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TLN: Two chapters today! Make sure you didn’t miss the previous one~.
—What would thousands of people acknowledge as a difficult problem?
A problem that’s complex, difficult to understand, and can’t be solved without outstanding knowledge and education?
Or maybe a problem that requires not only knowledge but creativity and thinking out of the box?
Or a philosophical or religious problem that doesn’t have a right answer?
A problem where only specific people would get it, something like an inside joke?
It is true that all of those would be difficult, and there’s no real answer to which one of those would be the most difficult.
But Nekomimi Neko had provided a completely new contender to ‘what a difficult problem is’ in a way that no one imagined.
“It really is a problem I haven’t seen before.” (Souma)
I sighed after seeing the problem at the belly of the sphinx.
If it had at least been a familiar problem, it would have been easier, but I gotta raise the white flag here.
But this is one of the troublesome traits of the One who knows Wisdom.
I may be discouraged, but not surprised.
I have cleared this quest once, but this quest is made to give you 50 problems out of a massive 2,000.
There’s 1,950 more questions you haven’t even seen if you just clear it once.
(There’s too many questions no matter how you think about it.) (Souma)
A massive amount of 2,000 questions.
This changed the totally unremarkable riddle quest into a monster.
In the first place, 50 questions is already a lot, and yet, they have prepared 40 times the surplus. Just how tenacious can they be?
If it just had 50 questions only like normal, and it were simply questions of various genres, this riddle quest might have settled as a slightly difficult quest.
At that time, Seirie, who I had helped up, regained consciousness.
I am worried about the activated Beckoning Sphinx, but I should prioritize nursing Seirie-san.
You can’t use healing abilities in the library.
I quickly took out an HP potion and a Cure potion and tried using it on Seirie-san, but…
“She isn’t getting up?” (Souma)
None of those worked.
I think the unconscious state is considered as a status ailment, but maybe there’s a different way to heal it when you collapse from being too nervous.
If it is about recovering stamina, it would be MP, so I tried using MP potions this time.
When I did, Seirie-san opened her eyes a bit.
Her eyes made contact with mine at an unexpectedly close range.
The sharpness of before is gone, so I nervously asked Seirie-san who was looking at me with unfocused eyes.
Seirie-san didn’t react even with that, and it was only after blinking 2-3 times that she finally spoke.
After she muttered this, her hand slowly approached my face and…
“If you want to dream that much, I can present you with a dream you won’t ever wake up from.”
Leila moved in with knife in hand as if blocking that.
Her face alone had an unnaturally big smile, but her eyes are completely bad news.
“W-Wait, Leila!” (Souma)
“As I said, please calm down.” (Mitsuki)
The crazed Leila was quickly dragged away by Mitsuki, but it seems like the sudden knife coming into vision woke Seirie-san up in one go.
“Uhm, what was that just now…?” (Seirie)
“…Well, just think of it as a tick of sorts.” (Souma)
I answered Seirie-san who understandably asked with a scared voice, and then leave her to Maki and the others as I head to where Leila is.
“Wuuu, t-that woman…wuu.” (Leila)
Leila was muttering this with teary eyes, but the fact that ‘Death to the Infidel!!’ didn’t activate means that she is somehow able to endure her jealousy.
Even Leila is growing.
I want to believe she is.
“Y-You really did your best there, Leila. It is alright now, so calm down, okay?” (Souma)
I try to persuade her carefully as if I were dealing with a criminal shutting themself up, and I brushed her shoulder to soothe her, and Leila slowly calmed down.
“Nice. That’s right, take deep breaths. Deep Breaths. Now, inhale…exhale…” (Souma)
When I urged her on, she obediently listened to what I said and began to take deep breaths.
She is a dangerous person reminiscent of a bomb that could go off at any moment, but this obedient side of hers is really a saving.
I think she is going to calm down eventually like this.
“Suuh, haah, suuh, haah. Suuuh, haaah. Suuuh, haaah. Suuuuuuh…haaaah…suuuuh…haaaah…” (Leila)
Even now, she is seriously obeying my instruction and taking deep breaths with her face buried on my chest—
I hurriedly tore Leila away from me.
She was taking deep breaths normally at first, but in the middle of it, she was definitely breathing in something different from air.
She really is someone that wouldn’t just take a fall and lie there. I really can’t lower my guard with her.
“Is it over? I can still take more deep breaths.” (Leila)
“L-Later, okay?” (Souma)
She should have calmed down with this.
I ran away from Leila who had dazed eyes, clearly desiring more, and returned to Seirie-san.
“…My apologies. I have messed up greatly.” (Seirie)
When I went to Seirie-san, it was just right when they finished explaining things to her, and she groaned when she saw me.
“I normally wouldn’t collapse with just this much, but you know…I was reading a book all night yesterday, so that was most likely the reason…” (Seirie)
The double punch of lack of sleep and the shock must have used her mental stamina.
She seems like she has a level-head on her shoulders, but still has her own little flaws.
“It would be better to not push yourself. Ah, want to drink one more?” (Souma)
I doubt one will recover her completely.
I took out an MP potion from the pouch, and offered it to Seirie-san.
“No, I’m okay. Despite appearances, being a librarian is about stamina. I am more of a martial artist after all.” (Seirie)
“I see… But it really would be better to not push yourself…” (Souma)
When I recommended this to her again, Seirie-san answered with cheeks slightly flushed.
“It is not an issue about pushing myself. As I said, I am a martial artist. That’s why one is all I need.” (Seirie)
I couldn’t immediately link being a martial artist and not needing potions, but after thinking about it one more time, I got it.
Martial Artist = Warrior Class = Low Max MP.
In other words, despite appearances, Seirie-san is actually a muscle-head—
“M-More importantly, I am truly sorry for activating that device on my own…” (Seirie)
“Eh? O-Okay…” (Souma)
Being told this, I once again directed my gaze at the sphinx.
It would be impossible to deactivate the already fully operating sphinx.
“I heard from Maki-san there. I didn’t know you had such circumstances, Sagara-sama. I have truly done something terrible.” (Seirie)
Just what in the world did Maki and the others tell her?
Where did the pressure from the beginning go? Seirie-san is looking dejected to a pitiful degree.
I hurriedly shook my head.
“No, it is okay. It is not something that must be done at all cost anyways.” (Souma)
It is a shame that I can’t clear the One who knows Wisdom, but we did achieve the bare minimum.
I thought it was fine to go back with this.
“No, it really would be wrong! No matter how long it takes, I swear on my name as a librarian of the Royal Library that I will definitely solve this riddle!” (Seirie)
Seirie-san tightened her fist and proposed something unexpected.
It is true that Seirie-san might be strong at riddles like this one since she is the librarian here.
My feelings wavered there for an instant, and my comrades also spoke.
“W-Wait! Then I will do it too! I will!” (Leila)
“Ah, then me too!” (Maki)
It is the recovered Leila and Maki, who was observing until now.
Speaking of which, these two do look like they would like riddles.
(I would feel bad refusing good will.) (Souma)
And so, it was decided.
It is true that the One who knows Wisdom is difficult, but it is not impossible to clear.
There’s even cases where it could be easily cleared depending on the questions that show up.
“…Then, please do.” (Souma)
I lowered my head and we began our attempt to clear the One who knows Wisdom.
This quest doesn’t only have riddles, but also a variety of other questions. For example; what was the knight division that the 3rd king of the Rihito Kingdom established, or problems where P moves at 3km/h and Q moves at 4km/h in an ABCD square—and stuff like that. It covers a good amount of genres.
Thinking about it solely from the difficulty of the questions, they aren’t your average questions.
On the other hand, our trump card, Seiri-san, has apparently memorized almost all the books in this library regardless of genre.
Most of the books in the library were dummies in the game days, making them unreadable, but that’s not the case in this world.
That she has memorized them all is quite the outrageous memory.
And so, about how that’s working…
“Even if it is bread, it is bread that can’t be eaten? An extremely vulgar and childish question that doesn’t even deserve the label of foolish question.
Within the knowledge related to bread written in the books, and considering the pattern of the questions that this sphinx brings out, the answer is clear as day.
The answer is 97% rotten bre—” (Seirie)
“Here here, frying pan. Correct!” (Maki) <Bread is called pan in japanese.>
She had a pretty sad streak.
“…W-Well, it is 97%, so that means there was a 3% chance of being wrong. Y-You could even say my estimations were correct.” (Seirie)
I avert my gaze and act as if I don’t notice that Seirie-san took off her glasses and stealthily wiped her eyes.
No, it is not like she isn’t useful at all.
She is extremely strong when it comes to history and math, and she even answered questions that made Leila fall into thought, even when you could consider it her main field, immediately.
On the other hand, when it comes to riddles that require creativity, she is really weak, and there would be a lot of times where she would spin her wheels pointlessly due to her motivation.
However, thanks to her joining in, the fields they could cover have increased.
For adventuring knowledge, there’s Leila; common knowledge, there’s Seirie; puzzles and riddles for Maki. A battle formation where there’s barely any openings had been completed.
However, there would be times when I would see questions that I have seen before, but…
“Ah! I have seen that questi—” (Souma)
“Speed. Correct! …Did you say something, Souma?” (Maki)
“…No, nothing.” (Souma)
They would mostly be instantly solved, so I didn’t even have the opportunity to come in.
(Oh well, that’s fine. It should be fine even if we don’t clear it anyways.) (Souma)
I think this while being a sore loser, and after a few minutes of watching them work…
The 3 solved the questions smoothly even after that, and in the 13th question when I was beginning to think there’s no need for me…
(This is…!) (Souma)
The moment I saw that problem, my body tilted forward.
[What’s the creature that stands in 4 legs in the morning, 2 at noon, and 3 at night?]
The famous riddle that showed up in the stomach of the sphinx made the 3 change color.
“Ah, I know this one! I will push it, okay?!” (Seirie)
Seirie-san merrily pushed the button faster than everyone, making me wonder just where her stiff image went.
Even Leila, who was burning in defiance at first, and the selfish Maki were watching over her with gentle expressions like that of a grandpa overseeing his merry grandchild.
Seirie-san submitted the answer carefully.
When she finished inputting the word ‘human’, she showed a victorious smile and pushed the button.
The buzzer sound rang.
The Beckoning Sphinx heartlessly denied the answer of Seirie-san.
“Eh? Eh?” (Seirie)
She inputs ‘human’ again wondering that maybe she wrote it wrong, but the result was the same.
Seirie-san fell into a panic and began to input all the answers she could think of.
“I-In that case, ‘person’… N-No?
T-Then, ‘people’! …Not this either?
‘Man’! …If this is not it either…then…” (Seirie)
However, they were all pointless.
All of them had the buzzer ring which meant wrong.
Seeing this, I sighed.
(…Can’t be helped.) (Souma)
I thought maybe, but it seems like it won’t be as simple as that.
The lucky thing here is that it is an answer that I know.
“Allow me for a bit.” (Souma)
I gently moved Seirie-san aside and extended my hand to the input panel.
And then, input ‘bath…’ there.
“Souma? What in the world are you—” (Maki)
I ignored the dubious face of Maki and pressed the button.
A nice sound rang and the sphinx announced that it had been answered correctly.
Everyone was making surprised expressions at the way too unexpected development.
Of course they would be.
There’s no idiot who would answer ‘bath’ to that riddle, and there’s no way you would just accept it as the right answer.
I understand those feelings to a painful extent as I spoke.
“Uhm, this is hard for me to say, but…” (Souma)
I will now be talking about the biggest issue in implementing a pointlessly massive amount of 2,000 problems, and the biggest reason as to why this quest is considered the most difficult.
The worst thing you can do when bringing out questions in a game…no, giving questions to someone in general.
“…The questions this guy gives…have wrong answers sometimes.” (Souma)
Riddle quest: The One who knows Wisdom.
You not only need to answer correctly, but also guess the mistaken answers of the developers or it will be almost impossible to clear. A way too unreasonable quest.
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