[At noon, that baldie brought extra work for me again. Told me to add the problems for the riddle quest.
I still have a whole mountain of work, moreover, the reason for that is also the unnecessary work that the baldie gave me before. And yet, giving me more work again on top of that? Don’t joke around.
I was thinking so much about refusing, but ‘Listen here. Game development is a group endeavor. It would be troubling if you alone are so whiny here. The problems are already made, you know? Everyone aside from you have turned the wheels in their heads for several hours, maybe even a whole day. You didn’t participate, so you should at least do this much or it wouldn’t be fair. Don’t you feel even a bit bad about it? You can use Order to write, so can’t you do this in one go? Everyone did their best to make this, so don’t tell me you alone are going to refuse because there will be more work…’ he told me this while giving off the scent of hair gel, sweat, old man, and raining saliva on me. Seriously, what the hell.
It is true that if it were limited to just typing without the need to think of anything, there would barely be any mistakes by using Order, and it would be the fastest way. At least several times faster than the ancient relic called a keyboard that the old man still uses.
If the contents are already made, it shouldn’t take too much time. I don’t like agreeing with this guy, but arguing with him would be a waste of time. It would be faster to just accept already and finish this quickly.
…That was a mistake.
What the baldie brought from his desk was not really big, but looked like an awfully heavy cardboard box. There were a variety of papers and magazines(?) all jammed in, and each of them had something resembling quizzes written there.
There’s no way all of these are the problems of the riddle quest, is what I thought. But that was exactly the case.
If I had to recreate the conversation then, it would go something like this.
“W-Wait a moment! What’s with this amount?!”
“Everyone did their best after all. Yup, I was truly blessed with good staff members.”
The baldie grinned with his bare head shining.
“No, this is not on that level! Aren’t there more than 100 problems here?!”
“Tsk tsk tsk tsk! You got the numbers wrong~. The numbers~.”
The baldie waved his finger while making a sound like that of calling birds.
“100 is wrong…? You ain’t gonna say it is 1,000, right?”
“Man, that’s close! Truly close! But it is unfortunately double that!”
The baldie had a face full of oil from how amusing he was finding my panic to be.
“As-I-said, it is double! The double being 2,000. It is 2,000 problems!”
The meat of the baldy’s stomach quaked vigorously.
“Two th—w-wait, there’s no way I can do that ma—”
“Maan, just seeing that face of yours made it worth the hard work. I leave the rest to you, our Ace Programmer-kun! Fuhih!”
The baldie left hopping while letting out a weird sound.
“You gotta be kidding me…”
Is basically how it went.
Argh, geez. I am getting pissed just remembering it. The hair roots of that baldie should just go extinct without leaving a trace!!
Even when I spit those insults, I had no choice but to do it since I already accepted, and my work won’t decrease unless I do it.
How the riddle quest will proceed has already been decided, so I managed to make a simple framework by utilizing a quest that was similar. However, the riddles that were given to me stood out in how many issues they had.
As expected from a job that was divided with everyone, there were ones that were straight up copied from a quiz book (with the name of the book in the blank spaces. At least erase that!), problems that seem to have been written by computer and printed (there was no need to print it, just give me the damn data), and others that were really tightly packed with handwriting (super hard to read), and the worst offender being the ones that used erobooks, writing the problems with an autograph pen on top of a photo of a naked woman. I really want to tell that person he is an idiot. The important parts can’t be seen because of the pen…no, that’s not it, there’s paper everywhere, so please don’t go out of your way to use weird stuff.
It couldn’t be helped, so I wrote down the problems while admiring the erobook, and had the scanner eat all the others and turned them into data, changing them into text with a software exclusively for uses like this…however, there were some writings that were so bad that it couldn’t be read. I had no choice but to use the images as reference to change them into text directly.
There were also some parts where the problems would be read wrong. For example; ‘panda’ <パンダ> would be turned into ‘a PC’ <パソダ> and ‘pond snail’ <タニシ> into ‘other = 4’ <タ＝シ>, but I can’t go double-checking every single one of the 2,000 problems. I wrote down which ones I should check for now and continued my work.
The riddles didn’t just have issues with the writing. There would be times when there would be weird scribblings at the side of the problem (most likely a raccoon) and others who would write Hanako and Yuu~ where it would be Yuu instead of You. Others who would write only 5 words before beginning a new sentence. Anyways, it was a whole mess. Of course, I fixed it all by hand. Please don’t add extra work for me.
And so, I copy and pasted the final text data into the quest. Work proceeded smoothly after that, but I found a new issue along the way. There’s one missing answer compared to the amount of problems. This idiot forgot to write down the answer. I was filling up the question and the answer separately, so I didn’t notice until they were lined up.
The amount of problems I entered until now were 150. In other words, there’s the possibility that the questions and answers will get misaligned every 150 entries. However, it would be a pain to find the missing part. I can just fix those mistakes once everything is done. I simply add ‘answer misaligned’ into the last problem’s answer.
I continued the work for a while, and I found large scale issues. Now it wasn’t 1 answer missing. I found a paper with only problems and no answers written at all. I was wondering who the idiot was and checked the corner of the paper, and there was the name of a certain developer written there.
If I remember correctly, she is the one in charge of the character designs, and isn’t involved too much with me. Moreover, it is a woman. That’s right. Even if she is a pervert who would go ‘aahn, Shermia-tan, Shermia-tan, haah haah!’ breathing roughly while looking at the very bottom of the 3d model of the character she herself made, she is still a woman. Even if she is a pervert who would take 10 hours designing characters while going ‘the springiness and gloss here…’, ‘the ideal nips…’, ‘No! Elasticity! There’s not enough elasticity!’ despite the characters wearing underwear (it would be an issue if they weren’t), she is still a woman. My nickname in high school was ‘Mole’ or ‘Bean Sprout Glasses’, so it was too high of a hurdle to talk to her.
Anyways, I tried finding the answers on the net as much as possible, and added whatever answer I could think of for the ones I couldn’t find. There might be wrong ones, but it should be fine if I just ask her for the answer when I get the chance and fix it then.
And then, after finishing half of all -1,000 questions- I opened this diary.
You might think ‘what are you doing when it is so busy?’, but writing something with Order doesn’t take that much time, and this is an important breather for me. I just can’t not.
—One day, I will publish this diary and reveal to the world that our company is a black company.
In the middle of this maddening work that I don’t know when it will end, that delusion alone was my only amusement.
Go ahead and laugh at this dark hobby of mine. But I don’t have a wife, children, and obviously no girlfriend. I don’t drink alcohol or smoke. I don’t have the time or money to play around. As a game programmer with nothing on all fronts, such enjoyments are important.
Of course, I currently don’t plan on publicizing this and exposing the company. If that happens, it would be on the day when I decide to quit this company—]
After reading that far, the book suddenly disappeared from my vision.
When I lifted my head in surprise, there was Mitsuki with ice cold eyes looking down at me with the book I was reading just now in her hand.
“Good grief. You… Leila-san and the others are doing their very best even now, you know? What kind of nerves do you have that you can read something like this all normally in a situation like this?” (Mitsuki)
She isn’t showing much emotion in her voice and expression, but the Cat Ears-chan was going ‘Geez! Even I can get angry, you know?!’, and was doing its best to show that’s not good.
Ringo is at the back of the angry Mitsuki, but judging from her sad eyes, I doubt she feels like defending me here.
Then, there’s no other way but to clear this misunderstanding myself.
—Several minutes after I answered that famous wrong answer riddle…
Normal questions continued until the 23th one.
But the 24th one…
A problem even I didn’t know showed up, and we were halted again.
It is probably almost impossible to get through it.
Also, even if they manage to clear this question, there’s a high chance another impossible question will show up.
I proposed to just give up, but Leila shook her head.
“I-I want to try it!” (Leila)
She said that clearly, and after thinking about the patterns of the wrong answers, she began to input answers with a fine-tooth-comb.
The two seemed to have been influenced by that sight of Leila, not only did they not give up, they continued trying to clear the One who knows Wisdom with even more determination.
Seeing those 3, I snuck away, went to the space for reading, at a place where tables and chairs were lined up, and began reading books.
My actions could be seen as me abandoning those 3 challenging the One who knows Wisdom to read books.
But that’s a complete misunderstanding.
“Y-You’ve got it wrong! This is necessary!” (Souma)
“Necessary? What part of this is necessary…?” (Mitsuki)
I began explaining myself in order to escape from their criticizing gaze.
“This is a diary from the creator of Nekomimi Neko, and there’s a lot of hints regarding this quest!” (Souma)
There’s countless books in the library, but they are almost all dummies.
However, there’s no point in this being a library if you can’t properly read books here.
That said, it is not like the info of one book will solve this in one go.
There were books where you can find the setting of the game and how to clear it, and books that the staff thought of themselves, but going out of your way to write down proper books for the sake of the game is impossible.
In order to inflate the number of books, they would copy+paste books that already had no copyright, and there were even trivial stories about the Nekomimi Neko staff. This is one of those.
This book is a Nekomimi Neko development diary that was written by a Nekomimi Neko programmer and is filled up to the brim with complaints about the Nekomimi Neko development.
This diary is filled with complaints from beginning to end about the game development, but the more you read, the more the writer sounds like he is being cornered, and at the last page, he wrote with extremely big letters:
“Towards a free sky!!”
As if hinting at something.
I think I can imagine what he did after, but this book was published in the game only.
Looks like he didn’t have the guts to publicize it in the net.
Regardless of what happened afterwards to him, details of the One who knows Wisdom are written here too.
The effect it had was big. It nurtured the contents of the Wiki even further, and the players that started later said that clearing the One who knows Wisdom became a lot easier.
If you read this, you can at the very least imagine what kind of wrong answers there are in this quest.
The 3 types of mistakes that you can tell from the diary are:
- There are mistakes due to the change in data, creating cases where there will be answers that have similar shaped characters.
- Cases where the problem and answer are misaligned, making the riddle of before being the correct one.
- The case where the programmer just answered blindly.
Your search efficiency increases a lot just from whether you know this or not.
Also, there’s cases where the answer is written directly like ‘misaligned answer’.
That’s why I will read this, and when the 3 are really stuck, I will advise them again with this.
…Is how I explained in detail, but Mitsuki doesn’t seem to be convinced yet.
She objected with her cat ears twitching.
“No, you don’t have to do something so roundabout. I think it would be settled if you just show Leila-san and the others this though…” (Mitsuki)
I also thought that.
But I am thinking of leaving that as the last resort.
“You heard it too, right, Mitsuki? Leila wants to face this challenge on her own.” (Souma)
“Eh? Aah, yeah. I did hear that too…” (Mitsuki)
That unfaltering immediate declaration.
Leila must really love riddles.
That’s why she won’t give up no matter how unfair the problems.
She is trying to clear this with her own knowledge and intelligence.
—That’s a resolve that even us Nekomimi Neko players can understand.
“When I heard that, I felt as if I woke up. Leila and the others are facing this quest with pure emotions.
Don’t you think it would be boorish to tell them about how to clear it from the very beginning?” (Souma)
I spoke passionately to share my emotions, but the reaction of Mitsuki wasn’t as favorable.
“No, that’s not the issue here. In the first place, Leila-san is doing this for—” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki was about to say something with her ears moving as if troubled, but she sighed and drooped her cat ears and shoulders.
“Well, fine. This might wake those girls up.” (Mitsuki)
She muttered this as if giving up about something.
Does that mean she understands me?
I observed Mitsuki half in doubt and…
“…Is that…okay?” (Ringo)
Ringo asked Mitsuki in surprise.
“Yes. They should understand at an early stage that he is this kind of person. It will be a learning experience for them.” (Mitsuki)
“…Got it.” (Ringo)
Looks like Ringo also came to an understanding, she nodded.
I suddenly noticed after seeing that state of hers.
“Hm? Isn’t your complexion bad, Ringo?” (Souma)
I have begun to worry about the condition of Ringo since the day she felt bad.
I thought it was because the library was dark, but even accounting for that, Ringo’s complexion isn’t good.
When I asked this, Ringo hurriedly moved both hands to her back.
“…I-It is nothing.” (Ringo)
It is clearly the ‘nothing’ that is something.
I tried to pursue the topic, but Mitsuki stopped me.
“If it is about Ringo-san, there’s no issue. She is doing her best in her own way for your sake.” (Mitsuki)
“For my sake?” (Souma)
I tilted my head at the unexpected words.
Ringo threw a clear voice of discontent on Mitsuki.
But it seems like that wasn’t enough. She was about to bring her hand out in protest…but hurriedly moved it back.
Unable to do anything, Ringo began slamming Mitsuki with her whole body.
That’s a rare sight.
I watched that heartwarming sight of the two, and Mitsuki parried Ringo smoothly and moved the chair by my side.
“More importantly, it would be a bother to make too much noise in the library. How about taking a seat?” (Mitsuki)
Speaking of which, we were making a lot of noise without thinking about it, and it is only now that I looked around.
There’s a decent amount of people using the library, but there’s fortunately no people paying attention to us.
Or more like, everyone is laying on the table lazily, and were not minding the surroundings.
“Everyone seemed more alive at the time we first came here, but it is this time already after all.” (Mitsuki)
The words of Mitsuki made me go ‘aah’.
And here I was thinking there was a familiar atmosphere here, but this resembles the sight of afternoon classes in Japan.
When I think about it like this, this languid atmosphere isn’t that bad.
There’s those stretching their arms on the table and using that arm as a pillow with their eyes closed; those who are placing both arms on the desk and sleeping as if hiding their face; those who have their chin resting on the table while languidly reading a book.
This is a somewhat nostalgic sight.
Of course, it is not like everyone is lazing about.
However, their numbers are few. One being a mage-looking man that seems to be writing nearby, and a priest-like girl reading a book, and…
“W-Wow! This is incredible! This is the one that’s said to have the secrets of the dark rituals written down, the Pitch Black Magic Book!
And is this the Book of the Dead that’s said to be a fake book that’s more real than the real thing?!
Aah! The legendary novel that’s said to make you even stupider because of the writing style and is being treated as a forbidden book, the Strange Reincarnation at Night Zero!
And what’s here is…”
And a weird mage-looking man wearing a mask who is reacting exaggeratedly at every bookshelf he passes by.
I acted as if I didn’t see anything and faced Mitsuki.
We made eye-contact just as I returned my gaze.
Looks like Mitsuki found the same and reached the same conclusion as me.
She directed her cat ears in a different direction from the masked mage and asked me.
“Speaking of which, in the ‘game’ days, you managed to get them all correct, right? How did you do that?” (Mitsuki)
That question of hers is natural.
It is true that answering wrong questions is a way too high hurdle even for Nekomimi Neko players.
However, they boldly faced this unreasonable quest.
The reason being…
“Aah, that’s because the Nekomimi Neko players have 3 weapons normal people don’t have.” (Souma)
“3 weapons?” (Mitsuki)
That’s right. With 3 weapons that are invisible but are more important than anything, they faced the giant monster that is the One who knows Wisdom.
Those 3 weapons are…
—A deep love for Nekomimi Neko that allows you to enjoy the game no matter what happens.
—The courage to clash onto something countless times without giving up regardless of the suffering and adversities.
—And RNG tuning.