Leaving aside the Sinking Prince matter, the conferral of honors ended pretty quickly to an anti-climatic degree.
The only thing I didn’t expect was the number of people. Aside from that, it was the same as the game.
I received the Seal Neko Swordmaster Medal, and then…
“You really did well. You and your comrades are the pride of our country. Once the ceremony is over, we will celebrate your comrades…and you can do so as well.”
The king whispered to me in a volume that only I could hear.
(…Here it is!) (Souma)
Contrary to the king who had stood up satisfied and left, my body was frozen over.
The reality is that the biggest ‘reward’ of this conferral of honors event is not the medal item or the honor, but the words of the king just now.
Actually, this was thought of as a bug at first, and it was written in the Nekomimi Neko Wiki’s bug page as ‘one of your comrades will have a sudden increase in affection (under investigation).
After that, there were some who connected the dots of this unnatural increase in affection with the last words of the king, and it seems it was intended.
Of course, research after research to verify this continued on, and this phenomenon was also completely clarified.
It is now called the affection meter bonus after clearing the game, or heroine selection after clearing the game, but after you hear those words of the king, it has been verified that the first companion you speak to will have their affection increase drastically.
The increase is 30 no matter the character.
In a normal character event, you get 5 at most, so this is an outstanding increase.
The way to use this varies between people, but most people would leave the companion they want to marry at 70 or more before clearing the game, and would increase it all the way to 100 with this bonus.
(But what to do…) (Souma)
The ceremony for the conferral of honors is done, and I think about this while leaving the Great Church together with my comrades.
It is clear that the affection meter of this world works differently from the game.
The affection prioritizes the feelings of the person themself rather than how the game works.
That’s why there’s a part of me that’s telling me…it is okay to ignore this bonus.
This world tries to replicate the game’s events and system as much as possible.
Even this affection bonus, it may not directly become an increase in the affection of my comrade when talking to them, but they may take the words I say right now extremely positively.
…In that case, who should I talk to?
In the sense of celebrating with my comrades, it is easy to make a choice who it should be. A person that I have passed thick and thin with.
And the person who I have spent the longest time with…
Is without doubt Ringo.
I met her after Ina, but when it comes to time spent, it would be far and above Ringo.
I have been saved countless times by her, and her existence has been cheering me up.
The thing is Ringo is a bugged character and the princess that originally wouldn’t have become your companion.
She is probably outside the sphere of this affection bonus.
Maki, who came together with me after the ceremony was over, and the Bear she is carrying are also outside of this for the same reason.
In that case, the next candidate would be…
“You have been silent for a while now. Did something happen?”
Holding outstanding potential and cuteness in her cat ears, as well as always contributing to the party: Mitsuki.
She was an enemy at first, but even then, Mitsuki was dutiful, and the cat ears were cute.
Since becoming a party member, she has worked as a fighting force, scout, in searching people, and as the first spear in battle. She has recently learned to be considerate with others, and her cat ears are cute.
The option of giving words of appreciation to Mitsuki and the cat ears-chan is definitely there.
But on the other hand, there’s also the choice of going for the person that I normally wouldn’t be able to get along with.
“Fufu, I am a hero. Fufufu…”
I don’t want to get along well with a pervert that’s making a creepy smile under the mask, but obtaining the Stardust Flare that can only be obtained from the character event is necessary.
It is an enticing idea to just accept this as just an increase in affection and speak to Sazan, so I can mitigate the pains in the future.
On top of that, I don’t know if this is intended or not, but the possible targets for this bonus are wide, and…as long as it is a character that you can make into a party member, it doesn’t matter even if they are not currently in your party.
Putting it in an extreme way, this affection bonus applies to people who I have not made into party members once, or even people I have met for the first time.
This bonus could serve to increase my connections.
Just when I thought that, a single girl entered my vision.
She was still sitting on a bench close to the Great Church with her shoulders drooped.
Seeing her like that, I felt embarrassed for being so calculative about everything.
I don’t even know whether this affection bonus really has an effect in this world.
But whichever the case, I thought I should stop using something that’s like controlling the heart of someone.
(Let’s use this bonus to cheer up Ina.) (Souma)
There may be the matter with the ring, but the affection has already reached 100, and we have already married, so there’s probably barely any meaning in using the affection bonus on her.
My hesitation was gone.
I ran to Ina in order to cheer her up as soon as possible.
That wasn’t good.
I lacked attention to my surroundings and ended up crashing onto someone who came out from the alley.
“I am sorry! Are you okay?” (Souma)
I hurriedly extended a hand towards the person that was on their butt, and I then noticed I let out my voice.
I cursed and covered my mouth, but it was already too late.
No, it can’t be helped.
It is not like I can’t apologize to the person I crashed onto, and there should be no problems as long as this person isn’t someone I can turn into a companion.
Thinking this, I look at the person I crashed onto and…
That moment, I felt as if my heart stopped.
The face of the person was covered by a shabby light matcha color hood.
But what I could feel was an overwhelming sense of foreboding.
The most recent memory in my gaming days was stimulated.
I could hear clattering sounds from somewhere.
I thought it was quite the annoying sound, but it was actually my teeth clattering.
(You are kidding, right…? Such a coincidence…) (Souma)
But my wish was mercilessly crushed.
The hood fell off to the back.
What peeked out from underneath was dull blond hair and a face dirtied with soot.
An unintelligible groan leaked out from my mouth.
And then, from her unclean -but beautiful at close inspection- lips…
That dreadful sound came out.
It was practically by reflex.
I unsheathe Shiranui and the Golden Sakura and…
([High Step][Ground Compression][High Jump], [Instant Charge], [Step][High Step][Ground Compression]!) (Souma)
I left that place at full speed.
Stuff like ‘I shouldn’t use weapons in the city’ or ‘I am leaving my comrades behind’ had completely gone out of my head.
(This is bad this is bad this is bad this is bad!!) (Souma)
The only thing inside my head was the desire to escape from this place at once.
I took distance with movement skills, got up the roof with High Jump and Instant Charge, and once again ran through the roof with movement skills, crashing on a chimney to stop.
This is my utmost attempt to escape right now.
Normal people wouldn’t have even been able to tell what happened.
I regained a bit of my calm after buying some distance, and looked back at where the blonde girl was at…
—And I made eye-contact with the girl who was looking straight at me.
“Aaaaaaah… Uwaaaah!!” (Souma)
…I don’t remember clearly what happened after that.
I opened my eyes at the poking I could feel at my cheek.
I was surprised by the bloodstained kitchen knife that was suddenly right in front of me, but I was relieved when I saw who was holding it.
“Chris…tina? Did you come to wake me up?” (Souma)
How did I get back?
I was lying on the floor of the mansion by the time I noticed.
The dolls of the mansion were surrounding me probably because they were worried about me.
That in itself makes me happy, but I unfortunately am not in a mental state that can allow me to mind them.
I pulled out Rachel who was trying to enter my clothes, and after moving away Daniel who was all feisty on my back, I got up and sat.
“Why… Why have things turned out like this…?” (Souma)
I held my head.
My body is still trembling.
It is true that ‘her’ action sphere is close to the Great Church.
That’s why I tried to not get close to that place as much as possible, and me lacking caution was my own fault.
Even if so, isn’t it fine to not show up at such pinpoint timing?
The nickname of that girl leaked out from my mouth.
But that’s not the only one.
Shadow Assassin, Walking Dead End, Night Stalker, Spirit of Jealousy, Poison Butterfly, Soul Eye, Eternal Chaser, the Lover on your Back, Immortal Love Flag, Backside Grim Reaper, Yandere Queen, and Player Killer.
Within all the characters in Nekomimi Neko, she has the most nicknames, and is the forbidden party member candidate that you definitely must not increase the affection meter of if you treasure your life.
And within the unofficial ranking of the most dangerous NPCs in the capital, there’s Sazan in 2nd place, Poison-tan in 3rd, and her as the immoveable top.
“…Leila. Leila Milton.” (Souma)
She is the one who uses the instant death ability, Death to the Infidel!!