To think there would really come a time for me to use this…
(Wait wait, then what does this mean?) (Souma)
I was confused by the letters that are clearly bugged here.
Just a few moments ago, I thought this was an event or something.
The problem is that the person herself is not aware of her memory loss, but an amnesiac girl appearing at the place of the player is a classic development in a sense.
But if she is bugged, the story changes.
Or more like, now that I think about it, the characters of Nekomimi Neko can’t be naked.
Then, there’s no way an event where a character shows up naked in front of the player can exist.
Or maybe the event did occur, but it got bugged midway and she ended up naked?
(No, I should think it is the other way around.) (Souma)
She is bugged, so she is here.
For example; she was ejected by the system because of the bug, and the result was that she was teleported to the special point in this world that is the player…no, that can’t be, huh.
Being thrown off by the world because of a bug is the thought pattern of a self-conscious person.
No matter how many thought patterns a game program looks like they have, they are still programs in the end.
It is not like they have a special artificial intelligence in them, and there’s no way the system of Nekomimi Neko would have such an algorithm.
Despite all that, this world isn’t machine-like or program-like, most likely because of the power of the Wish Mallet (?) or something, creating a weird mix of game and reality. The fuzzy areas of this world are the result of the ‘wish’.
It is hard to think that something like this happened because of a system-like issue like a game bug.
At the very least, a bug where something suddenly warps to the player wasn’t present in the game either.
(In that case, was it simply her will to come to my place? No, that’s also…) (Souma)
The problem there would go back to why she would do that.
If she bugged out after coming to my room, I might not ever be able to know the reason.
Even with that, I continued asking her questions, and managed to get a bit of a clearer picture.
She doesn’t have a single piece of memory about herself, and she barely has common knowledge ridden with holes.
The only proper memory she has is of a few hours before I woke up.
At that time, she was already naked on top of me, sprawled there until I woke up.
I asked her if she didn’t have the thought of wearing clothes, or if she wasn’t surprised about having suddenly appeared in a weird place, or if she didn’t think of asking me about the situation, but her answer to those were…
A simple tilt of her head.
Looks like she doesn’t understand the questions at all.
Should I consider this as her being completely bugged?
There’s a variety of other things I would like to ask, but I doubt I will be getting an answer.
In that case…
“What should I be calling you with then?” (Souma)
Not having a name would be inconvenient.
Agreeing on a name should be the priority right now.
She thought about my question for a bit, and then…
Is what she said.
‘What’s with that name?’-is what I was on the verge of asking, but I could tell that she simply wanted to eat apples and didn’t think too deeply about it.
I think that’s way too haphazard of a name, but the person herself chose it, so I doubt she is going to complain about it later.
Her name for now has been settled, so I decided we should go outside to ask around.
I ask the innkeeper and Alice-chan first about her…about Ringo, with the intention of undoing the misunderstanding of before too.
“Have you seen this girl before?” (Souma)
The innkeeper thought about it seriously, and Alice-chan had a face of ‘what a barefaced lie’, but she answered the question in itself seriously.
However, the conclusion was that the two of them have no recollection of seeing her before.
If she is a famous character, even without having seen her personally before, they should at least be able to tell from her face.
The chances of her being a major character lowered a little bit here.
Also, either the old man or Alice-chan were always at the entrance of the inn, so the problem is how Ringo got in.
There’s the chance she entered through the window, but the chances of it being a warp or something like that are beginning to sound more plausible.
“Now then, where to go.” (Souma)
We parted from the two and left the inn, but it is not like I have anywhere to go.
If I had money, I could go to an information broker, but I unfortunately am broke.
Well, Ringo likes fruits, so ‘that’ works just fine.
I began to walk to the place of a ‘certain someone’ that’s an information network.
“Ringo, Ringo, it is over here.” (Souma)
The special trait of Ringo was made clear here.
She doesn’t do anything she hasn’t been told to do, and even when I do, she would trip over height differences, and if I don’t guide her properly, she would easily run onto walls and obstacles.
It is as if I am bringing along a super stupid companion in a war strategy game.
She is not fixing her errors even when I warn her every single time, so I decide to just hold her hand as we walk.
It is a whole lot of pain, but well, if I just think of this as temporary, I can endure it.
“But what do I do if I don’t learn about her identity?” (Souma)
She is level 1 despite being in the capital.
I am level 13, so I can’t say much about others, but I can’t have her journey off alone as an adventurer like I did with Ina.
(Or maybe her level has lowered because of the bug and she is actually pretty strong?) (Souma)
Thinking that, I observe Ringo.
Before even deciding if she is strong or not, it really feels like there’s something off.
A feeling as if she usually is in a completely different attire than the one she is wearing right now.
Especially on her head, I feel like there’s something missing there.
Leaving that aside for now, I peeked at her face wondering what she is thinking right now, but there was no expression there.
Or more like, forget about expressions, she isn’t even looking here.
Hisame is also expressionless and doesn’t react, but Ringo is a different type from that.
Hisame doesn’t show her emotions to the outside, so she is expressionless, but the expressionless of Ringo is most likely a lack of undulations in her emotions to begin with.
Also, Hisame is the type that is completely aware of the other party, but doesn’t react, however, Ringo is the type that doesn’t react at all to the people themselves.
I don’t know which one is worse, but well, they are both bad in their own ways.
“Hey, Ringo.” (Souma)
When I called Ringo, she faced this way without saying a word.
When it comes to being obedient, Ringo is by far the better one.
I honestly am relieved by that part.
“This is just a figurative question, but would you be able to destroy the bench there with a skill or magic?” (Souma)
When I asked this…
“Skill…? Magic…?” (Ringo)
She asked back in wonder.
We are beginning from there?-a part of me did think that, but I try to explain to her as politely as possible.
“In this situation, it would be difficult to destroy something that’s at a certain distance, right? That’s why you would shoot out an energy wave from your sword or use fire, water, lightning or something of the sort to defeat your opponent. That’s what a skill or magic is…” (Souma)
Seeing as how things are right now, she really doesn’t seem to remember.
Judging from her physique, I doubt she is a power fighter, so maybe she was a mage? But it looks like the person herself doesn’t remember, so it can’t be helped.
I thought about this and was about to say ‘don’t worry about it’, but at that moment…
Ringo lifted her right arm and…
A violent lightning came out from there.
The intense light brought forth reached the bench in the blink of an eye and…
“Eh? …Eh?” (Souma)
It turned the bench into smithereens.
I don’t know what logic it works on, but the bench scattered in an instant with the mysterious laws of the game world, and the only thing that remained there were the small pieces of wood making sparkling sounds and burning.
That was some crazy firepower, and that’s me lowballing.
“This is…a skill?” (Ringo)
But contrary to what happened, Ringo asked as if she didn’t understand the meaning of what she herself did.
“N-No, this is…” (Souma)
However, even if you ask me this, I also don’t know what the hell is going on.
If what she did was magic, it far exceeds what a level 1 should be able to do.
No, there’s one thing I can tell from this.
“Anyways, let’s run!” (Souma)
We are definitely getting scolded since we broke a bench.
We somehow managed to run away without getting caught by the guards.
With the matter of Poison-tan as well, it seems like my fate is to run away from the guards.
No, I ran away by reflex there, but leaving aside the matter with Poison-tan, this time around was completely the destruction of public property, so I probably should have stayed there and properly explained things.
I at least write an internal memo to properly settle the matters there later if possible.
At any rate…
(I think I have seen that lightning somewhere before…) (Souma)
It is a problem that a level 1 managed to use something like that, but I feel like I have seen that outstandingly powerful lightning before in the game.
While I was thinking that, I arrived at the destination.
That place is…
“Fresh vegetables! Come buy them!”
As you can hear, it is a greengrocer.
There’s no fantasy-like potato that’s as heavy as an elephant or a turnip as big as a house; it is just your usual greengrocer, a shopkeeper old lady, who is a bit of an information network.
If you lower your guard, you will end up being made to listen to gossip of the neighbors for around 2 hours, so you have to be careful, but when you don’t have money, you ask her first. That’s the common knowledge of Nekomimi Neko.
“Oba-chan <old lady>! One apple!” (Souma)
“Here you go, 50E!”
It is basic manners since before the gaming era to buy something before asking.
I buy an apple and throw it to Ringo.
Both are apple, so it is confusing.
“You can eat it.” (Souma)
When I gave her the permission, she nodded as if happy.
Even if she doesn’t know how to wear clothes, she remembers how to eat, huh. She bit onto the apple just like that and…
Seeing that figure of hers, I let out a scream.
I run to her and style up her hair.
Gently put up her disheveled hair, and let it flow to both sides, and what came out was…
The face of a super popular character in Nekomimi Neko.
The deciding factor was the scene of her eating an apple.
In the few events of the princess, there’s a scene in the Holiday of the Princess where she eats an apple.
Thanks to that, I remember it completely now.
The lightning magic that destroyed the bench.
That was a spell that she used in the Attack in the Capital, and a great deal of monsters were vanquished by it. It is only now that I remember it.
…But, with this, everything connects.
The reason why she didn’t know how to wear clothes, why she wasn’t bothered about being naked, why she didn’t move unless she was told; it is not a bug, but the special AI setting of the princess.
She was an AI that didn’t move at all aside from events to the point that she was called the Doll Princess.
If that has been replicated, it wouldn’t be strange for her to be like this.
The reason why I found her familiar but couldn’t pinpoint it was because she wasn’t in her usual dress, moreover, the tiara she usually has on her well-combed hair was not there.
Even if that’s the case, I can’t escape from being dumb here for not noticing, but contrary to the popularity of Princess Shermia, the times she showed up in the game were really low.
I will tell myself that it can’t be helped that I didn’t clearly remember her face.
I speak to the girl who is munching on the apple, Ringo…no, Princess Shermia.
“I know who you are.” (Souma)
It seems like she was curious about it, so she raised her head.
“You see, you are actually this nation’s…” (Souma)
I was about to say that, but I stopped.
It is true that I know her identity now, and there’s now an explanation to why she lacks so much common sense, but that has nothing to do with how her name is bugged.
The Princess Shermia of the game simply didn’t have a daily routine AI, but she wasn’t bugged.
In the first place, if this is Princess Shermia, why did she come to my place?
There shouldn’t have been any event of her coming to the player herself.
Also, how is this world dealing with the princess having escaped?
(What’s with this bad feeling…?) (Souma)
Right, it is not only that.
Princess Shermia is royalty in this country.
Leaving aside me who has been playing this as a game, is it possible for the people of this city to not know their own princess?
“I-I am sorry! Wait for a bit!” (Souma)
This bad feeling inside of me was swelling up more and more.
It feels as if I am missing something really important here.
“E-Excuse me!” (Souma)
I hurriedly go to where the old lady is, and decide to ask about the princess.
“I have a question. Are there any strange rumors lately about Princess Shermia?” (Souma)
When I asked this, the old lady made a surprised expression.
“Hm? Who is that?”
Could it be that it is rude to suddenly bring out talk about royalty?
I was about to falter from the intense pressure there, but I tried asking again.
“Uhm, as I said, Princess Shermia. Maybe talk about how she has been bedridden from a disease, or she has not been seen around lately?” (Souma)
I desperately tried to keep on, but there was no response at all.
Looks like it will be difficult to get anything from her.
I was about to wrap up the conversation there, but…
“In the first place, who is that Shermia person? Was there a princess with that name in a country nearby?”
I felt like my back froze at the words she followed with.
It would be one thing if it is other people, but there’s no way this woman that’s supposed to be an information network doesn’t know about the princess of her own country.
The bad feeling inside of me swells up more and more.
No… I shake my head to the sides.
I am sure I am just not getting across properly here.
Thinking this, I desperately explain myself.
“Who, you ask? I am talking about the princess of this country. The only daughter of the king and…” (Souma)
But my words were heartlessly cut off by the angry shout of the old woman.
“What nonsense are you speaking here?! There’s only one princess in this country, and she is not called Shermia!”
She threw that impossible thing onto me.
That’s right, it is impossible.
There’s no way I would make a basic mistake like this in Nekomimi Neko, and there’s no way there would be such a big difference like the name of the princess being different in this world that’s based on Nekomimi Neko.
Even with that…even with that, I asked her…
“Then, what is the name of the princes of this country?” (Souma)
When I asked this, she gave me a look of ‘You really don’t know?’, and said this.
“It is Maki L Rihito-sama.”
Shock ran through my head as if a club hit my head.
(What did she say just now?) (Souma)
My brain was trying to deny those words.
There’s no character called Maki in Nekomimi Neko.
There shouldn’t be.
And yet, why?
Why does that name sound so familiar?
I ended up thinking of an impossible scenario.
I continue sweating buckets of cold sweat.
The old lady speaks to me as if dealing the final blow to my agitated self.
“It seems like you are surprised, but no matter what you think, since a long time ago, the princess has been—”
I unconsciously cut her off.
“…No, she is not the princess.” (Souma)
At that time, my brain had already imagined an unbelievable thing that couldn’t even be called a guess.
I was pushed by that thought, and ended up muttering this.
“No, even if you tell me she is not…”
The old woman is saying something, but it is not entering my brain.
That’s right. She is the princess, but not the princess.
“Then, that’s…” (Souma)
When did it happen?
I didn’t confirm the names of the royalty in this country.
That’s why there’s the possibility it has been like this since the moment I came to this world.
But I am almost sure about it now.
I have no concrete proof.
But the circumstances are matching way too well to wrap it up as a coincidence.
“It probably happened…this morning.” (Souma)
Ringo…Shermia said she had arrived at my room a few hours before I woke up.
If it was a few hours before I woke up, it might have been right at 0:00.
No, I am sure.
I don’t know when ‘that’ happened.
But ‘that’ happened at the same time as the day changed.
“Today is…” (Souma)
7th day of my game life.
The 1st day I got to this world was the 1st of July in the real world.
In other words…
“Today is Tanabata!” (Souma)