The information of Hisame’s household being strangely inserted in the conversations of the people in the city is wondrous, yeah, but let’s try to calm down here as much as possible and put our thoughts in order here.
The conversation of the people in the city is clearly unnatural, but that’s why I feel like it is a bit hasty to think the Hisame event flag is completely standing here.
I don’t know how much of my game knowledge will apply here, but in the game, when the Hisame House Visit Event began, the NPCs wouldn’t talk about anything other than the Hisame household.
Right now, the information of the Hisame household is being inserted in their normal conversations, so it is probably in the middle.
There was no such half-assed state in the game, but having finished the 1v1 event without triggering the Hisame House Visit Event is not normal to begin with.
If the event is acting as if it is bugged because of this, I feel like this situation would be somewhat understandable.
(But why? What was the trigger for this?) (Souma)
I turned the gears in my brain.
This didn’t happen yet when I was at the guild.
Meaning that the trigger really must have been when I met with Hisame.
Let’s try doing my guessing work here.
In the first place, the event of Hisame is: Challenge Hisame to a 1v1, do a life or death battle, win that, have your ability acknowledged, be called to the house of Hisame; that’s basically how it goes.
When I ‘challenged Hisame to a 1v1’ and ‘won against Hisame’, we didn’t fight with our lives on the line or get my ability recognized, so I managed to avoid being called to her house.
You could say the event didn’t occur because I didn’t fulfill 3 of the conditions.
But this time around, I had a match with Hisame unintentionally, got my ability recognized in a way, and even if the motive was impure, I was called to her house.
This might have been acknowledged as having fulfilled 2 of the conditions, and the Hisame chain event is on the verge of happening.
What’s this feeling like I am lining up evidence to bring out a guilty verdict?
If this is true, this world really is fuzzy on a lot of fronts, but since the base is the base, it is scary that I can’t really it is strange even if it is this half-assed.
“…Are you okay?” (Ringo)
While I was standing there, Ringo spoke to me worried.
“Y-Yeah, I am okay. It is nothing.” (Souma)
The only oasis of my heart is Ringo.
Maybe because she is an event character, or because she is a bugged character, it doesn’t seem like she is affected by the Hisame event yet.
“More importantly, we have to decide where to stay tonight. Is there anywhere you want to go?” (Souma)
The encirclement of Hisame is closing, and I feel like I am almost checkmated here already, but I am tired for the day.
Fortunately, money is one thing we are not lacking at all, so there’s no need to worry about lodging expenses.
Even if Ringo wanted to go to the most expensive super extravagant hotel of this city that costs 20,000E per night, I plan on accepting.
“…I do.” (Ringo)
Ringo, who normally doesn’t request for anything, nodded clearly at this, and said the name of the place.
I don’t know how many times a sigh has leaked out from my mouth today.
But that can’t be helped.
The place we will be staying at tonight is on a whole other level.
I have been staying in cramped rooms until now, but this time around, we have reserved a whole building for ourselves.
This refined old style wooden building has great ventilation, and you can even enjoy the night wind brushing your cheeks.
Also, the mattresses prepared aplenty are all from the highest quality straw.
A somewhat nostalgic smell warmed us up, and at times it would serve as the food for livestock.
You should know by now.
The place we are staying in tonight is the place we spoke of before.
…That’s right, the horse shed!!
(Why did it end up like this?!) (Souma)
Why do we have to stay in a 0E horse shed when we have become millionaires?!
I went on my knees on the straw bed, but the reason is obvious.
Wanting to stay in a horse shed was the wish of Ringo.
When we didn’t have money, I said that the one who lost in rock-paper-scissors will have to stay in a horse shed, and at that time, Ringo got me with a surprise attack, and I thought that she was forcing me into a horse shed, but…
(To think that was out of good will…) (Souma)
It seems like she thought a horse shed was like a theme park where you can interact with horses too, so when I asked where she wanted to stay, she immediately said this.
It may have been an unexpected answer, but I was the one who asked.
I thought she would give up immediately after seeing the actual thing, but I was too naive.
Ringo didn’t change her facial expression at all, or more like, she seemed to be happy.
“…Let’s stay here.” (Ringo)
She immediately reached that decision.
If Ringo is into the idea, it can’t be helped.
And so, Ringo and I will be staying in this horse shed, but…
(No matter how you think about it, this is not a place people should be passing the night at.) (Souma)
In the first place, this horse shed, even if it was provided by the neighboring inn, doesn’t have chairs or beds, and not all sides have walls, so we are exposed to the wind the whole time.
I don’t know if they thought we were poor adventurers for asking to stay at a place like that and pitied us, but the innkeeper provided us with plentiful straw to serve as a mattress and hay, so it is not cold, but it is completely visible from the outside.
The horse shed on the other side actually has horses, and they are munching on the same hay that we are using as mattresses. I can only laugh at this point.
Normally, I would consider a place like this too dangerous to sleep, but this time around, there was the option for a bodyguard with us, so there’s no worries on that front.
I don’t know if to call it the fortune within the misfortune, but as long as the cat ears peeking out from the corner of the inn are there, our safety will be assured.
(Right, let’s shift my way of thinking.) (Souma)
I just have to think that being able to feel the outside wind and see the scenery outside is in a way elegant, and the straw bed tickles my childish heart.
It is rare to see Ringo this merry. She would dive into the straw, hoist it up, split the tip of the straws and go ‘split hair’ and was enjoying herself like that.
I am truly glad to see that she is satisfied here.
I tried to change my mood here by looking at the sky, and there was a carpet of stars and a big moon, shining a graceful light that made me stare in fascination.
(A full moon, huh…) (Souma)
This world has the waxing and wane of the moon like Earth.
In a sense, the moon of this world and that of Earth are connected.
I might have missed this beautiful full moon if we stayed in a normal inn.
Thinking about it like that, I kind of feel like I won here.
(A beautiful full moon and a full starry sky. Refreshing wind and the smell of hay. The sound of insects and animals… Hey, this really isn’t that bad.) (Souma)
I am feeling better now.
While I was thinking that I might be able to sleep more peacefully today than usual, a white horse at the neighboring horse shed moved.
And then, as if reading the atmosphere, it looked up at the sky and neighed loudly.
“Neighihihisame-sama’s house is at the west of the city!”
…Yup, I take back what I said.
I feel like I am going to be getting terrible nightmares.
That way too peculiar neigh of the horse and the sneeze coming from a street corner somewhere were bothering me as the hectic 7th night slowly passed.
- Chapter 61: Rematch
I thought there would be no way I could sleep in such a terrible environment, but night passed at some point in time.
“Humans can surprisingly sleep anywhere, huh…” (Souma)
I was overcome by deep emotion there. I rubbed my sleepy eyes and looked by my side, and Ringo was sleeping there.
We are talking about Ringo who was called the Doll Princess.
I was wondering what to do if she were to be sleeping with her eyes open, but fortunately, she had them properly closed.
That said, even though I observed her for a while, she didn’t move one bit, so I was worried, but you could say that’s the usual for her.
Oh well, let’s have her wake up for now.
Thinking this, I was going to speak to her, but…
“Ooi, Ringo, it is mor—” (Souma)
I reconsidered it in the middle and stopped speaking.
Yesterday, not only the people of the city, even the horse of the neighboring horse shed was affected by the Hisame event.
It would make me happy if it settled naturally while I was sleeping, but I doubt the situation has gotten better.
Fortunately, it didn’t seem like Ringo got affected by it yesterday, but that doesn’t mean that’s the case today.
Imagining even her going on about the house of Hisame made me falter a bit here.
Speaking of which, what happened to Hisame?
Remembering that she was following us the whole time, I looked at the corner where the cat ears were poking out.
“Hisame? Not there, huh.” (Souma)
I tried looking around to check the corners that one can hide in, but she wasn’t there either.
Figures she would leave at night.
Well, if she wants to, she can find my location immediately with the Explorer Ring, so I doubt this means she gave up, but I thought I could loosen up my shoulders here, and the moment I returned my gaze…
There were two triangular things poking out from the mountain of hay in front of me, and it rose up.
“I knew it. You noticed me, huh.”
Arms came out, then a face, then Hisame showed up.
“What are you doing…?” (Souma)
I was about to ask her if she is a ninja or something, but I feel like that’s not too far from the truth.
I was completely baffled by this, but Hisame waved her head around and shook off the straw on her face and ears.
“It was cold, so it couldn’t be helped. It seemed like you noticed me anyways.” (Hisame)
She was acting oh so naturally.
Well, I did hear her sneezing in the middle of the night, so it seems like even Hisame can’t win against the cold.
Seeing the cat ears that jumped out, I thought for a second ‘it must be because she is a cat’, but it is most likely because of her attire.
She only has the bare minimum on her in order to push her speed to the very limits.
She only has a katana with 2 weight and 2 small adventurer bags.
What she is wearing is called a Sky Feathered Kimono. It possesses outstanding defense despite its appearance, but it doesn’t look like it has much protection against cold, and then there’s her tabis and accessories.
It doesn’t look as if that would help mitigate the cold of the night.
But considering her strength, you could say that’s a cheap price to pay.
Movement speed that surpasses even Godstep Cancel and blinding attack speed.
If you can get that speed, even if you were to feel a bit cold from being lightly dressed…hm?
(Maybe I could use this?) (Souma)
Her light equipment is part of what makes her nimble.
But there might be a way to exploit that.
She does have her own weak points.
If I were to aim for those parts, maybe…
(Wait, why am I thinking as if I were to fight Hisame again?) (Souma)
I give a side-glance at Hisame who is brushing off the hay from her body with a composed expression.
Whether I give up and go to the house of Hisame, or continue running around like this, there’s already no point in fighting her.
The event is already in progress, so there’s no need to go out of my way to jump into danger and fight Hisame…
(No, not really…?) (Souma)
The event is almost beginning, but it is not complete yet.
If I break the flag here, there’s a chance I can avoid it.
The moment I reached that conclusion, I naturally called her.
“What is it?” (Hisame)
She had just finished pinching off the last straw, and responded without showing much interest.
However, that was only until I spoke the next words.
“Actually, want to have a match against me?” (Souma)
Hisame stopped moving.
I could feel her gaze clearly seize my figure.
“Are you serious?” (Hisame)
She probably can’t believe I have changed my stance when I have been stubborn until now.
It isn’t only Hisame, there might be people who would think I have lost my mind challenging her.
However, this is the best method I have thought of.
The best method to avoid the Hisame event.
I said there’s 5 conditions to activate the Hisame House Visit Event, but there’s no need to think about what’s the most important one within them.
The point about Hisame calling you to her own house.
As the name states, you literally visit the house of Hisame, so as long as you are not called there, there should be no problem.
If I can’t crush that part, no matter if I fulfill the other conditions, the event will most likely not begin.
In that case, the matter is simple.
The reason why she is trying to call me to her dojo is simply because she is trying to fight me.
That’s why, if I fight him here beforehand, Hisame will lose the reason to call me to the dojo, and the event flag will be broken.
But the problem will be after the fight.
Last time, I mistook the strength of the event flag, and ended up leaving regrets.
That’s why I won’t hold back in that front.
“Yeah, I am serious. No deceiving like before. I will fight you seriously. In exchange, I want you to accept my condition.” (Souma)
Hisame’s cat ears lower a bit and a thorny atmosphere spreads.
The last time, and the time before that one, she fell in the pitfall of rules.
It seems like she won’t step into that carelessly.
But I purposely act as if I didn’t notice it, and just tell her my condition one-sidedly.
“I want you to retract your invitation to the dojo. That’s regardless of whether you win or lose. Don’t give me something like ‘you lost, so come to the dojo’ or ‘you won, so succeed the dojo’.” (Souma)
If I win and I still end up progressing the event, there would be no point.
That’s why this condition is natural.
“Got it.” (Hisame)
She must have thought it would be rougher conditions.
Hisame easily nodded to this.
That does give me peace of mind here, but it is still not over yet.
Honestly speaking, this is only insurance.
My real intention is the match with Hisame.
Even if I manage to avoid going to the dojo, I have to do something about this current situation where Hisame is interested in me or it won’t serve to fix the root problem.
Having Hisame not approach me is the final objective and I plan on making that happen in this match.
I have around 2 ideas on how to achieve that.
Have her think ‘there’s no point in fighting him’ by losing easily, or defeat her so thoroughly, she would think ‘I don’t want to fight this guy ever again’.
This time around, I am trying to take the latter option.
In order to do that, I have to properly prepare the stage.
I speak once again.
“Also, I say a match, but this is simply a competition. No life or death business here. We will properly use the Duel system, decide on a place properly, and it is possible to end the duel by knockout, stage out, or giving up.” (Souma)
I am talking here as if it is a demand, but they are by no means bad conditions, and you could even say it is weird to begin a match without setting at least these rules.
No matter how much she complains about it, she gotta accept this much, but…
“Fine. There’s also that recent promise after all. Let’s fight with those conditions.” (Hisame)
She must have judged there’s no trap here from looking at my attitude.
She does look a bit sad here, but despite her being wary about it, she easily accepted the conditions.
“It will be 3 days from now, at daytime. If possible, at a place where there aren’t many eyes around.
If you can keep that, I don’t mind you being the one choosing the location.” (Souma)
I pass over the right to choose the location and time to show my sincerity.
It is also because I don’t have to worry about Hisame pulling any funny moves with that.
“Then, 3 days later, at this time, behind here.” (Hisame)
That’s an immediate decision fitting of Hisame as if saying she doesn’t care about where we fight.
Of course, I have no issues with that.
“Yeah, I don’t mind that.” (Souma)
I nodded lightly.
If I remember correctly, what’s behind here is a small garden.
It is decently big, and there’s not much worry about people watching.
And so, the second stage for my battle against Hisame was decided.
That’s what was decided, but Hisame, who normally leaves as soon as her business is over, was staring at my face intently without showing signs of moving.
No, not only that, she is tilting forward and looking into my eyes.
“I-Is something the matter?” (Souma)
Because of her usual way of acting, I normally don’t get conscious about it, but Hisame is popular enough to get the top popularity rank, and has a terribly good appearance.
Putting it simply, she is an outstanding beauty.
Being approached by someone like that so closely, I ended up getting flustered.
“No, I didn’t notice until now since I didn’t get this close to you before, but now I look closely…” (Hisame)
At that moment, a rustling sound rang at my back.
“Ah, y-you woke up?” (Souma)
It was Ringo.
She woke up and looked at me with spaced out eyes.
It is not like there’s anything I should feel guilty about, but for some reason, I got even more flustered.
Her vigor must have cooled down because of this, Hisame moved back her closed in face.
“Well then, let’s meet again here 3 days later.
…Don’t forget I have the Explorer Ring.” (Hisame)
She casually pointed this out and walked off.
I thought Ringo would say something about Hisame, but that was the only reaction she had.
I told her ‘yeah’ and nodded.
Ringo didn’t show any much interest in it and was looking, not at me, but at the other horse shed at the back.
I followed that gaze of hers.
The white horse of yesterday was there, and when it noticed our gaze…
It neighed blatantly in that fashion.