Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 4 Part 6

─ 6 ─

I had heard of this trap as a way to avoid burglars that existed only in the houses of the highest class.

By leaving the door unlocked on purpose, the burglar would be invited in, and the moment he touches the item inside, the door would close and he would be locked in. It was the kind of sly trap that Nekomimineko’s staff would love.

But then, we, the owners of the house, should be able to escape.

So I checked the door and found a keyhole.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank goodness. Apparently, as long as we have the key, we can get out of here.”

“…Key, on table.”

That’s right. I left the key in the living room on the first floor, assuming I wouldn’t use it anyway.

Maybe this was the en-

(N-No!)

I shook my head vigorously.

I’ve been through plenty of crises like this.

“Ah, ahahaha, don’t worry, Ringo. We can use our skills and magic in times like this. <Petiteplosion>!”

I tried my best to calm myself down as I chanted the spell.

“H-Huh?”

I didn’t get the sensation I usually get when I use magic, in fact…

“<Step>! <Jump>! <Slash>!”

There wasn’t any response when I called out skill names.

The ominous words <Incantation Nullification Room> came to mind.

“..I..”

Ringo was staring at the door, couldn’t keep still, and decided to point her Golden Sakura at the door.

I rushed to the side to escape the blast range.

Immediately after, a lightning bolt flew from her Golden Sakura to the door.

That’s right. Ringo’s lightning attack was not a skill, but a normal attack, so with this…

“Unscathed!?”

There was not even a single scratch on the door.

I saw that, and I knew.

“Indestructible, object…..”

Ringo tried firing a lightning bolt at the wall adjacent, but the result was the asame.

As per the system, the walls and doors were unbreakable. And now, this was a space where skills and magic were blocked.

(Oh my god….)

I couldn’t help but sit down. Should I say, as expected of Nekomimineko? Or should I curse myself for being so careless?

Anyway, there’s one thing I know.

—In some way or another, we’ve become locked inside our own house.

END OF CHAPTER 4

<Previous> <Index> <Next>
EDIT: IMPORTANT
A separate translator picked up the series, but from the completed WN version.
I’ve linked the equivalent translated chapter, just after they get trapped in the mansion.
https://www.isekailunatic.com/2022/03/07/wg-chapter-70-before-the-battle/

This translator is way more active than me and has progressed further, so they will be the successor to my translation.
Thank you for reading my work!

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 4 Part 5

─ 5 ─

Of course, I was the culprit behind the <Kuul Skulls>, the creepy skulls that lined the square.

My motive was to get a soldier or a knight from the castle to catch me so that I could march into the castle.

The reality is that I had thought of a way to meet Maki, but the castle’s security was quite strict.

Perhaps it was the <Masked Family> video’s effect, but with the latest patch, nowadays if you got caught entering the castle, you were instantly OUT. Since you became a criminal with no excuses allowed, it was extremely risky to try and break in. Even if I somehow got someone to pardon me, I couldn’t think of anyone other than the king and queen who was able to meet the princess inside the inner sanctum of the castle.

I decided to change my way of thinking. If I couldn’t break in, then why not be invited in?

What I came up with was a plan to write large letters in the square and have Maki look at them down from her room.

If Maki is in the same room as Shielmia, it should be on the top floor of the west tower of Licht Castle. From the west tower, you could clearly see the city’s central plaza. I thought that if I wrote a message there, it would be possible to deliver the message to Maki without even taking a step into the castle.

However, there were many people in the central square. If it was just regular writing, it would either be erased immediately or lost in the crowd.

That’s when I remembered about the Kuul Skull. The item would not be picked up by people, so it would not be erased immediately, and it would be clearly visible from above, since people attempt to path-find a good distance away from it.

As I had 3,000 of them in my inventory, enough to make a line of letters, it was perfectly suited. I decided to make a message by placing the <Kuul Skulls> in the square, during the time I was cleaning up from the <Lost Girl’s Signposts> quest.

What I had to worry about was the content of the message. The most important thing was to make a message with few strokes, while at the same time, letting Maki know that it was written by me.

It would be difficult and time-consuming to make the characters too complicated. In addition, it increased the risk of being read incorrectly when viewed from above.

Therefore, it was out of the question to write a character with a large number of strokes, such as “Sagara Maki [相良操麻]”. On the other hand, “Souma” might not have been understood, and it would have been obvious to others that I was the culprit. The goal was to get caught and go to the castle, but if I got arrested before Maki understood the message, then there was no point.

That’s when I thought of the “I am Mikami” text.

Ordinary people would not understand anything when they saw the words “I am Mikami”, but Maki would have. When Maki was little, she wrote “Maki Mikami” on the wall of a neighbor’s house, and her family and I teased her for it a lot.

Therefore, only Maki could understand the words “I am Mikami”, and thus, the meaning would become “I am here in this world.”

Now once all that was done, the rest would be easy.

Once the message gets delivered to Maki, she would try to meet the person who placed the skulls. For that time, we could leave clues to the whereabouts of the person who set this up.

The skulls would surely lead them to the ruckus I made with <Lost Girl’s Signpost>, and the item store where I bought them from. That’s why I let the siblings Kenny and Annie, as well as the clerk at the item store, know the location of where I resided.

With this, all my preparations were complete.

I don’t think that Maki would order me to be treated roughly. At the earliest, the knights will rush to my house from today onwards, and I would be escorted by the knights to the castle to meet Maki.

So, I think I’d just stay home and relax today.

When I said all this to Ringo, she had an unusually hard expression on her face.

“What about me?” She wondered what would happen to her if I was taken to the castle.

Of course I understand Ringo’s concern. Even though Maki would have a plan to take care of me, I’d be taken away as a criminal.

To be honest, I was also a little freaked out by the fact that word was spreading around town.

In my mind, it felt like I was playing a little prank, similar to drawing a line in the schoolyard and saying “I like you! or “I am here!”

I wonder if I used the wrong item for the job. But even though they’re skulls, they’re fake, and if you look closely, they definitely did look kuul.

Anyway, I tried to reassure Ringo as much as I could, saying in a calm tone, “Don’t worry so much. Once they realise that I’m the only one who can touch those skulls, then even in the worst case scenario, you won’t be accused of complicity. If it comes down to it, I have my prize money from the guild, and you can take care of the house with it…”

“I also… will go.”

She immediately replied.

It seems that she’s more worried about me than herself, which was the opposite of what I thought.

“No, since-“

“I’ll go.”

Her will was resolute.

(Looks like it’ll be difficult convincing her….)

I was about to open my mouth to say something, but stopped.

I won’t make much progress with her as it stands right now.

“Well, I’ll put it another way. I have plans to fight a powerful enemy in the near future. I’d like to make some preparations for it, so can you please help me with this?” I said, and Ringo nodded reluctantly, though she seemed unhappy.

She seemed to have gotten herself together a bit.

“…Enemy, is it Hisame?”

She asked.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, just to make sure, I’m gonna…….”

As I answered, I realized.

“Huh? How did you know I was going to fight Hisame? I’m pretty sure you were asleep when we were talking in the stable…”

“….I woke up. In the middle of it all.”

Anyhow, it seems that Ringo was indeed awake during our conversation, but didn’t say anything so that she didn’t get in the way of our conversation.

The conversation with Hisame ended when Ringo made a noise, but I think Ringo was actually awake for a long time before that, and perhaps my hand slipped or something and she made a noise.

I’m sorry I didn’t pay much attention to you then.

“So anyway, I’m thinking of using the facilities of this mansion today to gain a little advantage in the fight.”

The main thing I’m planning to use were the magic gems I bought from the item store, so my strength shouldn’t matter too much, but there’s always the possibility that the mission would fail.

I think it’ll be best to give myself as many positive elements as I could.

“Going… upstairs?”

Ringo looked worried, but I could also understand her concern.

Even just the first floor of the three had so much stuff that came out at us. You couldn’t begin to imagine what was up on 2nd or 3rd floor if we were to go searching for the workshop.

“Ahh, but, it’s OK. This time, I have a secret plan.”

“…plan?”

Ringo tilted her head and I pointed to the key on the table.

“I’ve decided not to take that with me today, you know.”

“Oh, This place is like a room to paint and sculpt in.”

The first room we opened when we came upstairs seemed to be a room for artistic production.

“As I thought, the rooms with production facilities are not locked.”

The key in this mansion was not so much a barrier to prevent others from breaking in, but rather a function to seal off troublesome things. To put it in game terms, unlocking the room was a condition for starting the event.

In another perspective, the key signified a way to activate the troublesome things that lay dormant in each room.

On the other hand, the dining room, living room, and bathrooms on the first floor were not locked. This means that these rooms did not need to be sealed with a key and did not have any troublesome event flags.

In short, if you wanted to find the facilities you need for production, just visit the places that don’t require a key.

“Ah, how nostalgic, painting and sculpting.”

At the time when I learned that you could paint and sculpt in this game, I screamed to myself, “A system to judge fine art, how awesome, <New Communicate Online>!!”

But that was replaced by disappointment and dismay when I found out how they evaluated paintings.

Nekomimineko had painting contest events, but the ratings were not based on the content of the painting, but on the amount of painting done. Specifically, it was determined by the type of colours used and the number and length of lines.

This meant that no matter how beautiful a picture I drew, it would not be able to beat a big canvas scribble with a lot of colours and lines drawn in a nonsensical manner.

When I realised this fact, I lost hope and stopped painting inside Nekomimineko.

Nevertheless, It was still nostalgic.

I walked over to the painting corner and picked up a brush.

(If I gave one to Ringo, would she be happy?)

When I remembered seeing her happily making doodles in the red room, I thought as such.

You don’t need such a big room or special facilities to paint, actually. At the very least, a single paintbrush is all that is needed.

“Set!”

I put up a brush and gave the order, and suddenly a blank canvas in a beautiful frame appeared in front of me.

It seems that this skill was still alive and well in this world.

Artistic tools such as paintbrushes have their own unique skills that required the use of elements to summon their respective materials, and these skills could be activated by giving the order <Set>.

By the way, a large paintbrush produced a large canvas, and a small paintbrush produced a small canvas.

It seems that the brushes are inked through magic, so you could paint with the brush’s unique colour indefinitely without bothering to put paint on it, but the only way to paint a different colour was to get a brush of that respective colour.

As you couldn’t create new colours, this method was too inconvenient for those who wanted to draw a picture seriously.

(Come to think of it…)

I wondered about the sculpturing, so I picked up an iron chisel that was there and called out “Set”.

Then.

“Uwah!”

A steel cube fell into the space in front of me, and I stepped back.

This was the material for the sculpture. If you used the Set skill while holding a graver or chisel, the material corresponding to the size and material of the tool in your hand will appear.

In this case, I was holding a large iron chisel, so a large piece of iron fell.

The only problem was,

“As I thought…”

As I swung the chisel down on the lump of iron, I heard a cracking sound and the chisel popped off.

Since the carving tool and the material were made of the same material, the same tool used to summon the material would not carve well.

Normally considering, it would be impossible to carve wood using wooden tools here. No, maybe in real life it would be possible, but in the game it was proven to be impossible. In the first place, you can’t give away or sell the sculptures you’ve made; there are no events or situations where the sculptures are useful, and the people in the city don’t talk about them at all. In short, the sculpture system was almost completely unimplemented.

Along with painting evaluation, this system was also another victim to Nekomimineko’s sloppiness of a game.

“…Let’s go.”

Somehow, after remembering about sculpting, the tension in me eased.

I put a couple of paintbrushes and a carving knife in my bag to give to Ringo later, and then left the room.

“Next time, I’d definitely want to check out the custom weapon room or the custom magic room.”

The production function was good in its own right, but the usefulness of customizing weapons and magic was outstanding as well.

As I was thinking about Hisame’s battle and beyond, I knew that it’ll be necessary to tune my weapons and magic there.

It was with this expectation that I opened the next room.

“…Huh?”

I peeked inside and saw a sight I’d never seen before.

“This place is a production facility, too, right?”

Tilting my head in confusion, Ringo and I entered the room together.

The room was more lavishly decorated than any other room I had ever seen, with a collection of weapons and historical exhibits all along the walls.

“Maybe the treasury ……nah, that’s locked, so maybe it’s an exhibition room or something.”

I unconsciously picked up a gold cup while saying that. It was at that moment when…

—-Slam!

With an ominous sound, the door that should have been staying open slammed shut by itself.

“Oi! What’s going on!?”

I rushed to the door, but it wouldn’t open.

“..!? Oh right!!”

That was when I realized what this room was.

–This place was catching thieves like a fly-trap!

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 4 Part 4

[Note: Translation might be less accurate, I haven’t practised any of my Japanese since my last translated chapter. I also beg someone else to pick up this series, as I do not have the ability to continue providing consistent updates due to my life at the moment. Until that happens, you’re all stuck with me. honk honk.]

─ 4 ─

I reported my act of taking up residence in the mansion to Alice (the daughter of the two owners of the previous inn I stayed at earlier), the staff of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild, Poison-tan, the clerk at the item shop, her sons Michael and Michael (Blue) that I requested to stay friendly with each other, and the two siblings in <Lost Girl’s Signposts>, Kenny and Annie.

I thought it would be troublesome to explains its whereabouts, but my worries weren’t necessary.

Apparently, the mansion we were living in was famously called the <Mysterious Nekomimi Mansion> that hadn’t found a buyer for a long time.

That name’s origin? I didn’t really notice it before, but on top of the mansion were shachihoko ornaments on either side, and from a distance, looked like cat ears.

[Note: A Shachihoko is an animal in Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shachihoko ]

“… and with this, we’re done?”

Ringo asked me after we left Kenny and the others.

“Nope, there’s more.”

There’s still the most important person left.

“Rejoice, Ringo. You’re gonna eat your favourite food!”

“Auntie, two apples!”

And with that, the place we have arrived at is of course the fruit and veggie stall.

“You’re quite the regular customer, aren’t ya?”

The auntie at the grocery store was taken aback.

However, I’d say this is definitely the place to check out if you want to find information.

“You’ve come here to hear more gossip about the princess agaaaain?”

The old woman said with a bitter smile, to which I respond with the same expression.

“Yeah, nah, I’m not after that all the time. Hello, just come to let you know that we’ve got a house here now.”

When we said that we were living in the <Nekomimi Mansion>, she understood immediately.

Indeed, the Nekomimi Mansion seemed to be famous.

“Even so, you two are, well-“

“B-By the way, have you heard about any new rumours recently?”

If you were just as well as informed about things like this auntie, you’d know that the house I bought had costed 10,000,000E.

I won’t be happy being perceived as a nouveau riche. With the intention of changing the topic, I ask the old woman for a new topic.

She knew what I was doing, but she still went on board with my expectations.

“Ah, right… I heard that one of the stores in the shopping district over there has been bought out, for one thing…”

“Eh? Bought out?”

It wasn’t the information I was wishing for, but the unexpected matter caught my attention.

“I’m not going to tell you where, to preserve that person’s dignity. I heard that there is a man who bought up a store that was running at a loss due to bad inventory, and with a lot of money, he bought out all the employees. I heard that he took advantage of that and is making very shameful demands towards the girls in the store… Well, It’s a good thing that the girls there, even though they are supposed to be the victims, seem to be enjoying themselves.”

“Huh…”

As my sense of money is still pretty much like a commoner, it’s hard for me to imagine such large amounts. Speaking of which, I’m surprised that even a world like this has a system regarding store acquisitions.

“Other than that, considering you’re an adventurer, there has been a bludgeoning girl holding a mace who has suddenly become active recently. Stuff like that seems to catch interest, but for all the rumours of today, what can I say about *that*?”

“Aaah, that, huh?”

Leading me on with some small hints, my gaze turned to one specific direction, and the auntie gave me a nod.

“With that look, it seems you already know.”

“Yes. In fact, I probably know a lot about it.”

I had been told about this rumour by other people when I reported my move, but I think I could say that I was the most knowledgeable person in the city about it.

“You’re talking about that mysterious pattern placed in the main square, right?”

“Yes, yes, that!”

As expected, the auntie wanted to talk about this matter.

While talking in a hushed voice, she let me know about the details.

“Looking at the circumstances, it seems to have been put up just last night. Well, it seems it’s not posing much of a danger.”

“Huh, is that so?”

“Well, as far as the knights have observed. It’s not magical, but there’s some kind of effect in place where it’s immovable. However, it can be destroyed. Even if it was some kind of summoning circle, there’s no danger anymore now that most of it has been demolished. And so, the knights have guessed that the cause of this mystery was likely an attention seeker making mischief.”

“So in that way of speaking, nothing came from it?”

This was the information I wanted to hear.

As I leaned forward in interest, the old aunt chuckled.

“Oh, That princess you care about so much came out there. Apparently, she was very unhappy that the front of her home was vandalized. She told us that we must absolutely find the offender and drag him out front of her.”

“…Gotcha. So that’s how it is?”

Holding back my beating heart, I attempted to act like an active listener.

“Anyway, the princess figured out that it wasn’t just any kind of pattern. If I were to look at it, I’d only think that it was placed in a peculiar way. If you were to look at it from a high place, you’d be able to discern out some kind of symbols, or letters, written with it.”

“I see, so it’s like mass gymnastics. So, do you have any idea on who did it?”

The lady frowned at my question.

“I don’t know about that. Only, according to what was deciphered, the culprit is a bastard named <Mikami>. But when I saw it, more than half of it had already been cleared away. Anything more, I don’t know.”

“Oh, I already copied down the pattern.”

I took out a piece of paper from my pouch.

“Really!? Please, show it to me!”

“Well, from the perspective of the princess’s room, it looks like……. this.”

While talking, I tilted the paper and showed it to her.

Hmhmm, went the lady upon seeing it.

“I get it now. so the culprit is indeed Mikami! Thank you so much for your help! I’ll have to pass this information on to my gossip buddies right now!”

“No no, my pleasure. I also want to see this criminal be caught as soon as possible.”

As I waved my hand, the lady’s expression darkened.

“I agree. I hope that the knights are successful in capturing him…”

“It’ll be fine. With such a large quantity of it placed down, and eyewitnesses around even at night, it’ll be no time at all before the culprit will be found.”

With that, I said my goodbyes to the lady, encouraged Ringo to eat the ringos she was holding in her hands, and then left the area.

In the middle of leaving, from behind me I heard – “Even so, how on earth could anyone put skulls like that in the town square…” – from the old auntie, as I quickly disappeared into the crowd.

“Right, let’s go back home.”

As I say to Ringo, for some reason or another, I took out the paper that I had shown the lady prior once again.

Of course, no matter how many times I looked at it, there was no way the words written down would change.

I looked at the paper in my hand.

“Well, if it had to be you, you’d have read this as “Sanjou”, right, Maki?”

Correlating with the pattern of the skulls placed the night prior, the words that were on the paper, was “I am Sanjou [三上].”

[Note: A reference to a joke from an earlier volume. Why Mikami? 三 can be read as “san” and “mi”, 上 can be read as “jou” or “kami”. ]

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 4 Part 3

─ 3 ─

In game time, this is my tenth day. This morning, I woke up better than I had in a long time.

I wasn’t sure where I was going to sleep last night, but I decided to bring another bed (a large adventurer’s bag) into the red room and sleep with Ringo.

It took a lot of courage to sleep in the red room, so I let Ringo scribble on the wall pattern.

It was a great success (in an avant-garde art sense). I came to the conclusion that as long as you close your eyes, it doesn’t matter what the walls look like, then promptly decided to go to sleep.

Apparently, the red room was a stress-type trap room, and in the middle of the night, I heard a voice that sounded like a mouse in a theme park whispering in my ear, saying ‘Do you like me?’, but since I was so sleepy, I just decided to ignore it and eventually it gave up.

But even if I could manage the room, I didn’t know what would happen if I left the stuffed bear unattended, so I thought of a plan. If I took my eyes off the stuffed bear, it might suddenly come out and scare me, so I decided to sleep with it in my arms.

Even the hunter will refrain from killing the bird that has flown to him for shelter.

I felt like I was doing something fundamentally wrong, but the bear was quite comfortable to hold. However, the reason why I woke up feeling refreshed was not only because I had slept well.

Yesterday was a very productive day. I completed a lot of quests, some of which I’m sure I did even better than when I did them in the game.

In <Michael’s Bluebird>, I was able to complete the quest without killing the bluebird, and in <Doki! Serial Killer Case of Noblemen>, I was able to bring the case to an end without a single casualty other than Richard’s father.

This was an achievement worth more than the quests I had completed.

I can’t help but think of this world as a game, but this is both a game and a real world. The people who live in this world are not a mass of data, they are flesh and blood. If I can save them with the knowledge of the game, I can say that I am happy about it.

While utilizing the rough flow of the event, I interfere in different areas from the game to achieve more than what I could do in the original event. It also gave me confidence that this fundamental concept was not wrong.

Besides, it was also a fruitful day in terms of strengthening our fighting power.

As well as improving my proficiency with various weapons and attributes, I got a lot of good stuff from the quests. In particular, the rewards for the murder case, which differed depending on which stage you uncovered Greg’s murders at.
Normally, the investigative actions would only be unlocked after Richard’s death, and in order to declare that Greg is the murderer, you have to go through a complicated procedure of gathering evidence and keywords, but in this world, there are no such restrictions.

In this case, I achieved a clear faster than what was possible in the game, so the reward was naturally of the highest rank.

Among them was the <Indomitable Necklace>, the unexpected fruit of my efforts, which greatly raises the upper limits of HP and stamina. Even just equipping it makes me feel like I have become stronger. As expected of a noble quest.

As I was fiddling with the necklace, Ringo came over to talk to me.

“… Souma, you happy?”

“Hm? Yeah, I guess so. Speaking of, how could you tell?”

I wondered if my expression was that obvious.

I couldn’t help but stroke my own face….

“… The split ends of your hair… They’re all perky….”

“That’s just regular bed-hair!”

I wish that you’d not try to think that my hair could have some kind of weird function.

After Ringo pointed it out, I stroked my hair instead of my face.

Using roughly all the mirrors in the room, I took care of my appearance, then quickly broke away from grooming myself after I noticed I was starting to take various different poses in front of them.

“Well, I am in a good mood, that’s for sure. I got some good stuff yesterday. Here, like this one.”

I showed her the spellbook I had received as a reward for <Michael’s Bluebird>.

“…Bird-san.”

Just like Ringo said, there was an emblem of a bluebird on the cover of this one-of-a-kind spellbook.

“This is the spellbook I had always been aiming to get. It’s called <Last Heal>. It takes a while to chant the spell, but the effect of it is incredible.”

By the way, the sub-heading of the spellbook is <The Last Prayer of the Sacred Bird>. Considering the contents of the quest, I feel that there is some malicious intent in the name, but since nobody died this time I think it’s OK.

“When you use it, a hologram of a big bluebird comes out, with every party member in a three-metre radius from the spell-caster receiving all recovery and support effects for thirty seconds.”

By the way, this magic is a limited edition spell that can only be obtained from this quest, and in that sense it is extremely rare. It could be said that the developers’ nastiness is hardcore; placing rare magic spells on quests that can only be obtained by killing characters.

“Well, there is a small caveat. You can’t use your own skills or magic, and you can’t move for thirty seconds while the effect is in place.”

“…small caveat?”

Ringo sharply but effectively voices her opinion.

“N-No, it’s natural for things with long effects to have their weak points, you know? Look, the most powerful technique of the big sword has one of the longest effects of any weapon skill, but even that can be useless or kinda worthless or maybe unhelpful or useless or worthless, I think…”

It’s a magic that I’m going to be using from now on. I am trying to defend Last Heal, but I don’t think I can turn it into something that makes sense in front of Ringo’s eyes.

I quickly gave up and changed the subject.

“… Ummm, now uh, anyway. I’m going to tell everyone that we are moving to this residence.”

“… Moofing… Ressidance?”

I’m not sure if it’s because of the inaccuracy or being off the mark, but I’m laughing at Ringo’s words.

“I’m proud to say that I’ve made quite a few acquaintances in this town, but they still don’t know where we live. So I thought I’d go and tell them.”

To be honest, I’d worked more than enough yesterday. With that, it could be said that all the easy quests that can be cleared at this point were completed.

There’s also the cooking contest quest, which I have a set winning pattern for and is delicious, but that is a fixed date event on July 1st. Unfortunately, no matter how much money I have, I can’t overcome the time barrier. I think it would be a good idea to stay at home for a while and just wait it out.

Well, for another thing, Ringo was cold and lost her drive to do more activities.

It is difficult to attack an impregnable castle. In such cases, the better way is to sit back and wait for the other side to invite you in.

There are some cases where it is better to quickly give up on finding the solution than sitting down and solving it.

Ringo didn’t seem to have any objection to this either.

“…Mm, good luck.”

While expressionless, she showed her enthusiasm.

It’s good to be motivated.

“Well, for starters, let’s return to the Bounty Hunter’s Guild.”

And so we set out on a day-late round of greetings regarding our new home.

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 4 Part 2

─ 2 ─

“…Ah, it’s Bear-san.”

As I said that, Ringo was happily playing with a stuffed bear in her left hand.

As if it was a hunter who had just caught its prey, the body of the stuffed toy swayed as she walked, which was a bit creepy.

To be honest, I’m not sure if I like the way she’s holding the stuffed animal, but since Ringo is smiling happily, I can’t do much about it.

What’s more,

“…Souma, keep it up.”

Seeing Ringo in such a good mood made me feel like it was stupid to think in such a way.

I shake my head to get into a better mind-space.

“Ah, yeah. Let’s keep going at this pace.”

It’s true that we have a lot of money, but among the rewards that quests give out, there are valuable items that money can’t buy. We were going to collect as much as we could in one day.

In my mind, I envisioned all the events that would occur in this city. Based on the time that has passed since I started the game and arrived at the capital, my current level and ability, and the number of events I have completed, the events that are currently available are…

“Right, so, next would be…”

—-Here, in a banquet hall for a certain noble…

A handsome man was taking the lead in a toast to start the gorgeous feast that was about to begin.

“With that, let’s have a toast to celebrate my older brother Richard’s 62nd birthday. Cheers!”

And then…

“Please wait!!”

The party was abruptly interrupted by an untimely voice. The voice came from a man who was unknown to everyone in the hall. Yes, that was of course…

—–Me.

“W-What’s with you, coming in here suddenly….?”

The man who was in charge lashed out at me.

But, I accusingly pointed back at the man.

“The incident hasn’t happened yet, but I will still talk about it. Today, he will poison your brother Richard. Tomorrow, he will kill the eldest son, Ragu, by using a trap in the mansion. The day after tomorrow, he will drive your wife to suicide; three days later, he will use a maid to kill your third son, Rugu, in the night. In four days, in the morning, the eldest daughter, Rana, will be deceitfully led to the balcony, where the hand rails will break and will hang for dear life with serious injuries. At noon on the same day, he will lure the second son, Rigu, to get killed by a monster. In five days, during the early morning, he will make his second daughter, Rina, and his third daughter, Runa, kill each other by seeding doubt into each of them, and in six days, he will try to poison his fifth son, Rogu, by mixing the extract of poisonous saury into his dinner. The culprit in this serial killer case will be ……. You! Greg-san!!”

“….Hah!?”

Basically everyone in the room looked at me like, ‘What the hell is he talking about?’

I continued without paying attention to them.

“It’s not just that. It was Greg who killed your father two years ago, wasn’t it? The proof is under the biggest tree in this yard. That’s where he left his real suicide note and-“

“That’s enough! Stop!!”

It was Greg’s brother, Richard, who stopped me from speaking.

“Not only have you said such outrageous words like my own brother is plotting to kill me, but that he had killed my father, too!? How dare you spew such vile things! My brother, Greg, is-“

However, someone interrupted Richard’s speech.

“—–I, indeed did it.”

It was the man Richard was defending, Greg, who spoke up.

“Eh, wait. Greg, wait… what?!?!?”

While Richard was trembling, he went on.

“No matter what, I will not regret what I have done! That man, he was demon in the flesh! I had to, I had to get rid of his bloodline at all costs! If not, how on earth could I apologise to my dead Matilda? How, How could I…. WAHHHHHHH!!!!”

Greg’s wailing echoed throughout the party hall. I couldn’t help but also feel sad while I saw Greg crying while the rest of the partygoers were staring blankly at him.

“It’s a sad incident…”

—And with that, the Swift family, one of the most famous families in the Kingdom of Licht, had a love-hate, blood-soaked, week-long revenge drama that ended before it even began.

【Quest <Doki! Serial Killer Case of Noblemen> Complete!】

—–In a basement, a large amount of chemicals (and base materials for them) were messily strewn about.

Perhaps it was because of this, or perhaps it was due to his poor facial characteristics, but the alchemist, with his sunken cheeks and piercing eyes, seemed to exude a very dangerous atmosphere.

His appearance doesn’t betray the fact that he appears calm, but it looks to me that deep within his earnest voice lies a hint of madness.

“…Yes. In order to cure my daughter’s illness, I really need the <Potion of Returning Souls>. However, the market price of that potion is 2 million E. Even though I knew that it was available in the sorcerer’s guild, it was not something that I, a commoner, could afford. That’s why I decided to gather the ingredients and prepare the potion myself.”

“I see, I see.”

I nodded seriously at the alchemist’s words.

“After several years of traveling around the world, I was able to collect four of the five ingredients. But I just couldn’t get the last one, the <Azure Dragon Claw>, a material from the flying dragon that lives in the northern mountains.”

“Uhuh, uhuh.”

While the alchemist was speaking, I made sure to appear attentive.

“I wish to count on you as an adventurer. In the place of me, can you please slay the Azure Dragon and procure its claw?”

“… I understand your story.”

I’ve heard what I want to hear. If it comes to this, it’ll be such a waste of my precious time.

I stood up quickly.

“S-So, to help my daughter, would you go and get the <Azure Dragon Claw> for me?”

And so, I said to the man who is in desperate need of help:

“No, I’m going to get some medicine for her from the guild.”

“Eehh!?”

【Quest <Alchemist’s Dearest Wish> … Completed!!】

“Lately, everyone in my family has had bad dreams, and the other day I also had a weird-“

“Ah, that’s because you have this cursed old clock, so I’ll just take that—“
【Quest <Strange Phenomena in the House with the Clock> … Completed!!】

—And, for the last quest of the day.

“Ah, Annie, I hope she got home safely.”

“Kenny, don’t you worry too much. You’re Annie’s big brother, so you should know how your little sister will act.”

I see, a wise saying.

“But as I said, she’d be OK. I’ve left plenty of signs for her so she won’t lose her way.”

“I hope so, I really do, but her sense of direction is absolutely abysmal, so that’s why I’m worrying.”

Right, the last quest of today is <Lost Girl’s Signposts>.

By placing guidepost items along the route, I was able to get Annie, a girl with no sense of direction, to return home safely from the cabin in the forest where her siblings play.

That said, it’s not like this is a tough quest. The distance from the cabin to the house isn’t far, and I have plenty of <Kuul Skull> that can be used as the guideposts. Considering the possibility that the black skulls could not be seen due to the darkness of the night, I put 250 of them next to each other. Since it’s almost a line from there and back, it’ll be strange to get lost with it.

But, suddenly:

“O-oniichaaaan!”

Suddenly, the door of the cabin opened, and Annie, who was supposed to be on her way home, came running in crying.

“A-Annie! What happened! Could it be, you still got lost…?”

Kenny, her brother, asked, but Annie shook her head.

“N-No! When I got to the house, Mama, she said not to come in.”

“Not to come into the house? What you mean by that?”

It seems that this was what she meant while she was crying while talking to us.

Thanks to the skulls, she had managed to get to the house, but her mother there was waiting for her with a daunting pose while heaving her shoulders.

According to her mother, the skulls on the street were blocking traffic and causing chaos in one part of the city. In one section, the skulls were seen to be a tool of some heretical religion and it caused a huge commotion.

The skulls were so hideous that people could not approach them, and wagons could not cross them because the horses were scared. Some people were brave enough to try and attempt to remove them, but in the end they couldn’t even touch the skull.

Since one end of the skull line led to Kenny and Annie’s house, and the other end to their cabin, it was obvious who the culprit was.

Her parents were so angry that they declared, “We won’t let you in the house until you clean up all the skulls!”

Annie, who was kicked out of the house, cried and tried to collect the skulls, but in the end they were all too creepy to touch, so she ran back to the cabin in this state.

“…..” “…..” “…..”

I wonder why, but the silence is hurting my ears.

A gaze sharper than a spear started to pierce me.

Even Ringo, who was supposed to be on my side, seemed to be looking at me coldly for some reason.

Unable to bear the silence that felt like a bed of needles, I had no choice but to open my mouth.

“Ah, um, for now, let’s do that.”

“What do you mean, for now?”

Kenny’s words, with zero warmth, were thrown at me. I was a bit nervous of his intimidating gaze.

【Quest <Lost Girl’s Signposts> … Completed!!】

※ After the quest was fulfilled, the skulls were responsibly removed from the area.

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

Sekai Game Volume 3 Chapter 4 Part 1

─ 1 ─

The morning after the night of terror, Ringo and I were visiting a house.

“Thank you very much, Souma-san. Due to your many visits, Michael has become this healthy.”

“No, madam. It’s too early to thank me. Your request was not to [Help your son get better], but to [Spot the bluebird], is it not?”

“Yeah, yeah, I suppose, but even if only my son is happy, just that is already…”

The reason as to why she was looking for a bluebird was to heal her son with the bluebird’s healing power.

So, I guess she doesn’t care about the bluebird as long as her son gets well.

However…

“I found the bluebird, though.”

“Eh?!”

The first person to react to my words was not the woman who was talking to me, but her son, Michael.

After looking at their faces while trying to discern the situation, I spoke again.

“…The bluebird, is in here.”

“In here? Do you mean that it’s in this room?”

Michael’s mother gave me a puzzled look, not understanding what I was saying. In contrast, Michael’s face, or rather the boy that was calling himself ‘Michael’, went pale.

His expression screamed out ‘What did you figure out?!’ at me, waiting for my next words.

“Yes. The only people in this room are only me, Ringo, and you, madam.”

“I-If that’s the case…”

“Yeah, if that’s the case, you should know the answer, right?”

The woman seemed to have realised it too.

“No way…”

While saying that, she looked back at her son, well, at the thing that was supposed to be her son.

“It seems you understand now, don’t you?”

While concealing my bitter thoughts, I once again turn round to face the thing.

Then, I announced.

“It’s time for you to give up, Michael… Or, should I say… Bluebird!!”

As I pointed my finger, I saw Michael, or rather, a bluebird disguised as Michael, trembling as expected.

“N-Nooo! I’m not a bluebird! …. R-Right! Proof! If you say I’m a bluebird, gimme some proof!”

‘Michael’ was seething, but I had expected this.

“… Well then, Can you answer me this, Michael-kun? You said you picked up this <Bluebird Feather> in the garden? Is that correct?”

“T-That’s right! Are you saying that because I was the one who picked up the feathers, that makes me the bluebird!? Anyone could have-“

While soothing the upset ‘Michael’, I walked over to *something* that was in Michael’s room.

I suddenly put it into my hand.

When ‘Michael’ saw it, he shouted in surprise.

“Ah! That’s the stuffed bear you gave me when you visited me for the third time today!!”

“Yep. In fact, I’ve had a hunch about who you really were since that time. So, even though I feel bad about it, I had to plant this here.”

“Is that…?”

“It’s a video recording device. To properly explain it, I think it’s best to just show you.”

While answering Michael’s mother’s questions, I operated the video recorder that I had picked up earlier from the item shop.

The image of this room from a few hours ago was projected onto the empty space in front of me.

“N-Nonono!”

Michael shouted, but the projection didn’t stop.

The image clearly showed ‘Michael’ transforming into a bluebird and plucking out one of his own feathers.

“Michael, you…”

Michael’s mother looked at the boy, who hung his head to the floor, with a look of disbelief on her face.

Before she could say anything else in her fury,

“Please wait.”

I defensively stepped in front of the ‘boy’.

“Please listen to what he has to say… You can speak for yourself, can’t you?” I said, turning to the mother for the first half, and the second half to the boy.

Receiving my word of advice, the boy, a bluebird, slowly started to talk.

“You see, Michael, was a friend of mine…”

He and Michael met in a garden and became good friends, breaking the barrier between their species. Michael was born sickly, and soon his health started to deteriorate.

The bluebird tried desperately to help him recover with its healing power, but it’s efforts were fruitless.

“In the end, Michael said to me, [I want you to take my place. Take care of my mother for me]. That’s why… That’s why I…”

Michael’s mother hugged the bluebird as it cried.

“Obasan, I’m… I’m sorry…. I-I’ve… been… deceiving you for so long….”

“It’s okay. The truth is, I’ve always known. I knew that Michael had passed away… I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I caused you so much harsh pain.”

As she spoke, large tears spilled from the bluebird’s cheeks.

“Oh, obasan, I… I…”

“It’s okay, it’s okay. You have done everything you can to help me and Michael. I can’t blame you for that… Well, what would your real name be?”

“Blue. I’m called Blue.”

Hearing this name, Michael’s mother smiled.

“Yes, Blue…. Blue, that’s a good name. Blue, you are my benefactor and my… other son. Isn’t it nice if we can think of it that way?”

“M-Mama….!”

Tears gushed from the bluebird’s eyes as she said these words, and they hugged each other tightly.

“…Shall we go now?”

Seeing this, I gently directed Ringo out of the house.

They would need some time alone together for a while.

When I looked back at them for the final time, I saw that they looked like a real mother and son.

“Thank you so, so much, Souma-san.”

“Thank you, Souma-oniichan!”

As they bowed deeply, I scratched my head.

“No, I didn’t do much. Plus, I’ve been paid well.”

I smiled bitterly while continuing.

“More-so, please live together and get along. That would be the best way to thank me. Ah, and also…”

As if I had just remembered something in the nick of time, I nonchalantly say.

“Please take good care of the stuffed bear I gave you, Blue-kun. It’s the only one of its kind in the world, so don’t you dare lose it.”

“Ok!”

Blue-kun nodded cheerfully, and I felt a little guilty, but I was relieved by his answer.

I hope they’d live happily.

“… Bear-san.”

We left Michael’s house, while I pulled Ringo’s hand away with me like she didn’t know when to give up.

“Haaa… It was rather troubling, but I’m glad it turned out well…” I said, releasing my tension after I turned around the corner and out of sight.

In this <Michael’s Bluebird> quest, you can either cheer up Michael, who is a bluebird in disguise, and fail the quest without finding a bluebird, or give the fake Michael something that seems to be harmful to his body and kill him. It was a quest that forced an unreasonable choice to uncover the identity in order to clear it.

However, since Nekomimineko has become a real world, I could take a choice between the two methods and roll with that. I had to visit Michael’s house thirteen times today alone in order to complete the quest, but thanks to that, I seem to have succeeded in accomplishing the quest while keeping the fake Michael, or, the bluebird, alive.

Actually, isn’t it rather creepy to visit someone thirteen times in a single day? I’d say that the game adjustment is the scariest.

As I looked back on this case, I was glad that it went well, but I was tired.

—-Pat pat.

Perhaps as a way to show appreciation of my effort, the right side of my back was patted.

Ringo really is too kind.

I tried to say thank you.

“Thank you, Ringo. But I’m OK now…”

“…Souma.. I’m.. this way…”

Ringo’s voice came from my left side.

(Eh? So, the one who just slapped me on the back was….)

Driven by an unpleasant premonition, I looked to the right.

Over there, I saw a familiar yellow silhouette….

—–Grinning.

“Gyaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!”

【Quest <Michael’s Bluebird> ….. Clear!!】

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

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

<Previous> <Index> <Next>

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 each other 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.

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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 rather juicy 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

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