TL Note: Nanodesu Translations translated everything in Vol 2 except for the bonus story and afterword. I’m picking this story up from the start of Vol 3, so find somebody else to translate those bits. (Or, you could just buy Vol 2’s ebook on Amazon.co.jp yourself and MTL it if you’re that desperate.)
“Why don’t you come to my dojo, and put your strength to use?”
It was after the end of the Golden Zlime Extermination Fest. In front of us was the cat-eared warrior Mitsuki Hisame, who said those lines.
As soon as I heard those words, I had goosebumps.
The reason was simple. Those were the exact lines that signified the start of Nekomimineko’s worst chain-event, <Trials of the Hisame Family>.
If so, then her next words would undoubtedly be “You must become the next candidate for the household of Hisame!”
“W-Wait, Hisame! That’s..”
If her next line was said, that would be the end of me. In a panic, I desperately tried to restrain Hisame from saying it, but…
“You must become a new instructor for the household of Hisame!”
Her line was slightly different from the game, so I froze.
Firstly, I must calm down and think.
<Trials of the Hisame Family> was a series of events where you must defeat Hisame in one-to-one combat. The difficulty was the same level as defeating the Demon Lord, and experiencing it for the first time would undoubtedly kill you. It was a horrible event. Furthermore, what made this event truly terrible wasn’t the death rate, but…
While I was thinking about that, I was also trying to understand the situation. Behind me was a slightly alert Ringo, who was focusing on Hisame with an expressionless face.
“Ringo, I don’t care what, but can you at least say something to me?”
With such an abrupt request, Ringo intently looked at me. After a bit of hesitation, she spoke.
“…Split ends… of hair?”
I shouted while intensely clenching my fist. I decided to avoid this worst-case scenario.
What made Hisame’s chain event so terrible was not the overwhelming difficulty, nor the super-high death percentage, but the fact that once you start the events, you can never run away from them.
Once you satisfy the requirements to start the event, you can’t talk to any character except Hisame, and it becomes impossible to progress further into the game. The only place where the player can go would be Hisame and her training dojo.
However, with Ringo’s intervention, with that weird and kinda creepy phrase “split ends of hair” is a phrase only Ringo can come up with originally. Furthermore, this dialogue should have interrupted the start of the chain event.
“Well, is it over?”
In a mysterious, quizzical way, Hisame’s cat ears implied a response of “No”.
“Fine. Tell me the story.”
With Hisame’s proposal, this time I decided to lend an ear.
Simply put, Hisame was scouting for people for her dojo, and she found me.
“I said my dojo, but accurately speaking, I meant my parents’ dojo.”
I already knew that – is what I wanted to say, as I further understood in the game that Hisame’s dojo was really big. About half of the country’s knights and famous adventures are somehow involved in Hisame’s dojo.
In this world where the presence of monsters influences the lives of civilians, for better or for worse, people with the adventurer or knight occupation have strong influence. As half of them are tied to this dojo, it would be safe to assume that the dojo itself is also influential. Furthermore, it’s made them filthy rich.
“However, if that’s the case, why are you talking to me?”
Being such a famous dojo, there should be lots of people who would be more than willing to teach there, so I couldn’t see the need for her to invite me.
Due to my question, Hisame’s cat ears started to pitch forward.
“In the Extermination Festival, as I defeated the majority of the monsters, I should have won by all rights. However, your knowledge of the event exceeded mine. Looking at this, my views of you have changed.”
The woman who single handedly defeated over half of the monsters, looks at me as an equal for the first time. After all, she seemed to be rather shocked after the announcements.
Well, I think some things are better left unsaid, especially with my actions.
“What do you mean by ‘changed’?”
Instead of returning to the death route conversation, I prompt her to explain via these interjections.
And thus, Hisame joyfully continues talking.
“You have used techniques that I don’t know, while also having used existing skills in unconventional ways. That is, evidently, your strange sword. You seem to have been training techniques that I, no, this whole country has no idea existed.”
She bluntly said such lines to me.
(Techniques that this entire country has no knowledge of…. Oh come on!)
If you call knowing a game’s technicalities a technique, well, it’s probably true.
Even though it was said in such a flattering way, I just couldn’t really accept it.
“Also, I heard that woman next to you can shoot lightning with the power to break a boulder, straight from her hands. That too, is something that is not possible with ordinary skills or magic.”
It seems that the thing with Ringo and her lightning has also been leaked.
I almost started to wonder why, but the news almost certainly came from Ryden.
That guy was only focused on defeating King Butcher, but come to think of it, if you were awake at that time, you’d have definitely been able to see Ringo breaking the boulder. He is a man who is said to never betray his comrades, yet he’s got such a loose tongue.
“If you are willing to discuss further, you will receive more riches and fame than you’ll ever get in your dreams, and the dojos throughout the nation will help you in any way possible. Would you please share your knowledge, so it can be become useful to the next generation of graduates?”
And with that, she finished her speech. The twitching of her cat ears gave a “How’s that?” attitude.
(I see. As I thought, it’s definitely different from the game’s chain event.)
The original <Trial of the Hisame Family>’s opening lines were “If you can beat me, you may become worthy of entering the Hisame family. First of all, can you meet my father?”. With that, you get taken to Hisame’s home, and then undergo an ordeal to qualify to become the next generation’s head of the household.
My ability is being evaluated, and Hisame is inviting me to her dojo, but the reasoning and context are now different. If this is the case, then maybe there wouldn’t be any problem.
I faced her and grandly nodded.
“Aah. I get what you’re saying.”
“Is that so? Well then…”
“BUT, I refuse your offer.”
As soon as I said that, her cat ears bounced up in surprise.
“Wait, what? Why!?”
Her voice was noticeably shaking. How unusual.
I don’t really want to be asked “why”, either. From the very beginning, I never intended on accepting her request.
Certainly, if I poured out all the knowledge I knew into this world, society would improve and I could live comfortably. It’s not like I don’t want to see stuff like the knights marching with Rapid Cancel Dash, or adventurers defeating monsters by taking advantage of their weaknesses…
It’s just, as I spent all my college life obtaining the knowledge I have about <Nekomimineko>, I’d like to say it’s part of my assets.
I know it’s bad that adventurers in this world are fighting while putting their life on the line, but even if it’s due to my own selfishness, I can’t simply let go of my fortune. I can’t be a magnanimous, kind person.
Furthermore, it’s outrageous that I’ll be stuck as a teacher instead of obtaining money.
In the past seven days of being in this game world, various things have happened. I’m absolutely sure that some disaster will befall upon me in the future. To resist Nekomimineko’s unreasonable system, I can’t afford to settle down.
Not only that…
“I don’t think you’d be able to withstand the weight of all the knowledge I have.”
“The weight of your knowledge?”
If it’s only superficial knowledge, I suppose it’ll be fine. However, in order to understand and use all the techniques that I know, you must become one with the mind of a gamer.
For them to accept my knowledge, they must also accept that the world that they are living is, has, and always will be a fake.
This world is a game, but only I know it.
Well, if Maki came to this world too, she might also be aware of this, so I might be able to teach her.
But that’s all.
I have no intention of telling the truth to anyone else.
And, one last thing.
The most simplest reason:
“You, why are you here right now?”
Hisame probably holds her dojo in high regard. Maybe she thinks it’s the best place in the world.
However, as Hisame herself departs from the dojo and travels alone, this is a contradiction.
“You left the dojo because you wanted something that you could not get in that dojo, right? There were no life-threatening fights with powerful enemies in that place. I am the same. I don’t want anything there either. Therefore…”
After I said those words, I noticed a change in Hisame’s demeanour.
She was supposed to be looking this way, but now she’s staring at the ground, completely silent.
Could it be that my words hit too close to home?
When I started to think about what words I should follow up with…
“In other words, you also wish to die from fighting a formidable enemy. Is that a reasonable interpretation?”
Looking at her mouth, I noticed that I had misunderstood.
Oh so very slightly, did I see a smile on what was supposed to be an expressionless face. And upon looking even closer, I became aware to what I was unaware of before; she was unsheathing her beloved sword Getsuei. She was totally ready for a fight.
“I’ve made a terrible detour. If that’s the case, you should have said so right from the beginning. It’s okay. That strong enemy you are looking for, is right here.”