The next day, when I went to pick up Rifreya, her eyes were red, and she laughed with an ‘ehehe’ as if to play it off.
We did a short exchange, and walked to the guild.
There were already tens of experts in the guild for the sake of the exploration, and the population was dense.
It seems templars are not here. I can’t see people that would fit the bill.
I am merely a porter, so I will at the very least stick to Rifreya in the middle, but it is apparently rare for a Demon Lord subjugation to finish in one day.
That’s because the dungeon is deep and vast.
Even if searched by spreading out, there are many times when it can’t be found, and because there’s no knowing where the Demon Lord is in, they begin what’s akin to a mountain hunt from 2 floors up to where the last floor that it was found in, and sweep from there.
Because of that, the number of participants on the first day is always low, and the templars participate on the second or third day.
Meaning that today will be a day where they will be fighting monsters normally in the 3rd Floor. At the very least, I should have the camera -that must be somewhere- show the other explorers, and create the ambience of a demon lord subjugation team to the viewers.
“Rifreya, what happens in the actual battle? Someone takes command?” (Hikaru)
“Command…? No, we simply fight in order beginning with the party that found it.” (Rifreya)
“Such a haphazard method? The enemy is a Demon Lord, so it is strong, right?” (Hikaru)
“Of course, we will be cooperating with each other, you know. But it is not like there’s anyone here acquainted enough with the abilities of everyone to the point that they can take command so, in the end, we fight with our usual party formations, and when it gets dangerous, we switch to the next party… That’s how it works.” (Rifreya)
“In that case, there’s a chance for our turn…huh.” (Hikaru)
Grapefull isn’t participating today.
The high ranked explorers have a number of scout lynxes, so they are apparently going to be doing the job of scouts.
Well, diving with these numbers, there’s probably no need for scouts.
“Ah! Looks like we are departing.” (Rifreya)
I walked over to the dungeon while sticking with Rifreya, but we were divided at the entrance by porters and explorers. Well, it must mean that porters should stick to the back.
By the way, gold rank accomplished adventurers will apparently be in charge of the rear.
Most porters have rucksacks, but there’s also ones that have proper gear on them. They probably plan on participating in battle like me.
The first battle formation of the explorer team is around 40 in total.
There aren’t many porters. Well, it is originally one porter per 6 people party, so this is the obvious result.
We walked for a bit, and something slapped my shoulder from the back.
When I turned around, there was the handsome man that I met in the baths before.
“Heya there! It has been a while. You haven’t come to the bathhouse since then, so I thought you died. You got me worried there.”
“H-Hello. Alex, right?” (Hikaru)
“Yeah, so you remember me?” (Alex)
Alex, who is a Chosen just like me, is holding a spear and shield; heavy equipment style.
That he is here must mean that he is participating as a porter?
“Are you also a bronze rank?” (Hikaru)
“No, I just finally became an ebony rank. I had them let me join as a porter today. That goes the same for you, right, Hikaru?” (Alex)
Saying this, he shows me his ID.
Looks like his comrades are also silver rank.
“At any rate, a Demon Lord! Doesn’t that get your blood boiling?! There’s apparently no Chosen who has defeated a Demon Lord yet, so there might be bonus points if we defeat one.” (Alex)
“Points, huh.” (Hikaru)
Alex is a mysterious man.
He is an otherworlder, and he might have heard about me, and yet, there’s no hidden side to his attitude and is openhearted.
“Aah, now that I think about it, there were messages telling me they wanted me to tell you something if I met you, Hikaru. What was it? If I remember correctly, there were a number of them…” (Alex)
My body jolted as if reacting to the word ‘messages’.
It is as if a cold knife had been pushed onto me. Something indescribable was surging up from the very depths of my entrails.
A message for me.
Something like that would be a bad notice, and if not, they are using Alex in order to relay the flaming messages since I don’t open them myself, or they are using Alex to try and kill me.
…Whichever the case, it must not be anything decent.
I don’t think Alex is trying to kill me (of course, there’s the chance he could stab me from behind. When you die in the dungeon, you simply turn into a stone, so you can just say I was killed by a monster). Maybe they are messages of support…? No way.
The reason why I can somehow manage to get viewers is clearly because ‘I am Nanami’s killer, and am enjoying my isekai life away from the hands of the law’.
I don’t know why the true culprit hasn’t been caught. It would be a lie to say I am not pissed by the incompetent police force, but thinking about the fact that I was transferred, everyone would think that I am the culprit. If I had seen the news, I probably would have come to that same conclusion.
Of course, there’s the possibility that the true culprit has already been caught, and the current viewers are purely cheering for me.
I have thought about that possibility countless times at night while sprawled on my bed. But there’s no way that’s possible.
First of all, there’s way too little reason for there to be these many viewers. I am currently…the top amongst all Chosen in the Real Time Rankings. 700 million people watching me real time. It is an overwhelming number.
Even though I haven’t done anything of worth.
I am only diving into the dungeon. Even Alex, who is in front of me, is doing that same thing. If I am at the top, he should at least be 2nd. And yet, he is most likely a lot lower. Even though he is far more handsome and looks like he has a lot more friends than me.
In that case, I can only think of the possibility that the viewers are watching me because I have ‘a special story’ and they are expecting something. I haven’t said a single word to the viewers that I want to bring back Nanami.
Whichever the case, I don’t want to hear the messages.
The Viewer Count Race is going to end soon.
At the very least, I don’t want to stir my heart until that time.
“W-Wait, please. No need. I don’t want to hear about the messages.” (Hikaru)
“Oh, is that so? They sounded pretty earnest about wanting me to tell you though.” (Alex)
“I don’t want to remember about that side, you see… Please.” (Hikaru)
“Please… I really don’t want to hear it… Please…Please don’t tell me anything.” (Hikaru)
From here on, I will be going to subjugate a Demon Lord and get 1st place. I don’t want cold water poured onto that resolve. If I hear about them, it will be the end. I am sure I won’t be able to move properly when that happens.
“Is that really okay…? It is from your family, so they told me to definitely tell you.” (Alex)
“Stop… Please stop…” (Hikaru)
I covered my ears once I heard the word family.
Even if it is my parents, even if it is my little sisters, I don’t want to touch that.
I don’t think I am at fault here.
But the reality is that their house was burned, and they couldn’t even stay in Japan anymore.
Even if their messages were kind words of comfort.
Even if their messages are riddled with justified abusive remarks towards me.
My heart would be torn apart whichever way it is.
I cling to the collar of Alex, and plead over and over.
I couldn’t keep my calm at all.
“Got it. I am at fault here too -talking about the other world.” (Alex)
Alex raised both hands and showed a pose of surrender.
“…Well, I do somewhat get that feeling of yours. When I think about that side, even now, I still feel lonely.” (Alex)
Alex must have been hit with nostalgia, his eyes grew distant.
My case is different, but there’s no need to explain that.
“Anyways, if you don’t want to hear about it, I will keep those messages in my chest.” (Alex)
Alex closed the Status Board he was about to operate, and I was relieved from the bottom of my heart.
He really might be a good guy.
- Chapter 090: Between Chosen and Warning Carelessness
“I will be changing the topic here, but have you already made a spirit ability contract?” (Alex)
After walking silently for a while, Alex speaks again.
Looks like he waited for me to calm down first.
It seems like he really did want to talk about a lot of things since we are both otherworlders.
“I finally saved enough money to make a contract. At the point allocation phase, I took the Spirit Energy Up which I had no idea what it was for, and it ended up being a dead skill.” (Alex)
“I took it before I transferred -Dark Spirit Ability.” (Hikaru)
“You took it in the beginning? That’s a waste then. You can make a contract with only 10 silver coins, so using 10 points to make a contract in the beginning would be a loss. Well, you can’t tell that at the beginning, so that’s a trap. Ah, by the way, I chose fire.” (Alex)
“Fire, huh. Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen Fire Spirit Abilities much. How are they?” (Hikaru)
“About that, it is a lot more plain than I thought. It is so weak it can’t be used in actual combat at all. My Spirit User comrade…a guy I call Jal, I learned that he was an unexpectedly amazing guy, you see. Well, I have no choice but to train. Maybe because I got Spirit Energy Up, the power is apparently high despite just making the contract.” (Alex)
I am honestly grateful that Alex isn’t touching the matter of the messages.
Spirit Ability contracts can be made in the Great Spirit Church if you pay the money, but I feel like he made the contract late despite being in this city from the beginning.
The cost for daily necessities and the equipment can’t be scoffed at, so his comrades might have advised him to wait before making a contract until he had leeway in money.
Anyways, just as the person himself says, even though you can only use it a small number of times each day, the effect of the beginning abilities is questionable.
“Anyways, it was scary being chosen to be transferred to a different world, right? I was super worried at first wondering what to do, but having made friends was big. If not for them, I think I would be even more troubled than I am now. You as well Hikaru, if you are acting as a porter here, that must mean you have gotten a strong companion, right?” (Alex)
“…Right. So strong that I can’t even match.” (Hikaru)
“I have been doing battle training with my comrade Crabbell, but I can’t match him at all! He is a silver rank, so that’s natural, but we are the representatives of Earth, so we can’t go losing, right?” (Alex)
Alex laughs heartily. He gave off such a comforting demeanor that really felt like a friend of the same generation, and he wanted to talk about a lot of things.
Alex was a normal young man of the same generation as me, to the point that it felt silly to have been on guard about him. He spoke to me about stuff like how he hasn’t made a girlfriend in this world yet, and about how he misses junk food.
Maybe because we are advancing while watching out for a Demon Lord, our marching pace is slow.
Right now we are in the 2nd Floor, but most likely because it is a dark stage, we are barely progressing, and practically stuck in place.
In the time we are staying in place, we encounter Goblins and Orcs, but the explorers at the back take the stage, and would wipe them out.
I also had something I had an interest in asking Alex, so I tried asking.
“Alex, what floor have you been diving to right now?” (Hikaru)
“Still 3rd Floor. I have challenged the 4th Floor a number of times too, but it is all sorts of dangerous. Sahagins would suddenly jump out from the water, you know? It is bad for the heart.” (Alex)
“That sounds terrible.” (Hikaru)
I have also experienced a Sahagin jumping out, but if I didn’t have Dark Sense, it would have surprised me quite a lot.
Even without that, the 4th Floor is not only dark, but also an enclosed space. Of course, sudden encounters with monsters would make you panic easily.
“What about you, Hikaru?” (Alex)
“Only till the 3rd Floor.” (Hikaru)
“With that equipment, aren’t you haven’t it rough on the 3rd Floor? I can introduce you to a weapon store.” (Alex)
Compared to the splendid equipment of Alex, mine only looks like it is for self-protection.
“No, this is fine with me. I don’t have the strength after all.” (Hikaru)
“So that means you focus mainly on Spirit Abilities. What does darkness have?” (Alex)
“A whole lot of support abilities. It is pretty useful in the dungeon, but it might be rough when alone.” (Hikaru)
Leaving aside the matters about the Dark Spirit Ability, I didn’t know if it was okay to tell him about the Affection of Spirits.
There might be viewers who would expose that to him in the messages, but when that happens, that happens. There’s no need for me to babble everything about me.
“It is hard to believe that Spirit Abilities are so useful after all. Jal apparently can use Water Spirit Abilities more than your average one, and thanks to that, we have escaped just barely with our lives many times already.” (Alex)
“The number of uses is really important. Also, we can buy spirit energy potions with Crystals, so we are a lot more blessed than the natives.” (Hikaru)
“Yeah, my party members tell me that’s cheating.” (Alex)
“Hm? …You have even told your party members about the Crystal exchanges, Alex?” (Hikaru)
“Hm? Was that bad?” (Alex)
The word ‘careless’ popped into my mind, but I don’t know…
Well, it is not that stupid, and his party members must be people he can trust. But if they aren’t…if an influential person were to learn about that, there’s the chance to be caught.
I lower my voice in order for others to not hear me.
“Alex, it is not like I am doubting your party members, but it is better to not tell others about Crystals and Points so readily. With Points, you can even recover lost parts of your body with the High Heal Scroll, you know? If an influential person were to hear about that…you get what I am saying here, right?” (Hikaru)
“Do you mean they would come to me to sell them one?” (Alex)
Is he unexpectedly the type that has a flower field in his head?
Alex was making a surprised expression and looks as if he really doesn’t get it.
“That’s not it. If the fact about Points were to be discovered, at worst, you will be imprisoned until you bring out scrolls. 1,000 Chosen came to this world. Meaning that there’s definitely someone who will tell others about the Crystal and Point system… No, it would be better to think that it has already come to that point. If that information circulates to the ones high up, they might even turn Chosen into wanted people. I am just saying we should act on that assumption. What do you think would happen if a reward were to be given to the people for capturing Chosen in this city?” (Hikaru)
Even when hearing about what I am saying, Alex was completely flabbergasted here.
“T-Then, even about the fact that I came from another world…?” (Alex)
“Of course. It would be better to keep it a secret as much as possible. I think it is fine to talk about it to people you trust, but spreading it around carelessly would be suicidal.” (Hikaru)
“I-Is that so… I didn’t worry about that before. It is true that the messages that came from the other side were warning me to be careful.” (Alex)
He is handsome, but he is quite the carefree type.
Of course, it is not like the information will spread so fast, but we are foreigners.
If you are not careful at all times, there’s no knowing when the rug will be pulled under you.
“Thanks, Hikaru. I didn’t get it at all until now. I will ask my comrades as well to not tell others too.” (Alex)
“That would be for the best.” (Hikaru)
“But…isn’t it painful to not be able to talk about your own roots? How are you doing, Hikaru?” (Alex)
“I…have not told anyone yet.” (Hikaru)
“Wow, you are strong, Hikaru…” (Alex)
It is not like I am strong. It is because I am weak that I can’t say it.
Courage is required to trust people.