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The moment I heard that proposal, I could feel chills run down my spine before I even thought about whether to accept or not.
Could this possibly be…
“Ringo, try to say something!” (Souma)
I faced Ringo without missing a beat and shouted this.
Ringo looked at me intently, and after a moment of silence…
“…Split hairs…increasing?” (Ringo)
It may not make sense at all what I am going ‘alright!’ about here from a 3rd person’s perspective, but this means that I have at least avoided the worst situation.
I am scared by that nonsensical ‘split hairs increasing’, but that in itself is proof enough that this is actually what Ringo would say.
When I got invited by Hisame, I thought that the chain event of Hisame had begun, and I thought my life left me there, but it seems like that wasn’t the case.
That’s because the survival rate of the chain event that happens when you win against Hisame is not only crazy low but also impossible to avoid.
Once you fulfill the conditions of the Hisame Household Visit Event, all characters aside from Hisame will only talk about the household of Hisame until you get to the dojo with Hisame.
But Ringo properly (?) answered me.
It should be okay to assume we are still safe from the chain event.
“Is something the matter?” (Hisame)
Hisame tilted her cat ear in wonder and I answered with a ‘nothing’.
“Tell me in more detail.” (Souma)
I decided to listen to what she has to say.
Putting it simply, it seems like Hisame wants to scout me to her dojo.
“I said my dojo, but it is more accurate to say it is the dojo of my family.” (Hisame)
I want to say I know that, but from what I know in the game, the dojo of the Hisame family (literally named Hisame Dojo) is really big.
Apparently around half of the country’s knight order and the famous adventurers have a connection with the Hisame Dojo in some way or form.
Monsters affect the lifestyle of the people in this world for good or for bad, so the influence of knights and adventurers is strong.
If they have connections with half of those, the influence of the dojo itself can’t be underestimated.
Thanks to that, they apparently have a boatload of money.
I see, it is such an incredible place, so all the people in the city would match what they say, huh… I won’t go as far as accepting that, but it is a place where all the disciples prepare reverse blades to harass the bethrothered of the daughter, and would prepare a weird building, so I can tell that they have a lot of assets.
“But why tell me that?” (Souma)
If it is such a famous dojo, they must have droves of people who would want to teach there even without inviting me.
When I asked this, Hisame’s cat ears tilted forward and she began speaking.
“This time’s subjugation contest…normally, it should have been me who won since I defeated more than half of the monsters. However, you surpassed that common sense. I am sure now that you are different.” (Hisame)
It is my first time seeing someone who can defeat more than half of the monsters by themselves, so the common sense breaking goes both ways. Also, despite you saying all this, it looked like you were pretty shocked at the stage, you know.
Well, better not say that out loud.
“What do you mean by ‘different’?” (Souma)
I instead urge her to continue on.
When I did so, Hisame abided.
“You use skills I don’t know of, and even the skills I know of, you use them in a way I don’t know. I feel like you know techniques I don’t know…no, techniques that this whole nation doesn’t know of.” (Hisame)
She said something like that without getting embarrassed.
(Techniques that this whole nation doesn’t know of, huh…) (Souma)
If you can consider game techniques on that level, then yeah, that might be true.
Even if she puts me on such a high pedestal, it doesn’t click with me.
“I also heard that the girl there can shoot out lightning consecutively with enough power to shave off rocks. With the common sense of skills and magic, that’s impossible.” (Hisame)
Looks like the lightning of Ringo has leaked too.
I was about to think why, but there was no need to. It must have been Raiden.
He said he only saw us defeating the Butcher, but now that I think about it, if he was awake at that time, it is natural for him to also have seen how she shaved off that giant rock.
Even though he said he doesn’t betray a comrade in arms, he is actually a man with a loose mouth.
“If you accept this offer, you will get fame and wealth that no other place can provide you, and you will be able to receive assistance in materials from the dojo connections around the whole nation. That knowledge you have…can you please use it to rear the future?” (Hisame)
Saying this, she wrapped up the talk.
As if saying ‘how about this?’, the tip of her cat ears were twitching.
“Aah, I get it.” (Souma)
“Is that so. Then…” (Hisame)
“But I have no intention of accepting.” (Souma)
The moment I said this, her cat ears jumped up.
That’s a rare sight. Even her voice is showing she is flustered.
But asking me why is troubling.
I did listen to her, but I didn’t have any intention of accepting from the very beginning.
It is true that, if I were to leak out all my information to the world, the world would become a better place, and I would also have an easy life.
I do want to see a knight order where they can all move with Godstep Cancel, or adventurers that attack the weak point of a dead monster.
However, the information I have of Nekomimi Neko is information that I obtained by throwing away my college life; in other words, my fortune.
I am sorry for the adventurers of this world who are fighting with their lives on the line, but even if this is selfish, I am not such a nice person as to just say ‘okay fine’ so easily and let that fortune of mine go.
On top of that, me being a teacher in exchange for money is out of the question.
In these 7 days since the time I came to this world, that’s the exact image of the game, a lot of things happened.
I am sure there will be even more disasters assailing me in the future.
In order to go against the unfair system of Nekomimi Neko, I have no leeway to stop my legs.
“I…I don’t think you people will be able to take on the weight of my knowledge.” (Souma)
“The weight of your knowledge?” (Hisame)
If it is just surface level knowledge, that’s fine.
But in order to master every single aspect of my knowledge, they definitely need to think in a gaming manner.
To accept my knowledge means to accept the fact that this world -and them in correlation- was artificially made.
Right now, only I know this world is a game.
No, if Maki is really here, she probably has also noticed, or I might tell her.
But that’s all there is to it.
I have no intention to spread that truth to any more people than that.
It is the most simple reason.
“Why are you currently here?” (Souma)
Hisame may hold pride towards her own dojo.
You could even call it the best place in the world.
But that contradicts her behavior of jumping out of the dojo and traveling around.
“The reason why you left the dojo is because you wanted something that the dojo doesn’t have, right? The powerful opponent that you wish to fight to the death was not in the dojo. That’s the same for me. What I wish for is not there. That’s why.” (Souma)
I noticed that Hisame’s attitude changed when I said that.
She looked down and fell completely silent.
Could it be that that was too harsh for her?
Just when I was thinking about how to follow it up…
“In other words, you also wish to find a powerful opponent to overcome the boundary of life and death?” (Hisame)
Seeing her mouth, I noticed I was mistaken here.
It is faint…extremely faint, but I could see that her usual expressionless face was smiling.
Looking even closer, I could see that her weapon, Tsukikage, had been unsheathed.
She is completely in combat mode.
“Good grief, that was such a detour. You could have just told me from the very beginning. It is alright. The powerful opponent you wish for is here.” (Hisame)
That’s when I noticed what she was misunderstanding here.
She doesn’t care at all about the pride of her own dojo or its influence.
The new techniques or rearing the future was all just a front.
(This girl! She was just putting an excuse here to call me to the dojo and get a rematch with me!!) (Souma)
She was vexed that she lost against me in the competition, but because of her promise, she can’t challenge me to a match.
She must have thought that inviting me to the dojo will give her a chance to fight me and brought out this offer.
She is one unmoving battle junkie.
“Now, let’s begin. I am ready anyti—” (Hisame)
“Y-You idiot! As if I would do that! Or more like, sheath that katana! People are coming!” (Souma)
I hurriedly looked around.
Fortunately, there aren’t many people passing by, and they haven’t seen her unsheathing her weapon, but if they were to see this, who knows if the guards will be called.
“You promised!” (Souma)
She tried to persist here despite all that, so I brought out the promise.
Hisame sheathes her katana dejected.
She must have thought there’s no more business here since she can’t fight, so…
“If you change your mind, tell me anytime. You are the only good opponent I have found. I definitely won’t give up.” (Hisame)
She easily turned around and walked off.
“What a troublesome fellow…” (Souma)
I didn’t expect to be seen as a rival.
Thinking about how these types of exchanges will continue happening in the future, I myself get dejected.
“…Let’s go.” (Souma)
I told this to Ringo who had unsheathed the Golden Sakura at some point in time while I was disheartened, and we walked off.
That said, the troublesome one is Hisame.
I feel like she will poke her head out once I forget about it, and would try to challenge me to a match by throwing some skewed logic.
I didn’t like the idea of that, but…
But that was needless worry.
“I know. I know, so don’t say anything.” (Souma)
Something strange has been following behind me since that time.
The stalker seems to be someone really fast, and every time I turn around, they would hide at a street corner or at the shadow of a sign, and at times they would hide on top of a tall building.
That technique was perfect.
Their way of hiding their body, erasing their presence, with concentration and reaction speed that allowed them to react to my movements. I could tell they have enough technique and proficiency to be called a master.
But why is it?
(Why is it that only your cat ears are not hidden at all?!) (Souma)
In every single hiding spot, the cat ears would always be poking out.
There’s not even the need to doubt the identity.
(Ignore, ignore. Just pretend we haven’t noticed!) (Souma)
I force that thought into me and continue walking around the city.
We went through so much effort here to get this much money.
At least in times like this, I want to forget about everything and enjoy life.
I was thinking that while I was walking, and the talk of two city girls entered my ears all too naturally.
“…About that cafe…”
“Yeah, it is the cafe that is at the west of Hisame-sama’s household, right? I have gone there too.”
“Yeah yeah. It is popular, so I think I should go to this dojo of Hisame-san, but…”
I unconsciously stop my feet. Those two didn’t direct their attention at us and left without stopping.
(What was that…just now…?) (Souma)
I didn’t listen carefully there, but that conversation was kind of weird, or like…they were inserting a name I am familiar with every now and then…
But despite the unnatural conversation, I don’t see the people around being bothered by it.
(Was that…my imagination?) (Souma)
Maybe I am just being too sensitive here.
I shake my head wondering if I am too tired here, and when I tried to walk on, this time around, the voice of an adventurer passing by entered my ears.
“Oi oi, if you stay like that forever… Man, you gotta head to the Hisame household’s dojo at once.”
“You idiot. Even I know that the Hisame household is west of the capital!”
“Ha! What are you saying? If you want to go to the dojo, head west!”
No, it wasn’t my imagination!
The conversation was clearly weird.
Moreover, no one being bothered by the strangeness of the conversation is even weirder.
How did it end up like this?
I don’t get it at all, but there’s no doubt about it.
The chain event of Hisame is beginning!
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