsters if she went out. In addition, someone else might fall victim to it, again. That sort of unreasonable idea clung to her.

Schnee certainly noticed it, because she encouraged Tiera to keep at it.

While regaining her breath, Tiera advanced forward step by step. She already understood that there was nothing ahead. If there was experience, Tiera was able to advance beyond that.

She recalled the hand that Shin held out. In order to grasp that hand, Tiera stepped forward outside of the boundary.

“………”

She stayed in that place for about 1 minute, and confirmed that there was no change in the surroundings. While it may be true that she was outside of the boundary, there was nothing that abruptly appeared or anything unusual. However, she still felt that the air that surrounded her was unusual.

“…Phew. After all, I’m still nervous.”

Together with her voice, she entered the barrier again. Once again, this was obviously only for her to get used to the outside.

“Now then, let’s do this quickly.”

Aiming toward the corner of the trees that surround Tsuki no Hokora, Tiera began to walk. She moved until there was grass that grew thickly to about the height of Tiera’s waist, and went around sideways there.

A blooming flower with an appearance that was similar to a Cosmos flower, was in Tiera’s line of sight. Only its shape was similar, the flower’s petals were varied in manner, such as, red, blue, green, and purple.

The name of the flower was ‘Repika’. According to the elves’ belief, the flower had a meaning of gratitude and sincerity. When she was not yet able to come outside of the barrier, Tiera knew when it would bloom at this place in the current season. She didn’t look after the store for 100 years just for show. From the windows of the store, she looked casually at the blooming Repika.

Though she could see and was unable to touch it, those things were in the past now. She picked several flowers to decorate the dining table, and returned to the store.

 

“Flower vase, which flower vase~~”

“Have you become accustomed to it a little?”

Schnee called out to Tiera who was searching for a vase with a reasonable size.

“Somehow or another, though it is only a little.”

Tiera replied with a calm face, and Schnee had a gentle smile on her face. From her words, there was no sign of overdoing things.

“…It will be ready soon. Please go and wake Shin.”

“Understood.”

Schnees’ smile deepened a little as she sent off Tiera. The figure of Tiera disappeared into the depths of the passage and after a while, a sound of something falling was heard by Schnee.

Before long, the appearance of Shin and Tiera turned up, and then a young girl with fox ears and silver hair.

Though Schnee was extremely embarrassed when she recalled that they laid in bed together last night, she managed to keep herself calm somehow. She just hoped that Shin would say nothing. On the corner of the table, in that little noisy situation, a Repika flower watched the scene.

~Volume 2 End~

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