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“An unknown ceiling…”
It is not the boarded ceiling I am used to seeing, but a stucco ceiling.
I -Jeanne Collet- raised my body and looked at my surroundings.
My memories grew clearer and clearer with the sunlight coming in from the frosted glass window.
It is a tasteless room,but the quality of the furniture is good. There’s a clean bedding despite being a parallel world, and a simple but great bed frame made from something similar to chestnut wood.
The pillow is fluffy, and it has feathers inside which is apparently rare in this world.
Meltia mainly has wood windows, but this inn has glass windows.
I see, as expected from an inn tailored for nobles. Actually, I couldn’t even reach the front until I showed my gold explorer badge, so they probably refuse to serve commoners.
Of course, the room I am staying in is the cheapest one even if it is for nobles -probably prepared for maids or butlers.
“Mor—no, it is already evening, huh…” (Jeanne)
I stayed in one of the few high class inns of Meltia and was sulky for the whole night.
I got out of bed and headed to the washroom.
This city at least has water supply, but it is not as convenient as just turning a faucet and water coming out. But this inn is different because it has Water Spirit Tools, and it is possible to achieve something similar.
It seems like I could even get a bathtub if I asked.
I wait for the water to fill up first and wash my face.
My face reflected in the small mirror there looked so healthy it even made me laugh.
What happened yesterday; my heart being shaken. It seems like Physical Strength Up and Vitality Up wasn’t affected at all by that.
Crying myself to sleep.
I do some light stretching exercises and check my condition.
There’s no issues.
My body was in a perfect state to begin with, but my heart was also surprisingly calm.
Everything recovered to normal after one night -what an RPG-like power.
I thought for a bit that this is from the grace of the Points, or something that all Chosen are provided with, but then rethink about it. There’s no way I would just drag that matter the whole time.
I rang the bell in the room and someone knocked on the door soon after.
I request the maid that came in to prepare breakfast.
When I confirmed my Status Plate, it was already close to noon.
It is already past the time for checkout, and I feel like I will have to pay for a 2 day stay, but I do have that much. There’s no problem.
“…At any rate, aren’t there way too many viewers?” (Jeanne)
This entered my eyes while I was checking the time, but I am over 300,000,000 viewers.
Is attention falling on me because I separated from Kuro?
Even if so, 300 million is an abnormal number. Is Kuro doing something? Or is something happening?
I am the one that understands the most that there’s no point in throwing a tantrum here.
Kuro is an indecisive and slow guy, but it is not like I don’t understand why he ended up like that.
If that happened to me, I would also never open the messages ever again.
And the reality is that, if you are living in this world normally, messages…no, your connections with Earth may prove an hindrance, but there’s barely any merit to it.
The only good thing would be that you can learn how the other Chosen are doing.
The Crystals and Points that you get from viewership are of course another benefit, but that goes up on its own even without interacting with messages, so it basically doesn’t matter.
Or more like, it is dangerous to act while following that. I myself had an increase in viewers, but it is not like it was something I aimed for.
I also understand how his heart was shaken by the matter of his childhood friend, Nanami.
Anyone -even I- would get troubled into wanting to save her.
I understand the reasoning…I do, and yet…
It is because of my childish selfishness of wanting to be first that things ended up in this fashion.
—No, I am an actual child.
“I have to apologize…” (Jeanne)
I ate the continental style breakfast that was brought to me while thinking about what to do from here on.
…There’s no this or that.
It doesn’t matter if Nanami coming here is a lie.
I just had to tag along with Kuro until he was satisfied. That’s all I had to do.
If the Chosen coming from the north really is Nanami, it should be okay for us to go meet her ourselves. He probably won’t accept it unless he sees them with his own eyes after all.
I left the room after breakfast.
We calculated the bill at the front but it was quite the sum.
Even so, it is a price that can be paid pretty quickly by just diving into the dungeon.
You can honestly earn a lot from exploring the dungeon, but that’s simply a result from putting your life on the line, so you could say it is a privilege from the ones who can become strong.
If you are weak, you will die before even getting past the 2nd Floor, unable to match the monsters in the 3rd Floor, and you barely earn anything in the 1st Floor.
That’s the actual state of the dungeon exploration of Meltia.
What you find most in Meltia are parties that focus mainly on the 3rd Floor, but even a stable party of 6 Silver Rank would take 1 hour to fight monsters 2 times, and the hourly wage would only be around a few dozen euros.
If in the middle of battle you get ambushed by a different monster, and if that’s a Garden Panther, 1 or 2 will definitely die, or get wiped out at worst. If you consider all that, you can tell that’s just not worth it, right?
However, death being at arm’s length is the same for us.
Even the Scylla battle of before, it wouldn’t have been strange if any of us had died depending on the situation.
It is simply that ‘we are doing well right now’, but thinking about the long run, if we go by years, it wouldn’t be strange for us to crumble at some point.
Dungeon exploration is different from games where you can just press continue if you get a game over; you only get one live.
Of course, we probably can’t be compared with the average adventurer since we have the gifts of God.
Therefore, there’s the need to earn as much when possible.
Especially when we are taking the style of going down the floors despite the danger -even though we could earn a stable income if we wanted to- so being able to stay in a high class inn might just be natural.
“Speaking of which, it seems like the Great Water Spirit-sama has come out from the church.”
Just when I finished paying everything and was about to leave, the receptionist at the front said those casual words.
She is going out of her way to tell me, so it is most likely a rare occurrence.
The reality is that I have not seen that happening once since coming to this city.
“Aren’t Great Spirits always in the church?” (Jeanne)
“There’s many who think the Great Spirit-samas can’t move from the church, but that’s actually not the case. There’s times when they would come out from the church like in festivals.”
“I see. Then, is there a festival happening right now?” (Jeanne)
“No, I don’t know the details… But I heard someone guided the Great Spirit-sama out.”
Does that mean someone brought the Great Spirit out somehow?
Is something like that possible? I heard that Great Spirits are practically Gods though…
I am a Hated One, so after I had a bad experience, I have made sure not to get close to churches. I have not seen an actual Great Spirit, but maybe they are unexpectedly reasonable beings?
I have a bad feeling.
Kuro not searching for me; the strangely high viewership; the Great Spirit being guided out by someone; the lie of Nanami being transferred; the current situation.
It feels like everything is linked for the sake of something.
That’s the kind of feeling I get…
“There’s apparently a Loved One the church wasn’t aware of, and the Great Spirit-sama came out because of it.”
The bell boy joins in on the conversation.
A bad feeling rang through my back.
“Loved One…you say? What kind of guy?” (Jeanne)
“Apparently a black haired boy wearing jet black clothes.”
I heard the dots connecting point to point, and I clicked my tongue at how stupid I am.
“Where is that Great Spirit?!” (Jeanne)
“Eh? It has come out to the main street, and there’s apparently a crowd formed if you head north from here. I think you will be able to tell really quickly.”
“North?! The direction of the house!” (Jeanne)
I am staying at the best inn of the Great Water Spirit’s domain, so I am actually not that far from the house.
It would be a lie if I said I didn’t have the faint hope of Kuro coming to search for me.
If he found me and apologized, that would have been great.
But to think something like this would happen.
“I really am…an idiot…!” (Jeanne)
I have been spoiled by him the whole time since meeting him.
I was acting all confidently like a big sister there, but that was only because my mental state is hard to shake due to the Vitality Up.
My real self is just a 17 year old from Earth.
I was simply acting like the kind of woman a gentle and dependable exotic black haired boy who is not used to women would grow attached to.
I also would try to approach him with everything I have from time to time while making sure he doesn’t notice.
That’s why, when I noticed that I am not the number one or anything like that, I ended up getting angry.
Even though I have no such right to.
I am a hopeless idiot.
The main street is full of more people than usual.
There’s a lot of pedestrians around here to begin with, but this is not the usual.
This is probably because the Great Spirit has come out from the church.
Is Kuro alright? What is Reya doing?
I forcefully push my way through the crowd of people.
The city is not that big. I managed to reach the house after running full speed.
That was there.
A conspicuously big woman.
That thing wearing a watercolor dress could be called a God, but could be seen as a monster too.
It is clear that it isn’t a human.
Anyways, I have to find him.
But I couldn’t see him anywhere.
There’s no sign of anyone that looks like a Chosen either. Was it needless worry?
The Great Spirit looks like it is simply standing there.
There’s only residents here aside from the people wearing priest outfits.
I don’t understand what the situation here is.
I heard that Great Spirits can be reasoned with, but is that true?
I am a Hated One, and I know that I can’t make a contract with Great Spirits, but I don’t really know how that thing will react.
There’s even the chance that it will suddenly attack me.
Spirit Abilities shouldn’t work on me, but I don’t know if that’s definitely the case.
We are talking about a being akin to a God after all.
I am currently barehanded. If that’s a hostile being, I have no means to face it.
I stood there and observed the state of the Spirit -while keeping in mind the possibility of suddenly being attacked.
“Ooh, it smells, it smells. Wonder why, there seems to be a failed one. What an unbearable stench.”
The Great Spirit that wasn’t moving at all and was simply staring into space suddenly turned this way and waved its hand in front of its nose as if waving the air around it away.
That gaze was clearly directed at me, and the people around me take distance from me with shocked expressions.
By failed one…does it refer to me?
“Hohohoho. I thought this one had enjoyed the finest of perfumes, and yet, to think this one would have to breathe such stench. This is the first time this one has experienced such a thing in my long existence.”
The residents around were clearly confused.
The same goes for me.
To think it would tell me upfront that I stink…
“Ooh, it smells, it smells. My nose is going to shrivel. Even my appetite is shriveling with it.”
No, wait, do I really stink that much?
I took a bath yesterday though…
“Unbearable, unbearable. This one can’t stay in this place. Hohoho.”
The Great Spirit took distance from me at incredible speed while I was dumbfounded.
The residents around me were also as shocked as me.
“A Hated One…”
I heard someone mutter this, and as if that served as a ripple, the voices of the people turned into a wave.
—“Why in a place like this?”
—“Don’t let her close to the church.”
—“Aren’t Hated Ones thinned out after the sacrament?”
—“Speaking of which, it really does stink.”
—“Yeah, I can feel it. A terrible stench…”
I know those eyes.
The eyes when seeing an outlier. The eyes of people getting rid of an outlier.
I felt as if my heart was squeezed.
If I didn’t have a buff on me in my body and mind from Vitality Up, I would have probably curled up in place.
(It would be bad to stay here.) (Jeanne)
I forcefully pushed my way through the crowd and ran in the direction of the dungeon.
There was no point in staying there anyways, and it even felt as if it would be dangerous to stay there.
I would like to praise myself for being able to make a calm decision.
(I see, a Hated One… Speaking of which, I didn’t know how they were treated in this world. No, it would be more accurate to say that it would be better to not know. It wasn’t a +30 Point Debuff for nothing…) (Jeanne)
Me being able to think about it calmly was a bit creepy.
That said, where did Kuro go?
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