(Hmm. Could it be that it would have been better to keep silent about the ring?) (Souma)
I thought about this on my way back.
I thought that mostly everything had been discovered judging from the way Mitsuki was saying it, but looking at her reaction, it was at most only until the disposal of the Eye of the Heavens, and she hadn’t thought of the duplication of the ring.
And so, there was a small part of me thinking that I could have just kept silent.
I have been feeling this recently, but the problem solving of a Nekomimi Neko player seems to not have a good reception with Maki, who is not used to videogames, and my comrades who haven’t seen a videogame to begin with.
And the reality is that, after that talk, I could feel a bit of bafflement mixed in the eyes my comrades directed at me.
Especially when I saw Ringo nodding as Maki pointed at me as the true culprit. It made me feel the unfairness of society.
(Even though she said you shouldn’t point at people when I did it…) (Souma)
While I was getting that feeling of listlessness, Mitsuki spoke to me.
“And so, what will we be doing from now on? Is it okay to go straight to the mansion?” (Mitsuki)
I confirmed the location of Leila first and was about to tell her we should take a detour if necessary and took a peek at my adventurer bag.
(…I see.) (Souma)
I didn’t really pay it much mind, but my countermeasures for Leila are already there.
The days of fearing the Death Stalker are over.
I purposefully used a cheerful tone.
“No, let’s go straight back. Everyone must be tired, and I would feel bad dragging you all around the whole time.” (Souma)
“Come on, come on, let’s go.” (Souma)
Mitsuki was about to voice her disapproval, but I purposefully ignored it and continued walking on.
We encountered monsters on the way, but monsters wouldn’t be a match for us at this point in time.
We safely returned to the capital.
“Fuh! Rihitel, I am back!!” (Sazan)
Even though we have only been away for a single day, Sazan spread both arms exaggeratedly and shouted.
I thought what he was doing was stupid, but I do share a bit of those feelings too.
There has been so much in one day, I felt the city a bit nostalgic myself.
However, there’s something else that I have remembered.
“Now that I think about it, Sazan, you still have the Fingerless Gloves on you!” (Souma)
Sazan is wearing jet black gloves on his spread out hands.
I completely forgot about it because of Leila, but these are the Fingerless Gloves that I got from the pick-up items.
“W-What are you talking about?” (Sazan)
Sazan moves his hands to the back as he says this.
That’s way too blatant.
Even though he would criticize the stealing of others. I won’t allow you to do the stealing yourself.
“Ah, wa…Ouch ouch!” (Sazan)
I quickly twisted the arm of Sazan and exposed his hands.
It is obvious since I saw them just a moment ago, but he does have the Fingerless Gloves on.
“See, you do have them. I am confiscating them.” (Souma)
“S-Stop it! To think you would try to steal my half, Dark Schneider…!” (Sazan)
“Don’t struggle! Also, don’t go naming other people’s belongings with a nonsensical chuunibyou name!” (Souma)
I tried to take the Fingerless Gloves off forcefully, but I can’t do anything too violent.
The Fingerless Gloves only have 40HP.
No matter how weak of an enemy you attack, the durability of a weapon decreases by 1, so it means that the gloves break easy to the point that you can only use it 40 times at max.
It is easy to see what future awaits if I were to pull such fragile gloves by brute force.
“Damn it, come on! Just give it to me already! Here, tickle tickle…” (Souma)
“You bastard, what are you…ahya ahya, no, stop…ahahya uhya!” (Sazan)
I tried tickling Sazan, but he still didn’t let go of the gloves.
Even though it is not like it is ineffective on him. He is stubborn in the weirdest of places.
I was somewhat getting impatient here and I continued my exchange with Sazan for a while, and Ina came to us worried.
“Uh, Souma-san, there’s eyes around here, so doing something like that is…” (Ina)
“Don’t put it as if I am doing something perverted here!” (Souma)
That said, it is true that we are gathering attention.
It is not like I am attached to my name as a hero, but tarnishing it wouldn’t be good.
Mitsuki threw me a lifeboat at the perfect timing while I was hesitating here.
“How about going to the weapon store for now? Those gloves might be on sale in the pick-up items, or we could find a different weapon to the liking of Sazan-san.” (Mitsuki)
I freed Sazan without much choice, and we headed to the weapon store to see if there’s a weapon to the fancy of Sazan.
“Ooh, welcome! We’ve got nice weapons just in! How about using this chance to update your weapons?”
An energetic voice welcomed us the moment we entered the weapon store.
(…Even if you tell me that…) (Souma)
Our weapons are currently upgraded to the top of the line Meat Cleavers.
There’s no better weapon being sold in the capital.
(However, if you ask me whether I am satisfied with this, that’s not really the case…) (Souma)
If your attack power is lower than your enemy’s defense, the durability of your weapon is depleted more intensely.
That’s not something a character’s powers can make up for.
Especially at endgame where the parameters get inflated. That issue gets exacerbated even more.
If you go shooting skills repeatedly on an enemy above yourself, your weapon will break in an instant.
However, there’s few weapons that I can think of on the fly that are better than the Meat Cleaver.
I have already used the Gouging Vajra, so maybe I should go get the strongest scythe in the game, Soul Eater, from the hidden dungeon, or maybe the god killing sword that wasn’t implemented in the game, the Ultihate.
“Aah, right, you people!”
I snapped back at the words of the store owner.
(What am I even trying to achieve by getting such strong weapons?) (Souma)
I laugh at myself.
The Demon Lord is gone.
What I need right now isn’t powerful weapons, but ways to return to the real world.
I shake my head and face the store owner again.
“Actually, it seems like there’s a lack of mithril in the whole capital. Can you please give us mithril armor if you have them? I will buy them at a higher price than normal.”
It is the same thing the armor store said.
Looks like there’s still a shortage of mithril.
“We heard that from a different store before too, but is there really that much of a lack of mithril?” (Souma)
The owner nodded several times at my question.
“It really is that bad. Mithril products suddenly jumping in price is natural, and there have been 2 theft cases of mithril from buildings.”
“They really are going all out.” (Souma)
I gave some halfhearted response, but I wasn’t as calm on the inside.
This is something I thought when I went to the armor store with Ina before, but the chance that the mithril gathering event has actually begun is high.
The mithril gathering event is an event that happens at the middle stages of the Mage Guild events.
And if the Mage Guild event advances all the way to the end, the country perishes…
A lot was happening, so I forgot about it completely, but it might be better to act fast here.
I ask in order to check if there’s any other clues.
“Has there been any unusual things aside from that?” (Souma)
“Hm? There have been less people visiting the Grand Church, and there has been a shortage of Protein as well, I think…”
I think the lower visits to the church might be because the Demon Lord has fallen and the world is now at peace.
But what bothers me more is the protein issue.
The Protein of this world is not simply made out of egg whites. It is the name of a mysterious jelly beverage that warrior characters drink often.
If you gift this to macho NPCs, their affection meter goes up by 2 in one go. A really sought for item for brawny warriors.
And when thinking about brawny warriors, I can’t help but think of the Warrior Guild.
Does the fact that there’s a shortage of this mean that there’s movement from the Warrior Guild too?
The events of the Mage Guild and the Warrior Guild were so big that they affected the main story of the game too.
However, you could easily reset the effects of those events after you finished them by choosing ‘Return to the Guild Event’ in the menu screen.
Switching that around, it means that these were events that forced even the Nekomimi Neko staff to add a reset button to this.
Just thinking about that happening in this world where I can’t use the menu screen sends shivers down my spine.
Moreover, I only have a bad feeling about this if they are both progressing at the same time.
(I don’t think this is the time to be thinking about returning to our real world right now.) (Souma)
I thought this and shrugged my shoulders, and Ina questioned me about that.
“Hm? Souma-san, did something good happen?” (Ina)
I froze at the unexpected words, and even Ringo poked her head out from the side.
“…You were smiling a bit just now.” (Ringo)
I wasn’t aware of that at all.
But if that’s true…
“A-Anyways, let’s search for the pick-up item!” (Souma)
I felt like it would be bad to face that reality face on, so I hurriedly switched the topic.
The enticing pick-up items lined up at a corner of the room.
My agitation flew somewhere far away as I observed all that garbage.
We unfortunately couldn’t find the Fingerless Gloves among the pick-up items, but we found something nice instead.
I immediately bought that and pushed it onto Sazan who was waiting alone in front of the store.
“Sazan, look at this!” (Souma)
What I pushed onto him while saying this was a pitch black metal that had several holes.
Its name: Black Knuckles.
A beloved weapon of a chuunibyou, the knuckle duster (moreover, it is black).
“How about exchanging this with the Fingerless Gloves?” (Souma)
I said this full of confidence, but Sazan simply made a dubious look.
“What’s with that weird and nonsensical chunk of metal?” (Sazan)
I tried wearing it since I figured he probably wouldn’t be able to get it unless he sees it for himself, but the reaction of Sazan was slim.
“Don’t want it! Comparing that to my Dark Schneider is insulting!” (Sazan)
“No, look, if you call it the Cursed Black Ring, wouldn’t it sound cool?” (Souma)
“Not at all!!” (Sazan)
Looks like this isn’t a whim. It really doesn’t resonate at all with him.
Even if we wrap them all up as chuunibyou, they all have their own respective tastes.
…Good grief, what a pain of a guy.
But it can’t be helped if it doesn’t work.
I decided to persuade him from a different angle.
“Listen here. If you have that on, you can’t equip other weapons. What are you going to do about not holding a staff when you are a mage?!” (Souma)
Staff and rods are set with magic attack power.
When using magic, the magic attack power from the user themself and their equipment holds a lot of value.
On the other hand, the Fingerless Gloves have zero magic attack power.
And yet, it is still treated as a weapon, so even when you hold a sword or staff when you have them on, they will not be counted as equipped.
With Sazan having the gloves equipped in both hands, only his magic attack power will be taken into consideration when using a spell.
Sazan is fixated with his own magic, so this should be an issue that he can’t condone.
“That’s…wait, not having magic attack power is the same issue with those knuckles!” (Sazan)
I thought for a second that I could deceive him, but he noticed.
“T-To think you would want the gloves I have so much you would go that far… You really are… T-That’s why I say you are a pervert that I can’t let my guard down with! I won’t fork over Dark Schneider!” (Sazan)
Sazan covers both of his hands.
He is getting completely obstinate here, but those are mine.
Withdrawing here would annoy me.
While I was wondering what to do, Mitsuki spoke to Sazan as if to mediate this.
“Sazan-san, how about giving that back?” (Mitsuki)
“Eh? N-No, but…” (Sazan)
“Everyone is relying on your magic. If you stay with those gloves on, everyone would be uneasy.” (Mitsuki)
He probably didn’t expect to be persuaded in this fashion.
Sazan fell silent.
“G-Got it. I will return Dark Schneider.” (Sazan)
Sazan yielded unexpectedly easily.
I sighed in relief.
“I see! Thanks, Sazan!” (Souma)
“B-But not right now!” (Sazan)
“Eh? Why?” (Souma)
I tilted my head in wonder and Sazan said in hasty speech.
“Y-You know, I have been wearing this the whole time, so there’s…stuff like sweat seeped into it. I will wash it before giving it back to you!” (Sazan)
“I see. That’s fine. I don’t mind it.” (Souma)
I stretched my hand out to request for it, but Sazan withdrew as if scared.
“N-No! I won’t give this to a pervert like you! I will definitely return it to you after I wash it!” (Sazan)
Just how high level of a pervert does Sazan take me for inside his head?
I winced at the unexpected oversensitive side of Sazan, and had no choice but to nod.
We took a detour part-way even though I said we should go straight home, but we safely returned to the Nekomimi Mansion after that.
“The Aken manor was impressive, but this mansion really doesn’t fall short.” (Mitsuki)
“…Our home is the best.” (Ringo)
Mitsuki and Ringo were excited at having returned to our house in so long and entered.
“Gotta eat something for now.” (Maki)
“Fuuh, have to agree with you on that.” (Sazan)
Maki and Sazan entered the mansion as if it was their own home.
But there was one person standing in place, looking at the distance.
When I called her, she looked back here as if she had come back to her senses.
“Ah, I-I am sorry. I was thinking back on the Aken family’s matter…” (Ina)
“I was happy to get along with Fuu-chan and Rirumu-san there…” (Ina)
Traces of grief were shown in the eyes of Ina.
Ina had been alone the whole time, so it must have been sad for her to part from the people that seemed like they could become her friends.
“…It is okay.” (Souma)
But that’s having your heart in the wrong place.
“You can just go meet them again if you want to. I am sure the two would be happy if you were to visit them.” (Souma)
Light shone in the sad face of Ina.
“Also, we will probably meet Rirumu pretty soon. Who knows, even if we don’t go meet her ourselves, she might pop up somewhere. We are talking about Rirumu after all.” (Souma)
When I said this, Ina laughed with a ‘fufu’ and a face that had regained its energy.
That’s why I entered the mansion relieved together with Ina…
“What happened?” (Souma)
And then I noticed the anomaly.
My comrades that should have entered before us were standing in place.
When I looked deeper in, I saw a…woman in maid clothes moving around busily with her back still turned.
(Could it be…) (Souma)
Being pushed by a certain feeling, I take a step.
An intruder in this mansion that managed to even deter the Knight Order? That’s not normal.
But if it is the girl that is so dense towards obstructions and is a skilled adventurer…then maybe…
That’s when she finally noticed us.
That way too familiar face that slowly turned towards us…left me speechless from the surprise.
On the other hand, the girl saw me and showed a truly happy smile as she said this.
“Welcome back, Loic!!”