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There were dangerous instances, but the Magic Airship somehow managed to reach the capital of Rihiter safely.
I chose the safest Magic Airship among the ones scheduled to be running, so even if it were to crash in the middle, I would at least be able to survive, but I should be grateful that it didn’t turn into anything problematic.
There’s only one issue.
There’s one small grievance in me having properly arrived.
“…You took your sweet time. This is my first time having someone make me wait two times in the same day.”
At the Rihiter Magic Airship arrival terminal, Hisame was waiting for me there while standing with both arms crossed.
“Judging from your attitude, you must have read my letter.” (Souma)
Looking at her cat ears, it does seem like she is angry at me, but she isn’t suddenly trying to cut me down.
If she thinks I have abandoned the match, she wouldn’t be this calm, so this in itself is proof that she properly read the letter.
By the way, the letter that I gave to her in front of the church read as such:
[I did say to wait in front of the inn 5 minutes before 9, but I didn’t say the match would begin in front of the inn, right? Tehepero☆<Sound of sticking tongue out>]
No, of course I didn’t write something like ‘tehepero’ though.
Just to be clear, I have been thinking about using the Magic Airship from the very beginning, since the moment I challenged Hisame.
It should be fine to assume that things are going according to plan for now.
—In the case I have to challenge Hisame to a serious match and have to decide the conditions of the match.
The first thing that came to my mind when thinking about the best option was…
(I want to be freed from all this troublesome stuff and be alone already…) (Souma)
It was completely the thought of a hopeless loner.
But that’s where the foundation of this match was born.
In other words, ‘if I use this match as an excuse, won’t I be able to escape from Train-chan too?’ was my thought for this time’s departure.
If I were to go to the capital in a normal setting, Ina would be against it, and depending on the situation, even try to come with me.
But in a match with my line on the line against Hisame, if the situation is one where I have no choice but to go to the capital, how would it be?
Ina was the root of this time’s situation, so her personality wouldn’t allow her to come out too strong against me. If I had to go to the capital to win the match, she would have to accept it.
Also, doing a round trip from the capital to Lamurick has quite the risk for people in the early game, so she can’t tell me to come back.
No, I know.
I understand that this action that is totally utilizing the good will of someone makes me a terrible person.
But I honestly think that Ina will be able to live a happier life away from me, and when considering the adventures in the capital, bringing along Ina who has a high chance of dying would only be more of a burden for me.
With me having to go to the capital, this farewell was simply an issue of chance and timing.
And so, with all that made clear, the rest was simple.
There was a decently safe Magic Airship the next morning.
If I set up the match in a way that I can win if I get on it, I would be able to escape from Ina and Hisame.
That’s where I thought of the game of tag match.
No matter how fast of a character Hisame is, she can’t win against the crystallization of human knowledge and technique.
This is obvious, but the fastest in Lamurick Town isn’t Hisame, but this Magic Airship.
Even in my prime, it took me two whole days to go from Lamurick to the capital, and yet, the airship managed to do so in just a few hours.
Once it departs, no matter how much Hisame tries, there’s no way she would be able to catch up.
You could say the Magic Airship is a safe zone in a game of tag.
However, no matter how fast a Magic Airship is, running away normally from one city to another can be easily countered by using a Teleportation Stone and getting ahead of the other party.
That’s why I had to create a situation where it wouldn’t turn out in ‘Riding a Magic Airship in the middle of the match is against the rules’.
With the latest Magic Airships, it would take around 3 hours to reach the capital of Rihiter.
That’s why, I would have to set the match at a time when I would certainly be in the sky on the Magic Airship, in other words, 1 hour after the Magic Airship’s departure time, and purposely avoid the starting location of that match.
Just as I wrote in that letter, ‘there was no agreement that I should be at a specified location when the match starts, right?’. That was for the sake of giving an out for myself.
It was honestly a gamble whether she would be accepting this, but as long as I get away with this one, I have practically won.
Ina hates Magic Airships, and Hisame is afraid of heights.
The chances were low that she would intrude in the Magic Airship and, just in case, I asked Ina to go to the inn at the time of departure, and also establish the rule that Hisame would lose if she were to be within 3 meters of me.
A Magic Airship is small.
If Hisame gets on it, she would almost certainly lose by default.
What’s left is whether I can safely get on the Magic Airship.
I decided to not think too much about that part, used my last day to bid farewell to everyone I got along with, and wrapped up the things that I could only do in that town.
To be more specific, give Ina the Master Torch, get one other Master Torch for my own use, buy the staff that I couldn’t buy before, go meet a long time friend, head to the LookMari Dojo to obtain the skill that would be of use for me in the future; a whole ton of things.
Especially the last one, the LookMari Dojo, there’s no confessional in the church of the capital.
I thought learning the convenient skill, Ground Compression, would be useful in the near future, so I went all out there.
Whether it is a game or real life, an all-nighter is not something you should be doing.
“…It was my first time reading such a displeasing letter like that. I am impressed by how you can use such a deceitful method to get a win.” (Hisame)
Hisame’s cold words stab onto my drowsy head.
She is saying this with an unfazed expression, but her cat ears are certainly angry.
Honestly speaking, it is a bit unexpected that she would be waiting for me here. I thought she would continue her journey without caring even if she learned she had been fooled.
She used an expensive Teleportation Stone to chase after me, so she must be decently angry.
She is prideful, and her being serious in matches does fit her character.
“But judging from your tone, you admit that it is my win, right?” (Souma)
It is exactly because she is strict and prideful when it comes to matches that she has no choice but to admit defeat.
There was a bit of a pause in this response, but that was her answer.
Hearing this, I pump my fist internally.
However, the gaze Hisame used to look at me afterwards had strong power residing in them, and I admonished myself for almost lowering my guard there.
As if bringing that strength right into her words, she brings out a new proposal.
“I admit my defeat in this time’s match. However, I can’t bring myself to accept this result. I would like another match—” (Hisame)
“But a win is a win, so you will keep your promise, right?” (Souma)
I thought this flow of events was bad, so I hurriedly cut her off and took the initiative.
“Promise? No, you didn’t ask for anyth—ah.” (Hisame)
Looks like she noticed.
Right, this has all been part of the plan.
There may be a lot of holes in it, but I am almost sure I will be able to push her here.
“You won’t be doing any more serious matches, right? That was the promise.” (Souma)
This is my last card.
No, this is actually something that I thought of on the fly after Hisame asked me what I wanted if I won, but this should help me push her off here.
At that time, I asked her ‘please don’t take serious matches like this anymore’.
Well, I said ‘don’t take’ so it is not like she can’t give them out herself or find any sort of workaround for it, but she is a prideful person, so I doubt she would take such deceitful wins by semantics.
There must be a whole lot of conflict in her mind.
Her head is hanging down, so I can’t see her face, but her cat ears are facing this way and are going wild, so she must be panicking here.
Panicking cat ears are truly a fresh sight.
But that suddenly stopped as well.
She must have reached some sort of conclusion, her cat ears that were moving busily stopped clean.
She said something with her head hanging low, but her voice was so low I couldn’t pick it up.
I got my face closer to hear what she was saying, and…
“YOU IDIOOOOOOTTTT—–!!” (Hisame)
My ears rang at the outrageously loud voice.
While I was rendered dizzy by the absurd volume of her voice coupled with the gap of her usual self, she ran off somewhere without looking back, and she soon disappeared from sight.
That was some fearsome display of speed there.
She might have been faster than a magic airship there.
“Is she a grade schooler…?” (Souma)
I spit out that insult, but I am internally filled with relief.
With this, I have been freed from two threats.
In the explanation until now, it looks as if I grabbed a win using deceitful means, but this ‘way of winning’ was actually what made me ponder the most.
Winning with deceitful means that had nothing to do with my actual ability is actually the most important part in my plan.
I said this before, but this Hisami 1v1 event, if I were to clear it as I am now, I will definitely be killed by the chain events that will occur from that.
No, this is not the same as the game, so I might be able to manage somehow if I do my best, but it is honestly safer to simply avoid events related to Hisame altogether.
This game normally runs on a free scenario system, so you are free to take any event and quest.
There are events you must activate in order to clear the game, but the timings for that are mostly decided by the player.
But a number of events are forcefully activated once a set number of conditions are met, and you are driven into a situation where you have to take it.
And so, the event that gets triggered from the 1v1 against Hisame is part of the latter group.
If you win in the 1v1 against Hisame, she would say something like: “My family precepts dictate that I can only marry the person that has defeated me, but there has been no one who has defeated me until now. Leaving aside whether to marry or not, I would at least want to report this to my father”. This way too cliche of a story development happens, but the Visit to the Hisame Household event is impossible to avoid.
Its degree of forcefulness is outstanding. It is not on the level where your body moves on its own, but no matter what you ask anyone, they will only say information regarding the Hisame household, so you would be strong-armed into having no choice but to go to the house of the Hisame to finish the event.
You won’t be able to have decent conversations with NPCs, so not only the stores like the weapon and item shop, but even the inns will be rendered unusable. You can’t accept any other quests, or if you try to finish a request you already had, they won’t take it.
Not only that, when you try to give orders to your party…
“Speaking of which, weren’t you going to the house of Hisame? I will wait here, so just go.”
Is what they would say when right in front of a monster.
Even infants only a few months old would go: “More importantly, wouldn’t it be better to head to the house of Hisame? The house of Hisame is at the west of the capital.”
It already surpasses the funny threshold and enters the horror realm.
And that’s how you would get dragged into a kenjutsu dojo, and the master of the dojo -the father of Hisame- and 9 of the dojo members would be waiting for you.
“So you are the strong one that defeated Mitsuki. Could you grant us the honor of a bout?”
And would propose this.
It is a proposal, so you can refuse, but this one is also practically a forced event, and the system won’t allow you to go out from the dojo until you have a bout with them, and they will ask you endlessly until you nod.
There will at least be a change when you refuse them 10 times in a row though.
“I see, so you are saying this much is not enough. Mitsuki, we are going to have a fight with him, so you join too!”
The 1 vs 10 would then have Hisame join for a 11 vs 1, and this time around, you won’t be able to say no.
It certainly is the complete service of Nekomimi Neko.
In other words, you end up fighting no matter what, but you obviously can’t activate the dueling system with a 10 vs 1.
That’s why Hisame’s father would say: “Don’t worry, I will use the back of my blade”.
He would say this kindly, and would turn the blade of his sword in front of me, but the problem is that everyone aside from the father has reversed blades…
There’s no intention of using the blunt side at all, or like, it is a situation where they are raring to “accidentally” kill you.
Or more like, they went as far as preparing 10 reversed blade swords for the sake of that. It feels like madness already.
From there on, the development itself is like that of a love-comedy manga, and yet, your life is always being threatened. The events are really aggressive, and I honestly wasn’t too into it.
It was literally a situation where it is hell if you win, and it is hell if you lose, but I somehow managed to overcome it.
…Anyways, with this, I have gained some free time to get stronger.
I will enjoy my life alone in this new city this time for sure, gain enough power to go against the malice of Nekomimi Neko, and search for a method to return to my previous world.
My adventure has just begun!