Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 3 Part 2

─ 2 ─

Unfortunately, the lights in the hallway went out.

I don’t remember doing anything in particular to make it so, so it must have been made to turn off naturally when the time comes.

Taking the current situation into account, it feels like it’s too much of a coincidence to be natural, but for now it’s best to brush those questions aside for later.

“…Light.”

I chanted a basic lighting spell, creating a minimal amount of light.

As it’s a type of magic that anyone can use, this light magic can really only amount to lighting up a fingernail, but it’s already made a lot of difference.

“Ringo, don’t let your guard down.”

While calling out in that way, we continue down the hallway.

The bath incident had only just happened. It’s not that it’s about carelessness, I’m just too aware that this was the world of Nekomimineko.

The bath death-trap is probably some kind of unintentional bug, but bugs aren’t the only things that annoy Nekomimineko’s playerbase. Since the staff of Nekomimineko are a bunch of trolls, the number of events made to piss off players are many.

Since they’re often planted in very bad places, you could treat it like a secondary enemy in Nekomimineko.

In my opinion, if I were to list the things in Nekomimineko in the order of what to be the most cautious about, the first place would be the bugs, the second place would be the staff pranks, the third place would be the NPCs, and the fourth place would be monsters.

I could say that it was my fault that I didn’t avoid the landmines of the TV and the phone, knowing that the creators of Nekomimineko had a mean streak in them. I mistakenly thought that there would be no danger at home.

Nonetheless, no matter how you look at it I don’t think that every room includes such terrible mechanisms.

When I look back on it calmly, it did feel like a room packed with the staple elements of horror. The concept of the previous room was probably a “psychic phenomenon” or to “experience fear”.

In short, I pulled the short end of the stick.

If I do some exploring, I’m sure I’ll find some rooms with concepts that won’t particularly cause real harm.

On the bright side, there seemed to be the fact that if you lock the door, the anomaly inside will go away. So even if you did end up in a dangerous room, you may have been able to avoid the worst if you had the key.

(But man, this is long…)

Or is it that since we are going through the dark, my sense of distance has become out of whack?

Just as I was beginning to feel uneasy like this, I saw the door to the next room illuminated by a pale light.

“Should we go in?”

I said to the back of me, then I slowly turned the doorknob and peeked through the door.

(….Huh?)

Inside, it was a surprisingly ordinary room.

It’s about the same size as the ghost room, but there’s nothing unusual about the furniture or the walls, and it didn’t seem dangerous from the outside.

Compared to the other rooms, there wasn’t that much furniture, but I felt that this was enough to sleep in.

(I guess the concept is “Simple”. Nah, I mean, I don’t think there was a room like this the first time I went around…)

Nevertheless, the room was not locked, and the electricity was on.
I’m sure this is a room I’ve explored once. It just may have been too boring to leave a lasting impression.

(Hmm. Let’s just settle down here, shall we?)

Why I didn’t remember this room is a concern, but i’d rather talk about whether or not I’ll find a problem after I look into it.

“First, let’s make sure that this room is actually safe.”

I don’t want to be attacked in my sleep like I was before. I searched the room with vigilance, but found nothing suspicious in particular. If I was forced to say, I felt that there are too many fixtures that kept the furniture in place.

“…Well, there’s no point in thinking too much about it. Let’s just rest here for a bit, while being on guard so that we can move quickly if something happens.”

When I said that, Ringo nodded and then looked at the floor beside the bed in a troubled way.

Ringo’s futon was left in the previous room. Having said that, I don’t have the courage to go back there and pick it up.

“So, uh, how about we just use this bed together?”

Fortunately, the beds in this room are quite large. If we slept on one end and the other, our bodies would never touch each other.

Besides, it would be a problem putting too much distance between me and Ringo if things like last time happened again.

So this is a measure that can’t be helped.

And so, while I was making such excuses to myself, Ringo moved without hesitation.

As soon as she ran to the bed, she fastened the teddy bear in her hand to the fixture on the side of the bed. After that, she flipped the covers and jumped into bed.

Then, she looked at me like she was going to say, “Aren’t you gonna get in?

“Ah, aah. Yeah, I guess so.”

With that, I get into bed from the opposite end to Ringo.

I would have gotten as close to the edge as I could, but because Ringo was unexpectedly positioned in the middle, our arms were in contact.

Come to think of it, except for the demons and monsters in the locked room, there are only me and Ringo in this big house. There’s no way I can remain calm in this state.

My heart is beating fast.

(Oh, c’mon! Be quiet, my heart!)

If Ringo were to find out about this, it might turn into a rather awkward state. I kept telling myself to be quiet, be quiet.

I wonder if that wish would come true. Nah, it’s probably not relevant to that, but an unusual event happened in the next moment.

Suddenly, the heavens and the earth have been turned upside down.

“Huh?”

Of course, I was not prepared for such a thing, and so I was thrown into the air helplessly.

“Ugh!”

I fell about two meters and hit the ground with the sheets in my hand. Wait, no, not the ground.

(Is this… the ceiling….?)

The pattern on the ground looked exactly like the pattern on the ceiling, which I had been previously looking at while calming my heart.

While helping up Ringo, who had fallen in a similar way next to me, I looked up at the spot from whence we had fallen earlier.

The bed that we were sleeping on was now attached to the ceiling.

(Of course!)

The distance from the next room was unnaturally large.

The fixtures that had been installed with so much care so the furnature wouldn’t move around.

And the fact that I didn’t recognize it, even though I’d explored it once. That means one thing.

(So this was the “room with all the furniture stuck to the ceiling” that we found the last time we looked around!)

No, that’s not exactly right.

This must be a room where the floor rotates 180 degrees at certain times.

This room is probably some kind of contraption that rotates at regular intervals, swapping the floor and ceiling positions.

The first time I came in, the floor and ceiling were reversed, so it had appeared to be “a room where all the furniture is stuck to the ceiling,” and the last time I came in, the floor and ceiling were swapped again.

So this time, it looked like an “ordinary room with a lot of furnature fixtures on the floor.”

The fact that there was so much space between the rooms was probably due to the turning radius of this room. It took up more space than the other rooms because of its rotational system.

“What a house, this is…” I let my mumbling slip out.

I guess it’s pretty imaginative, but I would like to see a room made with the people living in it kept in mind. Anyway, it’s impossible to spend the night in a room like this.

I pulled Ringo, who was staring wistfully at the stuffed bear that had been pinned to the ceiling, and left the room.

The next thing we visited was Ringo’s room. I had decided a mere few hours ago that this room was for girls to sleep in, so I kept it out of my mind earlier. Now, however, I can’t afford to ignore it. I don’t like this pinky-pink taste, but if it’s just a girly room, I think I can live somehow.

“What the hell!?”

As soon as Ringo and I sat down on the heart-shaped bed, the ground felt like it was moving again.

I thought it was another up and down rotation, but this time it was a side rotation. The bed we were on started to spin like a merry-go-round.

At the same time, the lights in the room switched to a harsh pink color with flickering lights, moody music and a woman’s voice shouting “Ahhhhhh” or “MmmmmmMMMMmm” out of nowhere…

“This is….”

I’m certain I know what the concept of this room is.

This is, could it be… a love ho-……

“C-come on, let’s get out of here!”

This room is not good for Ringo’s education!

I hastily pulled Ringo’s hand and ran out of the room.

Finally, we arrived at the room closest to the entrance. It was just a sitting room, no bed, no nothing.

I feel like I can’t sleep in any room any longer. So, I thought it would be best to sleep in this huge room with no facilities and no gimmicks instead.

After all, Ringo was probably tired, too.

Let’s just sleep here today, shall we?

She was not opposed to this suggestion.

Fortunately, the sofa in this room was large and of high quality, so it was big enough for one person to lie down on.

I brought only the futon from the rotating room and the room with the bright red wallpaper. With that, we each lay down from each other on the two sofas positioned around the table.

We said “good night” to each other this time and closed our eyes on our respective couches.

(Oh, crap!)

I know that nothing is supposed to happen here, but my hypersensitive nerves are hard to cure.

Every time I heard a noise, I jump up and have a hard time sleeping.

(Haaah… I miss the stables…)

In retrospect, I wonder why I complained when I was sleeping there.

The place was large enough to be a place to sleep. The bedding was warm. Thanks to the moonlight and starlight, we could see well enough, and the only threat we had to be on the lookout for was thieves.

The place was like a paradise.

(That place from back then was kinda a luxury…)

Just as I was thinking about it, she tapped me on the shoulder.

Apparently, Ringo hasn’t been able to sleep and is interrupting me.

(…Seriously…)

To be honest, I’m glad it’s the case because I also can’t sleep at all, but if we continue to play, we’d both more or less not sleep the whole night.

I mentally decided to ignore her. However…

Tap tap, tap tap.

Ringo’s interruptions don’t stop easily.

I’ve been pretending to be asleep for a long time, but it’s getting annoying. However…

Tap, tap, tap.

When Ringo tapped me on the shoulder harder than before, my patience was at its limit.

‘Hey, Ringo. It’s about time we got some sleep,” I said, unintentionally raising my voice.

“…I’m.. over… here?” I heard Ringo’s voice from a distance.

(……Eh?)

From the direction of her voice, I determine that Ringo hadn’t moved from the couch across from me.

(Then who’s the one who just tapped me on the shoulder?) Chills ran through my entire body.

I have a premonition that something horrible is looking at me. But if I don’t turn around, I won’t know anything.

I muster up the courage to flip my body over to the other side.

And there, is….

There was something on the table where no one was supposed to be.

‘”A a a a a a a h h h…..”

In the dimness, a shadow emerges.

—The form is nothing like a human’s.

—Fat, clumsy hands and feet that can be described as very strange..

—Its entire body is the colour yellow.

I’m certain about the identity of the shadow that has emerged in the darkness…

It was the stuffed teddy bear that Ringo loved to carry around with her.

“Phew…” I take a big breath.

It’s often said that the real forms of ghosts are withered flowers, but I’m not really the one to be intimidated by such things.

“Man, you scared the crap out of me.”

I lay down on the couch again, picked up the stuffed bear and complained about it.

Suddenly, however, I realized.

(Oh, wait. Wasn’t that stuffed animal left in the spinning room?) When I thought about that, something tapped my arm again

I’m not sure what to expect, but when I looked at the stuffed animal in my hand, the mouth of its adorable smiling face split wide open.

I won’t let you get away.

“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!” The night of horror continues….!

END OF CHAPTER 3

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Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 3 Part 1

─ 1 ─

So we decided on two conditions when using the bath. One person must wait in the changing room while the other is bathing. When inside the bath, one must call out to the other at set intervals.

I thought to myself, why is it necessary that we have to call out to eachother while in the bath, but it can’t be helped. It would be a different story if there was an item that gave underwater aptitude, but those items are all rare or limited time items. It’s even possible that Hisame might not have that kind of item too.

Come to think of it, there was a saying on the internet that if you took an underwater aptitude item and fought in the underwater dungeon, you might be able to beat Hisame while at a low level.

However, since there weren’t any sightings of Hisame in the underwater dungeon in the first place, there’s no point in trying.

I was under the impression that Hisame would randomly appear to help the player at any time, outside of the demon lord fight. But if I really think about it, I’ve heard no reports of her appearing in high towers or sky cities, let alone the underwater dungeon, so maybe she’s a bit picky.

….Perhaps, with some good planning, I could fight her in a bath and win easily, don’t you think?

However, since she’s already decided on the place where to fight, it’s too late.

While I was sitting around mooching about my mistakes,

“…Souma, you there?”

Ringo’s muffled voice entered my ears.

“….Yeah.”

My desperate escape from reality is in vain, as that voice makes me aware of the current situation.

The reason why I’ve been thinking so desperately about whimsical things is because Ringo is taking a bath.

There was a thin entryway, consisting of a single sheet, that separated myself from Ringo. I had been painfully aware of Ringo taking off her clothes in the room next door, and even now I can’t help but hear the sound of the water.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but as a guy who has been alone in both games and reality for all his life, this isn’t a situation where I can sit down and relax.

“…Souma?”

Who’s the one here doing the regular reporting?

I say to Ringo, who is innocently calling out for me, not knowing about my woes…

“Uhuh! I’m here! Without a doubt! I am here!”

I reply in a loud voice.

“…..Un.”

As I heard Ringo’s somewhat satisfied response, I once again return to my state of distress.

After this time of hellish paradise, we decided to go to bed earlier than usual.

Of course, this is my wish.

Even though my first impressions were that it might be tough living here, I’d like to think that i’ll get used to all of this.

“So then, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“…See you.” We parted ways in front of our rooms, which was the heart-shape and pink room Ringo had, and my retro TV and phone room.

But a few minutes later…

“…So, why is Ringo in here?”

In my room was Ringo, who was holding a futon with tons of heart patterns in her hand.

I didn’t lock any of the rooms with a key, but even still I had never expected her to come back to me a few minutes after we said goodnight.Well, she never said the “tomorrow” bit of the “See you tomorrow” phrase at that time, so…

I stare at Ringo while expressing my intent to object, but…

“…I’ll sleep here.”

Ringo declares that stubbornly and unfazed, trying to sit down with me next to my bed.

Of course I become flustered.

“W-Wait a minute! Didn’t you decide on your own room!? Why are you…”

Ringo, on the other hand, cut off my panicked words in response.

“When I take my eyes off of you… Souma… you die.”

“Quit it with those ominous prophetic words!!”

Erghhhh.. I grab and pull my own hair.

It seems that the bathroom incident has flipped off an overprotective switch inside Ringo.

I can’t take it too seriously either, as it’s merely an act of goodwill.

“…It can’t be helped.”

I hand over the stuffed bear that had been sitting by my pillow. “You didn’t bring a pillow. Use this.”

At this stage, a gentleman might give up his bed for her, and by doing so everything would settle down.

However, I don’t have the guts to sleep in the same bed as her, so this gesture is all that I can do.

Ringo stared at the stuffed bear for a good ten seconds, and then…

“…Thanks.”

She said, and took the bear. Without hesitation, she placed it on the edge of the bed and rested her chin on it. She remained in that position and started to look at me intently… Ok, I’m soooooo uncomfortable.

“Ringo? W-what are you doing?”

Somehow I had a bad feeling about it, but when I asked her….

“…Hmm. So that Souma doesn’t die, I’m watching over you.”

”Oof…..!”

I abruptly let out a strange breath in response.

Apparently, Ringo’s true feelings are that if she takes her eyes off of me, I’ll die. Originally I thought she was just a bit overprotective, or maybe I was just weak, but…

“…In the bath, Souma, you stopped moving, so…”

Apparently, the bathing incident had caused her more worry than I could have imagined. If her voice came out this anxiously, even I can’t even unilaterally push it away.

After a moment’s thought, I held out my hand towards Ringo.

“…Souma?”

To Ringo, who voiced out in wonder, I quickly communicated to her.

”If we hold our hands, you’ll be able to tell even without looking.” I said with my body language. I felt something warm touching my outstretched hand. Ringo’s small hand gingerly squeezed mine.

I feel the warmth that was coming from her hand I held. I felt the faint pulsation of a heartbeat.

It made me feel strongly that Ringo was indeed alive, that she wasn’t just data, she was a real person, and that she was a close person to me.

“…Hey, Ringo.”

I only just realised that I opened my mouth.

I’m on top of the bed, and Ringo is underneath. We can’t see each other’s faces from this position, and even if we don’t, the only light source is the moonlight shining through the window.

But the situation made me put together words that I normally wouldn’t be able to speak.

“Do you notice that I know things that regular people don’t?”

There was no answer to that question for a little while.

I wondered if maybe she was already asleep, but soon she replied in a small voice.

“…Somewhat.”

Somewhat, huh?

That answer suits Ringo.

I bitterly smile to myself and continue speaking.

“Have you ever thought about how I know those things? Do you wonder where my knowledge came from? Or any questions like that?…”

I stopped talking after that and waited for Ringo’s response.

If Ringo responded with a “No”, I’d end my talk with that.

It’s not like the person in question doesn’t care, but it’s not like they’re forced to talk.

However, if she answered “I do wonder”, I would plan to give her an explanation. I don’t know if I’m going to go so far as to say that this world is a game, but it’s just that I grew up in a very different and distant place from here.

But, after the long silence had ended, it was neither of those things that Ringo uttered.

“…From a game?”

She said it in a small, unconfident voice, but I’m sure she said it.

She had guessed the right answer that no one else but me should have known.

“What the hell is this…!”

My thoughts turned to chaos.

The word ‘game’ itself does have a place in this world. But there are no games in this world that are as advanced as ones that use a computer. There can’t be.

In this world, games are at best, board games and other games that do not use machines. It’s supposed to show naive play, and we don’t usually think that it leads to special knowledge.

In contrast to my dismay, Ringo speaks blandly, in a voice with no trace of emotion.

“…Before, Souma told me.”

“Before? When?”

While asking that uneasily, Ringo replied.

“Yesterday, a big…”

But before those words could be finished.

-JIRIRIRIRIRRIRIRIRI!!!!!

A pitter-patter sound echoed through the room, drowning out her voice.

“W-What on earth!?”

At this sudden strange event, I jumped out of bed.

-JIRIRIRIRIRRIRIRIRI!!!!!

The sound, like an alarm, came from a pitch-black object placed in the corner of the room.

This is an antique that can be said to be a relic of the old days, especially in the modern era of VR. That’s for sure.

It’s a machine that was referred to as a “black rotary-dial telephone”.

(At a time like this, what a bad moment!)

During the day I thought I couldn’t use it, but I wonder if the reception is different.

To begin with, it’s hard to imagine getting a phone call at at this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localized entirely within my room, but anyhow I know that I need to pick it up.

“Hello?”

I called out in an irritated voice to whoever is on the other end of the phone.

<…..all.>

A faint voice could be heard through the receiver held to her ear.

But the voice was so small that I couldn’t hear the words.

“What did you say?”


<……….will….all…>

“Eh?”

Even on the second time, I still couldn’t figure out the words.

But then,

The third time, the words were clearly audible.

<I will kill you all.>

Just as my brain comprehended these words, the voice said. <I will never never never never forgive those who are hard to live die join the world of the dead like us I’ll kill you until death arrives you and your partners I’ll absolutely murder you all I’ll definitely kill you—>

Unable to withstand the sudden surge of hate, I let go of the receiver.

“What the hell was that…?”

It was a litany of words that had been boiled down to nothing but malice.

I stared at the rotary phone which had dropped to the ground, placed there like in a creepy scene.

—–Bang!

Behind me, there was a strong sound as if something had exploded

 I glanced behind me reflexively and gasped involuntarily.

“Hey! T-this…”

There was a bright red handprint on the wall.

Something like this couldn’t have been there when I walked into the room.

As I wondered why in the world… once again, Bang. Another explosive sound.

A new crimson handprint is engraved on the wall, as if an invisible human being was moving on it,

—BANG! BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!!!!

Then, like a dam breaking, the explosive sounds continued, informing me of the thing that cannot be seen walking onward.

That handprints crawling around the wall somehow seemed to be getting closer to me.

(Dammit! What the hell is going on here?)

I don’t understand. I don’t know why, but I felt like it was dangerous to be here anyway. “Ringo, Right now let’s…”

I felt an instinctive fear, and just as I was about to say go outside…

———Za, zaza, za—-.

A new, unusual sound echoed from the back.

The place it came from was…

(The TV!)

The TV screen, which should not have been projecting anything onto the screen so far, showed what looked like a vague shadow of a person.

No, I don’t think it ends here.

———….n’t. run.”

I hear an eerie voice.

Then, a woman with long hair crawled out of the TV screen, as if she broke the 2nd dimension and reached the 3rd dimension.

—-YOU CAN’T RUNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That thing jumped at me with a single leap.

Not only that, I can’t move my body right now.

“Souma!!”

But a second before her hands reach me, Ringo’s sharp voice echoed through the darkness.

A flash of light dazzled the dark room and blew away the woman who was closing in on me.

It’s Ringo’s thunderbolt attack.

“Y-You saved me.”

While I thanked her in a slightly shrill voice, Ringo doesn’t even grimace as she took my arm and tried to guide me to the exit of the room.

“Out, quickly!”

“No, but that thing just now…”

When I was about to say more,

————–….n’t. run.”

“Eh?”

I heard what sounded like noise again, coming from the TV.

So I turned around.

—-YOU CAN’T RUNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I saw the woman with the long hair, who should have been defeated by us earlier, crawling towards us at a tremendous speed.

“Nna! No way!”

We ran out of the room as fast as we could.

We quickly closed the door.

“That was…”

Close, but I just couldn’t say it all.

Rattle rattle, Rattle rattle, a messy yet forceful and violent sound was coming from a turning doorknob.

“Th-This is bad!”

I jumped over before even the door moved a tiny bit.

I stopped the door just before it had opened.

However, the force that was pulling the door open from the inside was so strong that it’s unlikely to last long at this rate.

“Ringo, get the keys!!”

After unlocking all the rooms on the ground floor, I left the keys to the mansion on the table in the living room.

In order to lock this door again, one of us would have to go and get it.

“..Wait a bit.”

It’s times like these that I can count on Ringo

She won’t panic or ask again for instructions, so she quickly turned around.

—You, You CAN’T, You CAN’T RUNNNN!!!!”

“Ugh!”

Constant shockwaves travelled through the door.

Each time it happened, my body kept feeling like it’s going to be sent flying off.

But I’m desperate, too. I placed my back to the door and put my foot down with all my might.

—-Open up! OPEN UPPPP!!!”

With a frightening voice that echoed directly into my head, a strong impact ran through the door.

At this rate, the door itself was going to be breached before I run out of strength.

“Ringo! You there yet!?”

I exclaimed thoughtlessly.

I don’t know if my prayers were answered, but,

“Soma, here!”

Ringo’s voice cuts through the darkness.

At the end of the still far corridor, her blue shadow swayed, and a shining thing flew from her.

I held the door desperately with one hand while I grabbed the flying bright object firmly in my other hand.

It’s the key to the house.

—YOU CAN’T RUN! NEVERRRRR!!!!!

I put the key in the keyhole, resisting the urge to cover my ears while that voice of resentment continued to berate me.

With my shaky hands I turned the key.

The moment it was locked, I knew that the pressure behind the door had instantly diminished.

For a while, the voice and the shock continued, but eventually the momentum waned.

—-You can’t run… you.. can’t…

Several seconds later, the room finally fell silent.

(…Did we… do it?)

I dragged myself over and sat down on the spot.

Even though I had taken a bath earlier, I broke out in a cold sweat.

For a few seconds in the darkened hallway, when I was sitting there, unable to move.

“… Stay… Strong.”

Ringo, which had taken out only the stuffed bear, tapped me on the shoulder.

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

By the way if this novel is getting scraped by bots onto websites that aren’t clownworldtranslations.home.blog , make sure to go to that URL since I sometimes do error checking from previous chapters, and those changes don’t get updated on aggregate sites.
Else if the site is down, you’re better off getting the epub/pdf version I’ll make once I translate this volume. That should have the final/best translation.

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 2 Part 3

─ 3 ─

So, with that, there’s a large bath.

I couldn’t take my clothes off completely in the game, so I’d had normally had a bath with my clothes on, but that doesn’t matter in this world.

Out of concern I managed to persuade Ringo to stop following me. I quickly undressed in the changing room and made my way to the big bath.

Actually, about this bath. I’d had my eye on it since I was exploring, or rather, long before that. I’ve never bought this house in the game, so naturally I’ve never been to this big bath, but it was well received even in the game era. It was raved about, with people saying “It’s not an exaggeration to say that I bought this house for this”, “I’ll never enjoy a feeling like this in a real bath”, “It’s the closest place to paradise”, “You can even dive into the bath, how novel”, “So this is what it means to have your soul slip out of you”, “I can’t stop going in even if I want to, In a sense, it’s the devil’s bath.”

I hadn’t bought this house because I didn’t need a big house back then, but I’d been curious about the big bath here for a long time.

“Even so, it really does feel like a large bathhouse…”

I muttered to myself. My voice slightly echoed in the wide bathroom.

The room was about ten meters square, and about half of it was used as a bath.

The size of the hotel is so large that it is either a public bath or a hot spring.

“All right, let’s go!”

I suddenly jumped into the bath.

In this world, the baths are equipped with an automatic water-purification system that is powered by magic, which means that the water will never get dirty.

Probably, the Nekomimineko staff made up this setting because it was troublesome to program water contamination, but for this time, I am grateful for their laziness.

(Hey, it’s not as hot as I thought it would be…)

It looked like a hot spring, so I was expecting hot water, but the temperature of the water didn’t seem to be that hot.

However, it was not that cold either, so the warmth of the water was gently transmitted throughout my body.

“Fuwaaaaah….”

Unintentionally, my relaxed voice leaked out.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a place where I can relax without worrying.

After enjoying the warmth of the bath for a while, it was time to move on to the main event.

I took a big breath and dove down into the bath in one fell swoop.

(Oh!)

I cautiously opened my eyes in the water.

It was indeed a fantastic sight to behold.

In the center of the bath, there was a light-emitting crystal that sprinkled shimmering light through the water like a disco ball, dancing around like an art piece.

Moreover, the crystal swayed in the water and flickered slightly, so the light inside would never be the same intensity.

I was speechless as I watched the world of light and water change in each moment.

(I see. This is a sight you can only see in a game world, isn’t it?)

Once my initial excitement subsided, there was room to analyze the beautiful sight in front of me.

In Nekomimineko, you can breathe underwater, your eyes don’t hurt when you open them, and you can even talk like normal.

It’s troublesome to implement the state of being truly underwater with the VR device, so Nekomimineko has underwater dungeons and battles.

Although the movement speed underwater is slower, and HP is reduced by a percentage due to the inability to continuously “breathe”, inside Nekomimineko you can basically move in water as if it was land. (I say this with the meaning that if this was real life, you’d definitely not enjoy it.)

It’s hard to define whether I should call today’s world a game or a new reality, but the fact that the specifications of the game are still here means that I can enjoy it.

(Soon I should head back up.)

The water is not too hot, so I feel like I can stay underwater forever, but my HP is decreasing as time goes by.

I suppressed my regrets and went back up to the water’s surface.

“Fuu….”

Then I put my head on the edge of the tub and let my body float in the bath.

There were some beautiful things that you would never see anywhere else, and that alone makes me think that I may have made the right decision to buy this house.

More than anything else, it’s nice to be able to relax like this without worrying about anything.

(Man, I wish I could stay like this forever…)

After all, has the backlash from being so tense up until now finally arrived?

The space is too comfortable for me. My consciousness gradually fades away.

Before long……….

“——-Souma! Souma!”

I heard someone call my name, and I woke up.

”Rin..go…?”
When I saw her, Ringo is shaking my body in a frantic manner, calling me in a different, more urgent voice than usual.

I wondered what was wrong with me that made her become so alarmed, but then I realized.

(My body, it’s heavy…?)

In game terms, I would equate it to having barely any HP left. I can’t feel the power in my body.

What the hell has happened to me?

I quickly looked around, and I see that I was still in the bathroom. I was being laid on my back near the bath.

“What on earth just happened?”

I asked while slurring my tongue, and Ringo told me the situation in bits and pieces.

When I didn’t come out of the bath, she said she called me at front of the bathroom, but there was no answer. She got worried and went into the bathroom, and then she saw me submerged inside the bath.

(Could it be, that after I dozed off, I started to sink?)

Come to think of it, I can barely remember that time. I was so comfortable that I must have lost conciousness.

But what does that have to do with my body being so fatigued?

(No, that’s it! It’s because while you are submerged in water you always take a percentage of damage…)

There was an early bug where the boss of an underwater dungeon wouldn’t show up no matter how many times you went there.

The reason was that the devs forgot to put an aquatic attribute on the boss of an underwater dungeon, and so the boss was killed by the continuous damage of the underwater penalty.

If you don’t have aquatic attributes, even a boss will die, so there’s no way a mere player with no equipment can fight against it.

Just thinking about it sent a shiver of fear up my spine.

In this world, there are fewer detectable notions when you’re submerged in water compared to reality. Even in reality, falling asleep in the bath is certainly dangerous, but no matter how deep your sleep, you’ll wake up if your head goes into the hot water.

But it’s a different story here in this world.

Here, I don’t have a hard time breathing when I’m in the water, and the water isn’t so hot that I don’t jump up in the heat when the top of my head gets submerged.

It’s rather cozy to be in the hot water all the time, and there’s no trigger to wake you up if you were to fall asleep in the bath.

But on the other hand.

As an underwater penalty, the body continues to take percentage damage according to its maximum HP.

This time, it’s a good thing that Ringo noticed. But what if I had just gone on sleeping without anyone noticing…

(I could have been dead.)

I realized that this was no joke and that I was on the verge of losing my life, and once again a chilling feeling of fear ran through my body.

Besides, come to think of it, there was no way a well-trained Nekomimineko player would shill this big bathtub so hard. I’m sure they were aware of the trap of this large bathhouse long ago.

It’s a more relaxing place than any other, but if you really relax, you’ll naturally sink into the water, and eventually your HP will run out and you’ll die.

That’s what those “paradise”, “soul-slipping”, “demon bath” comments were all about!

My house, which is supposed to be the safest in the world. Who would have thought that the baths that should be the most relaxing of them all would become death traps?

Ringo said this yesterday.

“If I’m not here, then Souma might die…”

I’ve said before that there is no such thing as a “good thing”, and now I have unintentionally proved that phrase to be correct.

Anyway, Ringo is a life saver.

I was about to thank Ringo again.

(E-Eh? Wait a minute? This place… is a bathhouse, right?)

My situation was so dire that this fact that had completely slipped out of my mind.

“…?”

I look again at Ringo who is looking at me.

She’s wearing the same outfit as when we separated earlier, even with the equipment I bought her at the armor shop.

Her armor is wet from saving me, but I think it’s okay in this world.

Rather, you could say that it prevented her clothes from becoming see-through.

The problem was more on my side.

(Wait, could it be…)

As if in prayer, I gently let my gaze fall on my body.

”UwaaAaaAaah!!!”

The next moment, I jumped up and hid my body from Ringo.

Not surprisingly, I came to the bath with nothing on, that is, in my birthday suit!

“…Are you okay?”

On the other hand, the other person involved, Ringo, is rather composed. It’s true that she was state of emergency when my life was at stake, but she didn’t seem to care at all when she saw me naked.

”Y-Yeah, I’m okay, I’m okay!”

I should have asked if Ringo was embarrassed or worried here, but instead I’m souring the mood.

I have known from the very beginning that Ringo doesn’t have a sense of shame, but the mind of a male is a complicated thing.

Anyway, I don’t think my spirit, let alone Ringo’s, can stand to be exposed naked in front of her any longer.

”Well then, I’ll be up in a minute and you can go out and wait for me first.”

I begged with a pleading force.

In contrast, Ringo was rather indifferent.

“…Un.”

She nodded back.

Without showing any embarrassment, she stood up and walked towards the bathroom door.

On the other hand, while I was looking on, my face bright red with embarrassment, Ringo, who was walking quickly and without hesitation,
“……!?”

Suddenly, she lost her footing. I hear a pretty satisfactory sound of her crashing onto the floor.

“Ringo!?”

It was a rare mistake for Ringo, who was an airhead that never blundered. The floor was probably wet and slippery.

I found myself running over to her.
“….I’m fine.”

With an unwavering attitude, Ringo quickly sat up, and with her gestures, held off my attempts to get closer.

I was relieved with the situation, but soon I realized something odd.

Ringo got up properly without any injuries, but she never once looked back at me.

“Don’t tell me, when you fell you hit your face or something…?”

I voice my concern, but Ringo completely denies it.

“…I’m… alright.”

She said as she stood up, obstinately refusing to look at me.

“…See ya..”

She left shortly after, not even bothering to look at me at all while she walked out.

Afterwards, I finished putting my clothes back on and went to see Ringo, where I saw that the injuries on her face that I was worried about did not exist.

“Hey. Is it possible that you’re mad at me for what happened earlier?”

“…No, that’s not it.”

Ringo didn’t make any eye contact with me for a while after that.

END CHAPTER 2

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 2 Part 2

─ 2 ─

Like many games, even in Nekomimineko you can get a house and make it a base.

I’m not interested in a house if it’s just a place to stay or store things in, but depending on the grade of the house, it has a variety of facilities that are useful for adventurers. It’s another reason why I didn’t care so much about the Warrior Guild or the Sorcerer Guild before the eradication tournament.

By purchasing a high-ranked home, you can even customize your weapons and skills, which you would not be able to do without joining a warrior guild or mage guild.

In the game era, I didn’t really need to spend much time in a house, and because I was living there alone I didn’t need a large one either, nor did I need small functions like custom weapons or skills. I was happy with a house you might get for 3,000,000E.

This time, however, the situation is different.

I turned around wordlessly.

“…Are there, split ends?”

There my companion was, suddenly staring at me while tilting her head.

(Indeed, I think it’s better we buy a large house.)

I imagine for a moment living in a cramped house with Ringo. It would be risky in its own right. Ringo is, how should I put it, too defenseless, so it’s dangerous. Mainly to my rationality.

Yeah. I’m starting to feel here that I should buy a large enough house, even if I have to spend a lot of money.

I asked Ringo for her opinion as well.

“…hmmm, I’m fine with whatever.”

–was her strong response.

Well, in Ringo’s case, it seems like no matter what house she’s in, she’s just sitting in a corner and doing nothing, so maybe the space and facilities are completely meaningless.

Then it’s up to me to decide.

I don’t have that much hope for the house either…

“Now is our moment! Let’s settle on the most expensive house!”

With the voice of my desperate feelings, we determined what house we should buy.

The purchase and handover of the house did not cause any problems.

I used the money Ringo gave me from her coin crystal earlier, to pay 10 million E for the best house in one lump sum. While I was thinking that I might have been ripped off too much at the item shop due to my spendings amounting to the same price as this house, I registered as the owner of the house and received the keys.

As Ringo and I were registered as tenants in the house, we didn’t need a key to enter it. Rather, this key was used to open and close rooms inside the house. It’s called privacy protection.

I don’t see the need for it at the moment, but we may have to discuss that area later.

But for the time being, this is the house for now.

This house, which I bought with a lot of money (10 million E), is a grand mansion built in a prime location near the royal castle, that is, in the center of the royal city.

It’s a ridiculously overpriced house, but quite a few players in the game bought it, and that information made its way online. It got great reviews, and even on the net message boards that are mostly filled with whining or bug reports about the game, It was uncommonly praised as “somehow an amazing place” where “you have to go there at least once.”

When you see the house for yourself, you’ll be convinced.

I don’t know how big the site is, but it’s unnecessarily large and has three floors. There are more than 20 rooms.

It is said to be packed with a bedroom, a large dining room, a swimming pool, a bathhouse, and various production facilities. It is said that this house has more than perfect security, traps to repel intruders, burglars, and bans on taking out specific items.

This is a world where the game has become a reality. I think that peace of mind here is more important than in the game.

But what really surprised me was while I was walking into the building.

First, the crystal at the entrance is filled with magic power, or elements, to power the facility’s equipment. I heard that it will work for about a month if I put in the max amount of energy, so did that without hesitation. With this, the lighting and other various other equipment should have been set in motion.

“Well then, let’s just open the first door together.”

Then I matched my breathing with Ringo’s, touching the front door with our hands at the same time.

The double doors, which recognized us as the rightful owners of the house, slowly opened.

“Nna…..!!”

My mouth hung half open at the sight in front of me.

As soon as I opened the door, an artificial fountain and fountain suddenly burst into my view.

“A-Amazing…”

Without thinking, I blurted that out.

What’s amazing is that the spring itself is too big for the fountain’s circumference, so the floor around it is soaked.

I walked into the house and hurriedly turned off the fountain.

From the first step inside we’re greeted by Nekomimineko-tier quality, I can’t stop trembling!

Wiping off the scattered water droplets, we set our stuff down in what looked like the first living room we found, and began to explore the mansion, key in hand.

On the ground floor, there was a dining room, a kitchen, an indoor pool, a bath, and a lot of bedrooms.

There was a room with all the furniture stuck to the ceiling, a room where all the wallpaper was red, a room where you couldn’t see the original ceiling or the walls due to the sheer amount of photos of a woman stuck to it, a room full of trompe l’oeil illusions, causing you to forget where you were just by entering, and so on. This kind of place, which is interesting to see in stories but one where you’d never want to live in reality, is really just like Nekomimineko.

None of them were that much good, but I chose the relatively safe [Retro-Decorated Room With An Old-Fashioned TV And Phone] and made it my own.

From the looks of it, I thought the fantasy setting of this world was completely destroyed, but as expected, the TV and phone are just decorative objects, and apparently they can’t be used in real life. I was just a little relieved that there seemed to be a shred of decency left in Nekomimineko’s staff.

When I decided on a room, Ringo immediately claimed the room next to it as her own, [A Room Where Everything In The Room Is Either Heart-Shaped Or Has A Heart Print On It].

The room was manageable except for its pinkish-pink appearance, but I was a little worried that she might not be able to sleep with her legs stretched out because the bed was heart-shaped.

I asked her if she was okay, but Ringo sounded confident.

“…The heart’s aesthetic, very feminine.”

She replied. I’m sure it’s all right. …or will it be? Normally, I might have pursued it a bit more, but right now I’m in a hurry as there’s a place I really want to go.

“You’ve got your own room now. I’ve got some places I’d like to go for a bit, if that’s OK.”

“…Un.”

When I cut out, Ringo responds briefly and tries to follow me.

I hurriedly held her back. I was implying if it was okay to split up, but it seemed that didn’t really get through to her.

“Ah, my bad, but I want to go to that place by myself.”

“…Why?”

Why? That kind of thing is a given.

“Because the place I want to go right now, is the bath!”

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 2 Part 1

The clerk at the item shop at first showed a tinge of bewilderment while muttering, “Ah! I don’t know why I did such a terrible thing again!” But when it came to the actual work, she moved quickly. She quickly went outside, hung a [CLOSED] sign at the entrance, and immediately took all the goods and laid it out in front of me.

I asked if the store was okay with selling their stockpiles, but it seems that consumables, especially fast-consuming recovery items, can be restocked without a day’s wait. They’re closing today, but there’s no problem opening tomorrow or later.

This is apparently the result of following the game’s system so I was curious where she was getting so many products from. Before I could ask, I was taken to the warehouse by her without warning.

“This is…..”

And when I see what’s crammed in there, I’m lost for words.

While watching me with a smile on her face, the woman at the store said happily.

“Ehehehehe. The fact that Mr. Esteemed Guest has bought all of this, I’m saved. These were always coming in fast, but I couldn’t sell them either, so I was really troubled!”

While she’s talking about this, on the inside I’m definitely agreeing with her.

Even without the game system giving these items such a negative connotation, who would buy something in such poor taste anyway?

“The [Kuul Skulls]……”

This was an item that I once removed from the shopkeeper’s house, and it was a useful item that helped me take down the Golden Zlimes in the elimination tournament. There were so many of them that they took up about half of this large warehouse, literally in a pile.

Even in the game era, we never ran out of stock even if we bought a lot of them, even if they were needed for a quest. So, I could imagine that they must have a lot of stockpiles, but I never imagined that they would be stored in a warehouse to the point where they would be piled up like this.

I was tempted to buy a few more to complete the quest for this skull, [The Way of the Lost], but what am I supposed to do with a warehouse half full of them?

The clerk, not knowing that I was inwardly exasperated, called out to me cheerfully.

“To make matters worse, I made a mistake one time as I put them on the floor of warehouse, so the back half of the warehouse is now unusable. I’ve gotten desperate, desperate!”

She says that with pride, but it’s not something to be proud of at all.

The [Kuul Skull] is an item with the mechanic where “you can put it on the ground and no one can pick it up”. If it was placed like this, it would indeed render the warehouse unusable. Or rather, I guess it’s the effect of the game, but I want to tell them they shouldn’t have accepted the goods in the first place.

(Honestly, I really don’t need this much….)

The number of kuul skulls required to complete [The Way of the Lost] is twenty-five.

I don’t mind buying a surplus of, say, 30 skulls, but how many dozens of hundreds of skulls are here?

”Um, how many of these do you have…”

“Three thousand!”

Of course the shopkeeper gave a prompt answer puffed up with pride. My face darkens more than you can imagine.

“Um, I’m sorry, but this is…”

I can’t buy all of this.

Just as I was about to cancel my purchase, the shopkeeper laughed at me as if she beat me to the punch.

“Hey. I used to curse my own misfortune, but now I’ve turned it into a blessing! Esteemed Guest, you are such a savior!”

“I..Is that right…”

In response to her full smile, I force an uncomfortable smile back

(Th-This is, something I can’t reject!)

As I watched her smile, I remembered that it was because I was talking to this shopkeeper that I once got killed in the game.

So due to this, I’m gonna have to make do with receiving such a bad inventory.

Well, that’s how it’s all come together so far, albeit not as I hoped, but the question is less about buying all of these items but how to store it all.

The answer, however, lay in the items I purchased.

That’s right, it’s the adventurer’s bag, a super useful item for adventurers. In the game, you could only have 1 bag per person, but this seems to be regulated in this world by the same mental constraints as the amount of rings worn at once.

So it seems this limitation shouldn’t matter for me.

I lay out my colorful adventurer bags and then place one item after another into them. The red adventurer’s bag is for attack items, the blue adventurer’s bag is for recovery items, and so on.

Although this means I’ll have to walk around with a lot of bags.

Therefore ultimately, I’m going to put the bags inside the bag. An adventurer’s bag in an adventurer’s bag.

It’s like sorting folders on your computer. The idea is to create an attack item folder and a weapon item folder in the main item folder to make it easier to see where things are. However, there is a bit of a drawback to this.

Now, to take an item out of an adventurer’s bag, I not only have to take the item I want out of the bag, but also take out the bag with my desired items from the adventurer’s bag, and then take out the item in that bag again from the bag that I took out from the adventurer’s bag.
It’s more troublesome than before, where I only put items in the adventurer’s bag, because now I have to take out the bags from the bag.

Confusing? Since the item is put in the bag twice, it needs to be taken out of the bag twice.

Well, this is also a problem that can be solved to some extent by putting frequently used items in a pouch or the main bag. I’ll think about item sorting slowly after setting up a base.

I asked the shopkeeper to separate the items by type and put them in a bag, and he handily threw the store’s items into the bag with a pompom, so that should be fine. She’s the shopkeeper, so I don’t think she’d be inexperienced with sorting.

The more immediate problem is this [Kuul Skull] x3000.

I’m the only one who can put these skulls, which are piled up around the warehouse, into bags.

I want you to think about this. Three thousand is a huge number. Even if I stuffed one into a bag every second, it would take me fifty minutes. A dude stuffing skulls into a bag for 50 minutes. It’s a picture I don’t really want to imagine, and the thought of me actually being the dude doing the work is horrific to say the least.

(Why does this happen to me, even when I’ve finally gotten so rich…?)

So, Nekomimineko’s basically saying they don’t even allow the fun of becoming a noveau riche.

I complain in my heart, but I’m the one who insisted on buying it, and if I can handle Ringo, who is a lot tougher than a shopkeeper, I’ll just have to manage.

And to further reduce my motivation…..

“…Nakedness… is… sexy… Teasing… is also… important…… But… pink hair, is, the best….”

“That’s right! Pink hair is proof of being the strongest point of ero! It’s a trademark of being sexy but still cute! Ringo-san can learn this rather well! As expected, you are for sure my best pupil!”

It’s the chatter of two women who have gotten bored.

What’s more, the topics I can hear are not very good. I feel like speaking out, but I don’t want to stop my actions and call it out because that would make me look knowledgeable about such topics.

“If it’s ero, boom! Leave it to me!” I’ve got over 200 books of slightly mature shoujo manga that I read while I was doing shop duties. I’ll teach Ringo-san all the secrets of eroticism I’ve gained from that!”

You think you’ve got some kind of manga knowledge, huh. Anyway, don’t read manga, do your job. Wait, there’s such a thing as shoujo manga in this world?

I continued to pack the skulls into my bag while making such retorts in my mind.

“At any rate, Ringo-san, you are very hard-working, aren’t you? Are you like that way because of Esteemed Guest?”

“…Un… Souma, he… really likes ero stuff.”

I’ve been badly misunderstood!

“Ah–! Of course it’s indeed that way isn’t it!”

And somehow, the shopkeeper’s easily convinced. Ringo’s not stopping either.

“…The first thing he bought for me, was… ero-raincoat.”

“Uwaa… That’s, indeed….”

I feel her gaze pierce the back of my head. I frantically scooped up the skulls and pretended I didn’t hear anything.

No, that’s not what I’m talking about. The first one I ever bought was an ero-raincoat, but before that, I gave her clothes and apples and such. I had little, or almost no, evil intentions at all with the ero-raincoat!

“I-It’s all right! We already know that guy is a pervy sekuhara bastard!”

What the hell makes that okay? Also what exactly do you already know?

Indeed, this flow of events is not good for me. I was going to speak a little bit of my mind with them, but when I was about to get up…

“….Souma, isn’t, that kind of person..”

Surprisingly, the first person to speak up and defend me was Ringo.

“Eh? Nonono, Esteemed Guest is too much of a pervert! After all that guy, the first time I met him, my pa, pan…. A-Anyways it’s no exaggeration to say that Esteemed Guest is at that level of being a perverted sexual harasser!”

“…That kind of thing, is, wrong… Souma, is normally… nor.. m…… …Not a… sexual, harasser.”

Oi. Right now, you went from trying to prove me innocent to just denying that i’m a pervert.

While I was playing with that thought, the shopkeeper was gradually pushing Ringo into a corner.

”Come on, it’s dangerous to be so defenseless like that. Get this – every man is a monster! If someone as cute as Ringo-san shows even an opening in front of Esteemed Guest, he’d eat you up like a delicious meal in an instant!

“…Souma, will eat me?”

“Yes! Let me be specific. In front of a naked Ringo-san, Esteemed Guest’s lower body will go whoopeeee!!”

Just as the conversation was about to take a turn for the worse, I threw the skull I’d just picked up at the shopkeeper’s head. It brilliantly hit her in the forehead, and the shopkeeper keeled over.

“You know… Ringo is a straightforward person, so don’t tell him anything too weird.”

The clerk looked at me grudgingly at first in response to my rough actions, but,

”Ugh. Even so there’s no need to throw anything at me… nyaaaaahhhh!

“Oh, shit.”

As soon as she saw what had been thrown, she suddenly let out a wild scream and fell down on her back.

I had forgotten that the clerk had had a traumatic experience with skulls.

“Sorry A-Are you okay?”

I stopped what I was doing and hurriedly ran over to the shopkeeper. And in the midst of all this, while looking down at the collapsed clerk and me…

“…Mmm. white, lace.”

Ringo was the only one who remained calm and continued to study us.

Even though she was that kind of shopkeeper, when it came to her work, she was indeed capable.

After my endless labor of moving around all the skulls in the warehouse until there was none left, she quickly sorted out the stock, made a list of what was in the store and submitted it to me.

I was just wondering how inconvenient it would be without some sort of list, so I gratefully received it and checked the contents. Ah, I’m glad I can see lots of potions.

“….Huh?”

I read through the list to the end, confirming the details, but then I felt something wrong.

“What’s the matter?”

“Oh, yeah. The other day, you gave me a handkerchief with a flower on it. I didn’t think it would be mentioned here…. I thought that was your personal belongings?

I asked the shopkeeper about this. With her head tilted in confusion, she paused and muttered, “Hand..kerchief…?”. She lifted her eyes and looked at Ringo, and then looked back at me again.

By the way, Ringo is reading the book the shopkeeper gave her. It’s good that she’s quiet, but I’m a little worried that she’s acquiring strange knowledge again.

“A-As one would expect of Esteemed Guest! Yes, a handkerchief, that’s a handkerchief, isn’t it!”

For some reason, the clerk looked at me with horrified eyes, then continued to glare at Ringo while shouting out about her handkerchief in high tones.

“Could it be, you want… more of them?”

“Huh? Well, I guess, if I can get them.”

When I answered, I found the shopkeeper had swallowed her saliva in one big gulp.

What an overreaction.

“If it’s impossible, then nevermind…”

“Nonono! From the moment I received the money, I’ve been ready for this much!”

“Uh, ok?”

Am I asking for too much here? Something about this makes me nervous. The shopkeeper went on, “I’ll go get a handkerchief! A handkerchief!”. While emphasising the word handkerchief, she sunk away to the back of the store and then came back about two minutes later.

She stood in front of me with an oddly awkward gait, glancing at Ringo again, and

“H-Here. It’s the usual. Hand. Ker. Chief, desu!”

With a bright red face, she hands it to me with both hands like an offering.

It was different from the previous floral one in terms of the feel. This time it was a pure white, luxurious handkerchief with a lace here and there.

(Wait a minute…)

It might be a bit rude to think, but even though she said she had no interest, she still prepared a gift for me. However, the warmth of the shopkeeper’s hand felt from the handkerchief was like the warmness of her heart being poured into the gift, so it made me feel somewhat warm.

I bowed my head with my gratitude as best I could to convey my sincerity.

“Thank you for the wonderful gift. I’ll use this handkerchief with great care while remembering you, so that I don’t forget the warmth of it.”

I guess it was a little too cheesy. To my words, the shopkeeper replied in a funny voice, turning bright red and slumping down. “A, wa, uwaaaaaa”.

In the meantime, as I stowed my handkerchief in my bag, I heard a muffled mutter.

“Ringo-san. The Esteemed Guest, was more than I could have imagined………

“Ha?”

“No, no! Nevermind! It’s nothing!”

Seeing the clerk waving in a huff, I thought again that she was pretty cute.

“Good day to you, esteemed guest! Until the next time you come back, please leave the shop to me!”

After all the items had been packed and checked, we received a cheerful but somehow uncomfortable farewell from the clerk, and we left the store.

Ringo didn’t do any shopping, but it seems the shopkeeper personally gifted her with a book. I guess that’s the book she was reading in the store earlier.

I guess it’s fine… It’s fine…

“Ringo, that book from earlier…”

“…?”

“Ah, nevermind, it’s nothing.”

Defeated by Ringo’s innocent eyes, I gulped down my words.

However, is it just my imagination that the illustrations in the book I glimpsed seemed to depict a half-naked man and woman intertwined with each other? Also, what was it that made you look at me earlier and mutter “…whoopee…on..” and then look away?

I can’t help but worry about how Ringo’s going to turn out.

“Well, well, let’s just pull ourselves togetheer and go.”

I decided to seal up those unpleasant memories. I then decided to go around to all the major stores, and while confirming things this time I’d shop in large amounts.

In the course of the journey, there was an accident where I was separated from Ringo, but I was able to purchase light and wind-attribute equipment at the weapons store, the highest quality (Orichalcum) equipment sold in the royal capital at the armor store, and all the magic books inside the magic store. It’s all done quickly, because there was no need to worry about money. It was quite an enjoyable experience.

In the midst of all this, I took some time to visit an accessory shop. When I went to the shop, I finally realized that I had totally forgotten to try out the ring gear on Ringo.

I gave it a try, but it’s still difficult to put more than three rings on even people like Ringo. It’s not like I can’t force them into it, but…

“I just don’t feel right about it.”

I had that kind of feeling.

In the end, I resigned myself to the usual ten pieces of equipment limit, and gave two regular strength-boosting rings to Ringo.

“Alright. Now with that we’re done.”

It was certainly pleasant to be able to spend as much money as I wanted, but it was meaningless if there was nothing to buy in the first place. As for the armor, once you have the orichalcum set, you don’t need anything else, and as for the weapons, you can’t find any weapons that have more attack power than the Golden Sakura sword from the rare drop of the Wild Golden Zlime, let alone the bug weapon, the Shiranui. It would be pointless to go any further.

Well, I’d like to see the offensive power of the Butcher’s Knife in this regard.

“Have I spent a bit too much, I wonder….”

When I checked my coin crystal, I found that my remaining money was less than 10,000,000 E.. That’s less than what the item shop demanded earlier.

No, no, it’s still somehow within the acceptable range considering that I don’t have to go to the shops for a while……”

“…Souma”. With a clink, Something touched my coin crystal.

“Ringo, this…”

Ringo brought her coin crystal into contact with mine.

“…Un, use it.”

I checked to see that another 10 million E was transferred to my coin cristal.

“Ah, Sorry.”

I thought about giving it back, but Ringo didn’t seem to mind, and this wasn’t the end of my shopping for the day. Rather, it could even be said that the biggest showpiece has yet to come. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be good to run out of money just yet.

This is what we’re going to buy.

It’s the biggest purchase a human would do in their life, and it’s the one that reflects the most out of a wealthy rich boy’s style.

“So then, Ringo. Let’s go and buy a house!

—Time to purchase our home.

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 1 Part 5

─ 5 ─

The shopkeeper was dumbfounded for a moment, but after a few seconds, she confronted me with her eyes bulging out of her sockets.

“You mean all of it? Are you sure it’s all of it?”

“Yeah.”

“Not just what’s on display, but really, everything that’s in the store right now?”

“……Yep.”

To be honest, I hadn’t thought that far, but I might as well buy their inventory they keep in the warehouse too.

I hesitated a bit, then nodded.

“How much will it all cost?”

“Eh? W-wait, wait, wait! I-I’m not mentally prepared for this…..!”

More than mental preparation, they should be calculating how many items they have in the first place, but I’m sure my proposal is a bit sudden.

I silently watched the shopkeeper as she fumbled around behind the counter while gripping her chest tightly.

From there, I could hear fragments of words such as “How could it be, this is so audacious…” or “This is definitely a pro…” Maybe she misunderstood me as a professional merchant, or in other words a prideful merchant.

“Understood, I’m also a merchant! I’ll take your proposal. However, I won’t give my stock away at only half-price! Are you prepared for this?”

“Eh? A-Ahhhh……”

Even though it’s done to the extreme, I’m just shopping here, so I want them to deal with it normally. However that doesn’t seem to be the case now.

“Ten million E!”

“…Huh?”

“If you want to have everything in this store, you have to hand me 10 million E!”

“Expensive! It’s way too expensive!”

The clerk looked triumphantly at me with a grin on her face.

”Fu, fufufu. I told you before that I am not a cheap woman! If you understand, get out!”

“No, I’ll pay it!”

“Ehhhhhhh??!??”

The fact that she wasn’t a cheap girl or the high price of the store’s merchandise had nothing to do with it. No matter how you look at it, the price was too high. It just so happened that I got triggered at the sight of her self-satisfied smirk. In short, I lost my cool.

“…Souma.”

Ringo discreetly tugged at my clothes from behind, but I didn’t stop.

“I can pay up front. Here, I’ve got out my crystal.”

“Eh? Ah, yeah… Ehhhh???”

The clerk stared in wonder as she transferred ten million E from my crystal to the shop, then dropped her shoulders as if to say, “I’ve lost to the customer…”

“I’ve definitely received the money…. Esteemed guest.”

“Esteemed Guest!??”

I guess I was recognized as an important customer for paying a lot of money, so this shopkeeper started to call me in funny ways again.

The clerk herself seemed to become embarrassed while calling me this, as her face was red. If it’s embarrassing, I think it shouldn’t be said, but the clerk resolutely started talking to me in this way no matter the cost.

”So what do you want now, esteemed guest?”

“Oh, yeah. In the meantime, I’m going to take the merchandise with me.”

I feel out of my comfort zone with this unfamiliar call, but for now I want to confirm my spoils of war.

When I said this, the shopkeeper smartly bowed.

”Understood, esteemed guest!”

She returned a reply filled with excessive spirit.

There was a lot of stuff in that item shop.

A variety of recovery and condition healing items, adventure tools such as torches, ropes and tents, and disposable items such as arrows that can be used for ranged attacks.

Unfortunately, the Teleportation Stone I was hoping for didn’t show up this time, but in the bargain section, there’s an ultra-rare supplement item, the Speed Seed, as well as lots of other fascinating stuff.

[Flower Fire (Rat Model)]. When you use it, the fire (in the form of a rat) attacks enemies, allies, allies, and mainly allies.
[Cooler Box]. A convenient adventurer’s bag that freezes the time of the item you put inside and prevents deterioration of things such as food items.
[Magic Video Recorder]. While this was a video game, a video recorder was practically useless because the general-purpose menu of the VR device had a recording function.

(Indeed, there’s definitely some good stuff in here…)

There are so many interesting junk items that I can’t help but be fascinated by them. A useful item is important, of course, but there’s just something about useless items that attracts people’s attention.

Ah, the peculiar sense of immorality and delight when you buy a lot of items without much thought! This is why I can’t stop going to item stores.

(Plus, it’s good that I’ve got all this stuff in my inventory now.)

The difference between a VR game store and a non-VR game store is that in a VR game, the only products are what is on display in the store.

Of course, there are exceptions, but basically, in VR games, the stock gets sold out when there are no more products displayed, so you can’t do something like [Buy 99 Potions].

For example, if there are 20 potions displayed in the store, you can’t buy more potions once you’ve bought all of them, so you’ll have to wait for the product to be replenished the next day. I think it’s a bit unrealistic to sell only the items on display even if there’s more stock out the back, but that’s the difference between the real world and a game.

This time, however, we were even able to purchase the inventory of all the items in the warehouse. The amount there is about three times as many as the amount displayed on the store shelves. This way, I won’t have to worry about running out of items for a while.

So this whole store buying thing was a huge success!

As I was thinking about these current affairs with my head in the clouds…

“…Souma. I can’t handle this.”

Ringo’s voice comes out from behind me.

I wondered if it was Ringo, she could bear it, but it seems that even she can’t do it after all.

I’ll take care of it now.

I look back with a resigned look on my face.

That’s the biggest thing that’s bothering me right now.

There was still a heap of skulls piled up around the place.

-END OF CHAPTER ONE-

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 1 Part 4

Come to think of it, the mental attack is a pretty good move.

Presumably, due to the game system, it’s impossible for these officials to refuse to pay the bounty. In the game, there was never a case where the prize money was not paid out.

It’s the same as when Train-chan tried to wear more than three rings. I suspect that due to some kind of mental limitation, if a face-to-face request for a bounty was made, they would not be able to refuse the request.

Assuming that these guild members have this type of thought pattern hard-coded into them, what actions can they do?

If that’s what’s happening, then they just don’t need to hear us asking for it. After all, it’s not uncommon for a player to forget to receive a reward in a game.

It’s kinda not normal, but if we decide to say, “We don’t want a reward”, I think there’s the freedom for them to accept that.

(Be that as it may, I wonder what I’ll do.)

Of course, I didn’t expect this kind of situation.

If this is simply because they don’t want to pay a lot of money, we can force our way through, but it seems that they are actually pushing the limits of their ability to pay.

If you can pay for it in the game, it should be possible to do it here, but there was no report of a large number of high-priced monsters like the Golden Zlime when I played the game last time. Possibly, this could be a glitch where the player recieves an absurdly high amount of coins, similar to having 255 lives or 999,999,999 gold.

Our reward was 8,270,000, so when it gets multiplied x10 due to the first place bonus, it becomes 82,700,000 E. That’s pretty close to 100 million E.

It wouldn’t be good to forcefully demand the money and have the guild go out of business because of it. They might begin to have a grudge against us.

On the other hand, it would be out of the question to give up such a large sum of money of 80 million…..

I’m getting lost in thought.

“……give me the money.”

Maybe because she got tired of waiting, or maybe because she saw that I was in trouble…

Before I knew it, Ringo had stepped forward and said it.

(Oh, amazing, Ringo!)

Being unable to read the air. In this case, that’s great!

The atmosphere in the guild froze at those words, and the old man at the counter said:

“Ah, you know, these days, I can’t hear that well…”

…Is what is being said, but I can see a lot of sweat on his forehead that seemingly won’t go away.

And in response, Ringo’s next action was also brilliant. It wasn’t an excuse, it wasn’t outrage, it wasn’t an insult, it was these words:

“…You’re going to… break… the promise…?”

She asked while tilting her head in contemplation.

This is intense.

Just as the other side used the little girl and the baby, innocent words are sometimes a mental attack that trumps everything. An awful air spread throughout the guild, and sweat started to flow from the old man’s forehead like a waterfall.

It seemed to me that it was only a matter of time before the guild side gave up.

My expectations weren’t off the mark, but the first person to make a move behind the counter was someone I hadn’t expected.

“I’d like to hear about it, Mr. Guild Manager. Why don’t you give him some money?”

The girl who said this tapped the deaf old man at the reception desk on the shoulder. She was the girl who had come to ask her dad about the work.

I was also surprised that the old man at the counter was the head of the guild, but it was nothing compared to my surprise when I looked at the girl again and realized her true identity,

(That girl, Isn’t that Poison-tan!!!!???)

I hadn’t noticed it earlier because it I only saw the back of her head. However, upon closer inspection, she is none other than Poison-tan, one of the most evil characters in this royal city.

Her real name is unknown, her age is unknown, and her fighting prowess is unfathomable. But why is she in this place when her normal routine consists of her walking around the city? Are you sure that the middle-aged employee you see over there is your father and you’re here to see him?

–Is what I wondered, but her next words gave me the answer.

It’s weird. I’ve been told to help you guys since you’re all having a hard time, but why? What’s the point?

When I heard that, I nodded my head in understanding.

Although her presence and personality is like no other, outwardly she looks like an ordinary city kid.

Probably, she was scouted out as an extra while she was walking around in the city. She was brought here at this appropriate time.

(Oh, how unfortunate…)

Now that I knew the circumstances, I felt deeply sorry.

Of course, I was not sorry for Poison-tan.

I was sorry for everyone in the Bounty Hunters Guild, who just so happened to have discovered the absolute worst person to work with in the world.

“But, but… If we hand out the prize here, the guild’s management from tomorrow will…..”

The old man, who claimed he was the head of the guild, responded in a way oblivious to this predicament.

(Uh-oh, he talked back to her.)

After seeing this situation, I unintentionally looked up to the heavens.

What he did was probably the worst possible choice of response to this situation.

“Heeeeh? Is that so—~”

And the proof of this? Well, look. As if she was a hunter who had found just found her prey, Poison-tan’s mouth turned upwards into a smile.

What kind of abusive language will she spit out of her mouth? I can’t even begin to guess with my mind.

The only thing that was definitively clear was that the guild master no longer had any choice but to pay the prize bounty.

“Sorry for the wait. Here is the prize money, 82,700,000 E.

Ten minutes later. The guildmaster, whose heart had been demolished by Poison Tan and was now gasping for air, sent me the prize money as I held out my crystal.

“Thank you very much.”

I said so, and while waiting to recieve my crystal, I observed the guildmaster once more.

There was no longer any light in his eyes. He appeared to have aged a lot from this incident. There, instead of the brilliance of reason, emanated a great emptiness.

Again, I wonder if it’s the stress. The hair on the top of the guild leader’s head, which was already thin, somehow seemed to have lost its presence even more.

“Um, I’d like to ask you about something…”

So, instead of ending the conversation at just that, I called out to him again.

His eyes, with no light in them, stare at me blankly.

“Now that I’ve suddenly got a ton of cash, I’m troubled about the way I should use it. So I’m wondering if you could teach me a way to use it well.”

Even after saying this much, the guildmaster gave me no reaction. He’s not that bright.

“For example… I could hand out loans with it, If I know that people will eventually pay it back…”

However, after I uttered the decisive words smugly, I recieved a dramatic reaction.

Light returned to the eyes of the guildmaster, who was previously dried up completely.

”Th-That, perhaps, if…”

“Yeah. I thought I’d lend a little bit of money to this guild.”

As soon as I said that, not only the guild leader but the entire guild started shouting out “Uwooooooahhhh!”

“B-By all means, please do that…..”

I responded to the guild leader, who looked like he was going to grab me at any moment, with a smiling face.

”Well well, please calm down. For now, how about I lend half of the prize money, 40 million?” Don’t worry, the interest will be just toichi.

The guild leader fell to the ground.

“Hah. T’was merely a joke, but…”

Toichi is a type of compound interest rate where the debt increases by “10% every 10 days”. It’s said to be used in black-market lending.

It is illegal in Japan because even though 10% doesn’t sound like a big deal, if you leave it unattended, the debt will become double or more after three months thanks to mathematical magic

In this case, assuming the principal is 40 million, the first interest is 4 million E. If you don’t pay back 4,000 times every 10 days as accommodation expenses(???), your debt will increase rapidly, so you can literally say it’s a huge profit.

Of course, I have no intention of doing such a vain business. In fact, I have no intention of making a profit by lending money, so it was a small joke to pacify the nervous guild leader. Rather, it’s a bit of a shock that he took it as the truth.

After that, I had a discussion with the revived guild leader and Poison-tan, and we both agreed to lend about half of the prize money, 40 million E, to the Bounty Hunters Guild for the time being. It seems that if they do some fundraising or manage stuff in some other way, there’s a possibility that they’ll pay us the rest of the money within nine days.

However, since it’s not a reward from the guild but a personal debt, the game system’s rules are not there so there’s no guarantee that I’ll get it. That means there’s the danger that these guys might shirk their payment.

Normally I should be worried, but since Poison-tan came in between us, I’m not too concerned. As long as Poison-tan sees it strongly under her own eyes, if the guild does something bad, then next time I don’t think the guildmaster’s hair will continue to live.

Well, worst cast scenario, I’m fine with not getting the other half back.

If I equally split the 42,700,000 E in my hand with Ringo, I would have a little over 20,000,000 E in my hand. With that much, I would be able to do pretty much everything I want to do.

Of course, the more money you have, the better, but since I’ve made so much money, let’s be a little bit generous. For now, let’s just forget about the hassle and just be happy that we got lots of money.

I gave the hesitant Ringo 20 million, almost half of what I have, with the reason that “it’s a measure against robberies”. Without delay I then made a plan to go shopping.

First of all……….

“I’d like to go to the item shop next, is that okay?”

‘…ok.”

At Ringo’s reply, I gave a triumphant pose to myself and headed to the item shop.

Welco……………………..Ah! You’re that panties person!

“All of a sudden my reputation has gone downhill!”

When I entered the store, I was greeted by the familiar shop employee who was referring to me in that way.

“Oh, no, don’t tell me that you’ve come here for my panties again!?”

“…Huh?”

“I-I was out of my mind at that time! I-I’m not some kind of cheap woman, For christ’s sake……”

“Wait, wait, wait. I’m only here just to do some shopping.”

I hurriedly interrupted. I don’t know how her image of me has been twisted, but apparently now I’ve become a pervert who’s got a kink for underwear

In the first place, it was her who had said stuff about her underwear, and I’m sure I hadn’t mentioned even a single word about it, so this is really uncomfortable.

‘……Then, what are your needs this time?

The shopkeeper asked, using unnatural honorifics, while holding the front of her skirt in a cautious manner. She doesn’t trust me at all.

There are many things I would like to say about her attitude, but I’ll leave it for now.

“Yeah. Well….”

The only reason I came to this item shop is to give a gift to Ringo… But that’s only half the story.

I’ve always thought this previously…

How often do you gp into the depths of a dungeon and regret that you should have bought healing items, poison antidotes, an escape rope for a hole, or an icy sword?

However, most of the time it’s too late. When you regret it, those items are no longer within your grasp.

So, while I sometimes wish I had skills and tools to shop at any given time, there are few games have those conveniences. Unfortunately, no such skills or items existed for Nekomimineko either.

But now I think,

There’s actually a very simple way to do something similar, if not the same, as that.

In other words——–

“I’LL TAKE YOUR ENTIRE STOCK!!”

From this instant we started shopping, leaving all our worries behind us.

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 1 Part 3

Part 3

I finally caught my breath after I got around a corner and lost sight of the old lady.

“My bad, Ringo. Honestly.”

When I said that to Ringo, she shook her head.

“…It’s OK…. We’re fine… So…”

“U-uhuh.”

Even if my condition is rare, it’s probably only a few people like Ringo that find such value in my split-ended hair. In the first place, it’s only this way because my hair is damaged.

However, for the time being I’ll stick it together.

“But, my hair is my hair.”

“I know.”

I hadn’t thought about it much, but I quickly got a reply from her.

I might be wrong, but it seems that she was just trying to help me out while i’m in this trouble.

I wasn’t sure when I first met her, but Ringo is a good girl after all. Indeed, in order to avoid putting her through some tough times, I think it’s a good idea to have some money.

Well then, let’s go get our prize.

We were distracted for a long time because of Hisame’s attacks and her event, but it’s finally time for some enjoyable things.

The time has finally come for us to get our hands on the 80 million E, the money we won by winning the Golden Wild Zlime Elimination Tournament.

(Right. When the money comes in, I’d like to give something to Ringo.)

Thinking about what to do, I grabbed Ringo and proceeded. On the way to the Bounty Hunter’s Guild in the morning, I was in a giddy mood making my way through the city. After all, I was not hearing any mention of Hisame’s Dojo from the townspeople, so I arrived at the Bounty Hunter’s Guild without incident.

“Temporary… closed….?”

At the entrance of the guild that we finally arrived at, this sign was there.

My confidence I had consisting of “There’s no way that this game shall bring me down!” was shaken to its core. However, I think that even if this isn’t the normal scenario, they might still give me the prize. So, I opened the door.

“Oh.”

There was no indication that the door was locked, so it opened easily. I could hear lights and echoing chatter from several people inside. It seems people are still doing work.

I was relieved, thinking that I might be able to manage with this, so I stepped inside. Now i’m surprised.

(What the hell? I’ve got a sudden and overwhelming feeling that everything’s off!)

Compared to what I saw yesterday, the inside of the guild had clearly changed.

There were posters all over the place that weren’t previously there, such as “Simplicity and Frugality”, “One meal a day”, “No desires until victory”, “Money is important”. And for some reason the guy at the reception desk turned into an old man!

“Haa. In recent days hearing has become remarkably hard…”

He’s lamenting his deafness in that monologue like a beggar.

While I inspected the area more, I saw a small, plain girl who looked like one you might see on the streets talking to a middle-aged staff member. She had her back away from me.

“Daddy, do you work here~?

”Yeah, that’s right. It’s a very important job, it allows me to indirectly protect the city. Right now money’s a bit tough, but it’s going to be okay. Daddy will do his best for our family!

From what I can gather, it’s a heartwarming conversation about a tough life, a tough world, etc.

Moreover, The female guild member next to him is holding a baby for some reason.

“I’m sorry my poor baby, I’m having a hard time living this month. I wish I could make it easier on you if I was paid properly.”

Yeah. That kinda stuff is being told to the child.

Next to them, a young guild member and an older guild member were talking about how important their work is to the country and the city.

“….Really? So if this guild can’t sustain itself, it seems something terrible might happen, right?”

“Yeah. However, the government also gives them money, so they won’t go out of business just like that. However, if a guild ever hosted a tournament that a paid out a large amount of money, such as, I don’t know… 82,700,000 E? Perhaps then the guild might have to go out of business…”

The thick-headed me finally understood what’s going on after being bombarded with these scraps of info.

In other words, it’s THAT.

(These guys are guilt-tripping us! They’re trying to get us to not take the prize money!!!)

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 1 Part 2

Part 2

“Well then, thank you very much.”

“Yeah. It seems hard, but I’m sure you all can do it!”

While we were given warm words by the innkeeper, who had misunderstood our affairs in the past, we left the inn.

After all, our accommodation was in a stable. There weren’t any keys or other check-out procedures in particular, but we still decided to meet the innkeeper and tell them that we were leaving.

The innkeeper was also talking normally, as it was likely the effects of Hisame’s event had vanished, but it was still difficult to confirm that over just a few phrases. I decided to go to a place where the most talkative fellow in this town was. It was a good opportunity to do so, after all.

The biggest blabbermouth that lived in the city, was of course…

“Ma’am, two apples please!”

“Alright, 100E please! … Huh? If I’m thinking correctly, it’s you from yesterday…?”

Time to inform you. It’s the old lady at the grocery.

“Yes. I made a commotion earlier.”

While saying that, I took two apples and gave one of them to miss apple girl Ringo.

As ever, both apple apples and humans who are named after apples are a confusing thing.

While Ringo started to look at the apple she just received with her passionate eyes, I turned back to the old lady.

For now, there aren’t any signs that she’s gonna talk about Hisame’s house. However, it can’t be said that I’ve totally lost my doubts, so I think it’ll be good if I gather more information. I’ve got nothing to lose.

I once again spoke to the lady.

“By the way, have you heard any new rumors about the princess?”

Hearing my words, the old lady gives me a wry smile.

“What you talkin’ about. It’s only been a day, It’ll be impossible for anything new to pop up… Well, that’s what I’d have wanted to say.”

“Did something happen?”

She said to me to not tell anyone else about this. Indeed, after those introductory remarks, she started to speak in a lower voice.

“Recently, the princess seems to have been a bit naughty. Here and there, there’s been talk by the people in the castle about not knowing how to deal with her.”

“Ahaha, I see.”

By the age of seven, Maki had mastered her skills in the way of the troublemaker.

There are many great stories to be heard about that girl. Late at night, she snuck into her own house through the window like a burglar. One time she said she wanted to be in the same class as me, so when she hid in the cleaning closet in my classroom, it caused a big fuss. At one point, she used a crayon to write “Maki Sanjou” on the fence between my house and the neighbours. So yeah, stuff like that. If the princess was indeed replaced by her, I don’t think she’d just sit down and be a good girl.

By the way, the way she wrote “Sanjou” in kanji (三上) seemed to have been a mistaken way to write Sanjou (参上). Even though my parents and I teased her for it, considering her age, you could say she was rather smart for using kanji even if it was imperfect. That girl, despite appearances, is mysteriously good with her studies.

In any case, it’s most likely that the princess’s real identity is Maki.

(Oi, you, did you really come to this world….?)

I found myself shifting my gaze in the direction of the royal palace.

If I’m right, Princess Shielmia should have her room at the top floor in the west tower of Licht Castle, which is at the heart of the capital. I think it’s very inconvenient to live at the top floor of a tower, but for the sake of events, I suppose it’s good there.

(I’d say it’s even worse for her, being stuck in such a place.)

By any means, I want to get in touch with Maki.

Wait, there’s an even simpler way to know if the princess is really Maki.

“B-By the way, that Maki princess you were talking about, what kind of person is she? Like, her appearance. I just realised I never knew.”

I asked her this with various motives in mind. The old lady looked at me bewilderedly.

“You really don’t know anything about that princess, huh. Princess Maki has pretty, black hair, and a sweet but small stature.”

Small girl with black hair. Yeah, those seem to match with Maki. Although, even Hisame has black hair, and just being a small person isn’t enough information.

“Is there anything else?”

I asked. The lady started to think.

“Hmm… Right… Something else, something else…. Oh! I, of all people, totally forgot she has an incredible characteristc.”

“An incredible characteristic?”

While I was thinking about if Maki had anything that made her stand out, the old lady brought her face close to mine and began to talk in a whisper. It was as if she was confiding with me a tremendous secret.

“As I said, the princess’s hair was black, yeah? That hair……”

The old lady paused the words there to give a dramatic effect.

“The split ends of her hair are so beautiful!!”

“…..Come again?”

Was I mistaken?

I thought a few words in that sentence sounded out of place.

“Um, what did you say?”

“Split ends, I said. Split ends! That princess, her ends are split!”

“It’s amazing, right?” was the expression the old lady was giving me.

I have no freaking clue what she’s talking about.

“Ah. You don’t know what split ends mean? It’s like this. When the ends of your hair, right here, they just split apart like a tree branch….”

“Yeah yeah I know that! I’m wondering why split hair, out of anything…”

….No. In the game, there were characters with grey hair of bald heads, but the game devs never bothered to make any characters that had hair with split ends. If this world had faithfully reproduced the game, there shouldn’t be any people with split-ended hair.

On the other hand, if it’s a game, then my real-life appearance may have been interpreted by it through a special program. I also did not take care of my hair in real life, and thus the ends of my hair started to split. So, it’s no wonder that the program incorporated this into my character design. Then, since hair having split ends would be considered rare, it’s possible the inhabitants might treat it something similar to a four-leafed clover.

(Could it be, that was the reason why Ringo cared so much about split ends?”

Nah, it could just be that Ringo simply liked things with split ends, but if it’s true that split ends are rare in this world, the possibility that the princess was Maki has increased. I would be excited that this clue has come from such an unexpected place, but in reality, I’m not.

After all, from this unexpected place, a crisis was approaching me.

The horror that had struck me was…

“Good heavens! If I look at you closely, your hair also has split ends! Well I never. That’s a rare sight. Show me a bit more.”

That old lady was huge.

“Hey, wa- wait….”

The lady at the grocery was focused, staring deep into my eyes. Speaking of this, I had a similar encounter with Hisame this morning, but this oba-chan is exerting a different power.

“Are you a bit shy? It’s all right, all right. It’s not like I’m going to eat it, after all!”

While she said this, the big girl swung herself towards me.

Her lips broadly disfigured.

And, like a bird of prey, dazzling aimed at me.

(I-I’m gonna be eaten…..!)

In spite of her words, I feel a great danger looming over me.

“….Oh, Oya~?”

Something white had interrupted me and the old lady.

Coincidingly, a voice with poor intonation hit our ears.

“No…. That’s… Mine.”

In order to block me from the old lady’s line of sight, Ringo had her arms stretched out in front of me.

“Come to think of it, previously you also…”

Even the old lady was struck by Ringo’s sudden intervention, and her focus diverted away from me.

Not missing this chance, I distanced myself from the woman.

“Th-Thank you very much. We’re going now!”

And so, taking one of Ringo’s outstretched hands, we quickly went away from the grocery stall.

[TL Note: The whole “Split ends” thing was foreshadowed earlier with Ringo saying it, but I localized the joke and altered it. (Thought it was random nonsense) I went back to previous chapters and added it back in. Sorry! I’ll try to be more literal.]

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