Chapter 12: The Old Man heads towards the capital.

As expected of the Paradise Meat, ingredients as delicious as this was hard to come by.

If there were to be another meat that surpassed this, it would either be another unique meat, or meat of any category that exceeded the Excellent quality, the Special quality.

Special quality meats could only be dropped from monsters in the late level 40s and even then, only a small portion was dropped. Even for me, I’ve only come across it a handful number of times. This time however with Luna, it could be a reasonable goal to strive for as feeding her more delicious meat could be good for her growth.

My skin felt much tighter than usual, due to the effects of the Paradise Bird.

Currently we had already cleared out our campsite and began our exploration for the day.

  [Paradise Bird is the best! Luna wants to eat more!] (Luna)

  [Uhn uhn. This is addictive… Fufufufu, we’ll have to hunt as much as possible before returning today. We have to get some today!] (Til)

  [Kyu!] (Erik)

Luna and Til were burning with motivation.

If they are this passionate then I’m looking forward to the results of today’s hunt.

  [Luna-chan. Til. The Paradise Meat is delicious but the truth is, there are also other unique meats just like it. At our level, we may come across them if we’re lucky. Instead of hoping to come across the Paradise Meat, it might be better to focus on searching for other delicious meat instead. ] (Phil)

Luna and Til’s eyes began to shimmer at the prospect of Phil’s words.

  [Uhn! Definitely will eat more delicious food. We’ve eaten a delicious chicken meat so next time we’ll eat a delicious beef!] (Luna)

  [Not just meat, what about delicious vegetables! There should be some that exist right!] (Til)

It seems that Til’s imagination began running wild at the prospects of unknown food.

Several items came to mind at the two girls’ proclamation. For pork, there was the Pearl Pig while there was the Silk Cow for beef. These two were also famous for their unique meat. For fruits there was the Golden Mango. Each and everyone of these ingredients were considered exquisite cuisine.

  [There are many of them. For meat, vegetables and fruits. Every single one of them were highly valued on the market and only a small portion of the wealthy were capable of obtaining it. Unless you were one of them, your only option would be to find the item yourself. It might be much more interesting to travel and find them in my opinion.] (Yuuya)

  [Luna wants to do it. I’m look forward to it.] (Luna)

  [My bow will pierce any prey I see!] (Til)

After completing our errands in the Laluzulu Kingdom, we’ll be heading to a town further north called Dirupusuno(ディルプスノー) to create Luna’s new weapon. That town contains several intermediate and advanced dungeons as well as one possible unique meat drop. However the dungeons were difficult to explore and the drop rate of items there were horrendous. As a result, the unique meat’s existence itself was unknown to the public, making its taste a complete mystery.

Even in my case, I only knew about its existence by looking through the list of items in the game although I had merely glanced across its name. Its taste was still a complete mystery however its name sounded delicious. Since we’re heading towards Dirupusuno, it could be a good target to keep in mind.

  [Now let’s end this conversation here. Other adventurers might be able to access this area anytime now. Let’s hunt the monsters until then!] (Yuuya)

Everyone replied energetically.

Hunting monsters in this Bonus Stage will increase our levels quickly.

Let’s do our best.

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Afterwards, we continued to hunt Paradise Birds using Luna’s Presence Detection. Although there were various other monsters deeper into the Bonus Stage, there weren’t any monsters which could pose a serious threat to us. 

We continued to hunt monsters until day break and as a result, everyone’s level increased by one thanks to the experience gained from the Temple of the Primal Flame and defeating flocks of Paradise Birds.

Normally, it would take a month to get to the next level making our leveling speed extraordinarily quick.

And..

  [Big catch, big catch!] (Luna)

  [Fu~Fun, this must be a Paradise Bird festival!] (Til)

Thanks to Luna’s Increased Drop Rate, defeating a large number of Paradise Birds would statistically get us a higher than average amount of Paradise Meat. Furthermore, storing the meat into the magic bag prevents the meat’s condition from deteriorating, allowing us to enjoy the Paradise Meat for a long time.

  [Phil, although making soup broth with the meat is delicious, it looks like we’ll be able to experiment a lot.] (Yuuya)

  [It might be a good idea to make skewers with it and grill it over a bonfire with some salt. The idea of chewing its tender meat filled with juices sounds delicious.] (Phil)

Til stomach began to grumble as she became hungry just from listening to Phil’s recipe. Such was Til as she naturally made everyone laugh by her actions.

  [It’s about time for us to return to the town. Beyond this jungle is the magic vortex for us to return.] (Yuuya)

We also came across several treasure chests that spawned at fixed locations.

In the end, there weren’t any other adventurers who came to the Bonus Stage.

It seems that the adventurers in Grannel didn’t know the method to going past the cliff. Until now I’ve had the assumption that the number of people who knew about the gimmicks was not zero however it seems that the gimmick has been left entirely untouched. Otherwise this amazing hunting ground would have been monopolized.

The monsters in this area were weak and unable to attack from the top of the cliff.

Furthermore the item drops from the monster was expensive and provided a large amount of experience. The desire of monopolizing this area couldn’t be light as even though we were planning on leaving this city, I had the intention of leaving the day after the monsters were respawned. Although this wasn’t possible given our short time frame.

[Yuuya, I found a new monster! It’s huge, probably a rhinoceros.] (Luna)

Luna raised her voice as she warned us about our upcoming opponent, the rhinoceros-type monster. In this dungeon, this monster would be the most troublesome opponent to defeat.

I’ll have to sharpen my mind for this battle.

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Several days have passed since we arrived at Grannel as it was already time for our departure.

Although we weren’t able to gain any levels since the second day, we did manage to complete several quests, earning us a hefty sum of guild points and a heavy wallet.

Despite extending our stay in Grannel to experience the town entirely while spending luxuriously, our financial gain was still positive. 

Aside from the first day, we explorations were only light journeys into the dungeons as I decided on spending more time for Selene’s training.

In the final sprint before her ceremony, it seems that Selene had managed to overcome a wall as she had become significantly stronger.

The date for her inheritance ceremony was only three days away as I hurriedly received my Raptors from the stables and connected them to the carriage.

[Everyone please get on the carriage.] (Yuuya)

Luna and Til who were desperately cherishing their final memories of Grannel by stuffing their mouths full of onigiris, climbed onto the carriage followed by the smiling Phil and Selene who were looking tenderly over the eating duo.

[Is everyone ready?] (Yuuya)

[Uhn. Completely ready.] (Luna)

[Me too.] (Til)

[I don’t have any issues departing right away.] (Selene)

[Everything is prepared here as well. Let’s depart immediately.] (Phil)

I pulled onto Raptor’s reins as we finally departed from Grannel.

Although our stay here was short, we had accomplished many things here.

I can confidently raise my head high, knowing that I’ve done all I can before the inheritance ceremony.

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We managed to arrive at the Laluzulu Royal Capital before sundown.

Since it was the Royal Capital, the security was naturally tight as the tall outer wall even bordered around the outer city. Not only does the wall look sturdy, it was enhanced by magic as well. There were also sentries armed with bows keeping watch on top of the wall.

I got off the carriage, heading towards the gatekeeper to perform the procedure to gain entry into the city.

[Could you show me your entry permit please.] (Guard)

[Is this sufficient?] (Yuuya)

I displayed my status as a silver-grade adventurer.

[A silver-grade adventurer? I apologise. Normally we would have granted you entry however the day of our kingdom’s inheritance ceremony is nearing. In this period, you will need an official permit to enter the city.] (Guard)

The guard shook his head as he failed to grant me entry into the city. I hadn’t account for the fact that the security would be tightened as the ceremony date was approaching.

As I turned back to the carriage, I saw Selene who began to approach the gate. At the same time, a second gatekeeper appeared behind the first.

It was a man who seemed significantly older as he was out of breath just from running over.

[Wait a moment. That man, is the person that holds the title of the weakest strongest knight. One of the heroes who saved the kingdom from danger and Princess Lutra’s knight, Yuuya-sama! You have to stop him from leaving!] (Old guard)

This voice sounds familiar..

[Miruno is that you?] (Yuuya)

[Ouhh I can’t believe you actually remembered my name ] (Miruno)

[There’s no way I would forget a brother-in-arms.] (Yuuya)

Although us adventurers played a major party in saving the kingdom, the soldiers and knights of the kingdom had contributed to the battle greatly as well. And this man was one of them.

[Thank you for your kind words. Although you were a brilliant forerunner on the battlefield, your feats on the stage were considered a legend. Especially in the finals! Until this day, people including I boast about having fought by your side.] (Miruno)

Roused by the commotion, several knights at the rear began to notice us and started to gather as they started to mutter, ‘The weakest strongest knight?’, ‘ the man who taught the hero Leonard?’, ‘the man whose sword surpasses that of heroes?’.

Things along those lines were being said which was supposed to be flattery felt a lot more like harassment as I became uncomfortable with the situation.

  [… In any case, would I be able to cross the gate?] (Yuuya)

  [Of course you can! Is what I want to say but I lack the authority to do so. Could you please wait a moment while I go ahead to receive permission from my superiors.Having Yuuya-sama return to the capital brings tears to my eyes. There is no greater shame as the one who waited the most eagerly for your return, Princess Lutra isn’t here with us anymore.] (Marino)

  [What happened to Princess Lutra?] (Yuuya)

  [She entered a dungeon in another city together with her personal bodyguard. However she went missing as well as her bodyguard. A search team was sent out but to no avail.] (Marino)

As expected, Selene’s whereabouts were unknown to the capital however I was extremely curious about the aforementioned knight. It sounded like the knight was forcefully eliminated to prevent any information from leaking. For the time being, I decided to wait patiently for the decision from the guards as Selene walked to my side and pulled onto my sleeve. She spoke at a volume where only I could hear it.

  [Are you fine with that Selene?] (Yuuya)

  [Yes I am. Regardless I was planning on making contact once we entered the city. In that case, wouldn’t it be better to do it here?] (Selene)

Selene’s words were definitely correct as it would be much easier for us to do it here since it’ll make the higher up’s decision much smoother.

Selene walked to the front as some whispers could be heard. As expected of the royal capital, even without her signature hair there were many people who recognised Selene’s… I mean Princess Lutra’s face.

  [Is it possible, could you be?] 

  [She was supposed to be missing.] 

  [But the hair colour isn’t right. Princess Lutra’s hair was supposed to be the same as Renoir-sama’s.] 

Selene let out a smile befitting of a princess that she didn’t show around us. A soft and beautiful smile which radiated gentleness to everyone around her. This forcefully reminded me that Selene was truly a princess. While smiling, Selene gracefully removed her hair ornament responsible of changing her hair colour, revealing her beautiful silver hair. Even though she was a bonafide beauty with her black hair, her natural silver hair suited her much more.

  [Tell my father and my elder brother. With her personal knight, Princess Lutra has returned. With the intention of participating in the succession ceremony.] (Lutra)

Selene had completely shed her disguise, returning to her original role as Princess Lutra.

The gatekeepers’ reactions were all over the place as some of them were crying tears of joy knowing that she was safe and sound,  several had their bodies turning stiff from shock and there were those who nodded in response and began running to fulfill their princess’s orders.

The die has been cast with this as the battle for the inheritance has begun. From this point on, there will be obstacles appearing in her way as her enemies attempt to prevent her from standing on the stage.

And I’ll be there to prevent that from happening.

I am her knight after all.

<End of Chapter>

This chapter was completed during my free time in work so please do let me know if it could be improved on.

Enjoy~

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Chapter 11: The old man is requested.

My initial plan was to set up camp in the jungle next to the cliff and wait for the rain in order to climb the cliff using a gimmick.  We had no reason to return home as the hunting ground was right in front of our eyes.

A large number of Paradise Birds lived in the area beyond the cliffs and they were well known for their meat which was known to be so delicious that you’ll be sent straight to paradise. Additionally, their experience value was equally as high. Just defeating one of them provided a large amount of experience. Hence this area was dubbed the Bonus Stage in the game.

It may even be possible for us to raise our levels sometime today or tomorrow.

As a camping ground, there wasn’t a place any better than this deeper into the dungeon as there weren’t any other monsters here apart from the Paradise Bird. Furthermore, we didn’t have to worry about other adventurers in the area as we were the only people who had access to this area.

Trying to solve a mystery in the midst of a harsh squall when you could barely see anything in front of you, especially when the mystery was hidden on the cliff. It was something which could only be discovered if you had prior information about it which made this situation somewhat expected. 

…. Although this time, the gimmick was bypassed by Phil’s ridiculous archery skills. A feat that could not be replicated by any other archer. 

 

  [Meat! Meat!] (Luna)

  [Onee-chan. Hurry hurry!] (Til)

Luna and Til were making a ruckus while Phil began her cooking. Phil began unwrapping the Paradise Meat covered in bamboo skins. As she started to unwrap the meat, a delicious smell began spreading through the area. A strange smell that was uniquely delicious, as if the blood itself was sweet but there was no trace of decay in it at all.

 

  [The meat looks so beautiful! Luna wants to eat it now.] (Luna)

 

The colour of the meat was a beautiful ruby red, the skin was extremely glossy while the fat was thick and appetizing.

 

  [Please wait for a moment. I’ll begin cooking right away. I’ll prepare it the way Yuuya taught me to.. However I don’t have much confidence if it’ll be that good, making a broth without any stock.] (Phil)

 

Phil placed the Paradise Meat into a pan, lightly frying it as she began boiling a pot of water. Then, she placed several wild herbs into the pot before cutting the meat into bite-sized chunks and throwing them into the pot. Normally, Phil would prepare her broth by using several dried mushrooms. However, since we were using the Paradise Meat this time, she had skipped over this step. 

It was said that the delicious soup made from the Paradise Meat would be ruined if other ingredients were added in excessively. Phil continued to watch the fire while carefully removing the skum from the top of the liquid.

 

  [Yuuya, Yuuya. The delicious smell is getting stronger!] (Luna)

  [I know right. I can’t wait to eat it.] (Til)

 

Luna and Til continued to stare into the pot as they noticed the fragrance of the soup. Luna’s fox tail was rapidly wagging back and forth while the tip of Til’s elven ears began to turn red. Just the fragrance of the soup alone were making these two children go crazy. 

After deeming the meat to be cooked, Phil placed a piece of meat into her mouth as a test. The scene of Phil’s entire body stiffening as she touched her lips with the tip of her finger felt strangely erotic.

A moment after, Phil’s consciousness returned as she proceeded to test the taste of the soup.

Luna and Til became even more curious about the taste but Phil merely smiled playfully in response. The only thing I could decipher was that it tasted extremely delicious. Furthermore, the fact that the food-loving Phil had only added salt after her taste-test was a testament that the soup tasted perfectly fine.

Our expectations for the soup had risen to its peak.

 

  [It’s ready now. Please take out the kitchenware.] (Phil)

 

It was finally time for dinner. We can finally taste the Paradise Meat.

 

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Dinner finally began as a large bowl filled with vegetables and Paradise Meat and another pot of soup was placed on the table.

 

  [My stomach has been starving!] (Luna)

  [Uhn uhn, my stomach is running empty now too. I wonder if we’ll actually go to paradise?] (Til)

  [Let’s start our meal before it turns cold.] (Selene)

  [Please do so while it’s hot. You’ll be surprised once you taste it.] (Phil)

 

The girls began chatting as I decided to start the meal with the soup.

The soup made from the meat of the Paradise Bird and wild herbs produced a rich taste as the flavor of the meat and melted fat in the soup spread throughout my mouth.

Not only was it delicious, but it was an amazing tonic for the human body as well. As I was resisting the temptation to drink the soup in one go, a piece of meat accidentally entered my mouth. I felt the tenderness of the meat as more of the meat’s juices flowed out with each bite, spreading the taste of the skin and fat throughout my entire mouth.

I couldn’t help but agree with the ingredient’s ridiculously high price as this was a taste that the wealthy would travel just to have a glimpse of.

 

  [Delicious! Luna thought that beef and pork were more delicious than chicken but, this chicken is special!] (Luna)

  [I know right. Meat was delicious too but its my first time drinking such a delicious soup! I wanna drink more!] (Til)

 

Luna and Til were stuck together as they emptied their bowls and presenting it to Phil.

 

  [Seconds! More soup please!] (Luna & Til)

 

They were perfectly in sync as they asked for seconds. Their large appetites wasn’t anything new as they were two growing children.

 

  [I’m fine with seconds, however remember that there won’t be enough soup for later if we drink it all now. We won’t be able to try the delicious porridge that Yuuya told us about.] (Phil)

  [Uuwuu, lesser soup then.] (Luna)

  [Even though I would like more soup, I’ll endure it for more delicious food!] (Til)

 

Phil let out a wry smile as she took out a large serving of vegetables and meat.

However, the food didn’t last long as Til and Luna began gobbling down the food once more.

Would they even be able to eat the porridge after this?

As I turned to the other side of the table, Selene was done with her first serving without asking for a second serving as the matter about the porridge was brought up.

I wonder if it was okay to mention about the porridge.

 

  [This soup is superb. Although the Paradise Meat was served to the royal family several times..  This tastes much more delicious.] (Selene)

  [Of course, compared to a suffocating meal in the palace, it’s much more enjoyable to eat with your friends. Plus I’m sure the cooks were stressed preparing meals for the royal family making it difficult to serve a dish as plain as this. For this dish especially, it’ll taste much better without any excess preparations.] (Yuuya)

  [It’s just as Yuuya said. As a chef this dish induces anxiety into me as it feels unsettling to serve a dish with so little preparation. Even now I have the feeling that I should have done more for the dish.] (Phil)

 

Regardless, even the stock for a normal soup base is excessive when dealing with this dish.

Thanks to the two gluttons, our soup became devoid of meat and vegetables as it was finally time for the main dish. Phil began pouring the rice into the pot of soup as the rice began to swell with the boiling soup. As the soup continued to boil, it gradually grew thicker as its delicious smell became even stronger.

The sound of someone swallowing their saliva could be heard as we were finally able to have a porridge made with a stock made of Paradise Meat.

Without anyone saying anything, Phil began preparing several bowls of porridge and handed them out as everyone began their second round of food. 

No one said a single word as everyone was relentlessly gobbling up their food and in no time at all, everyone’s bowls became empty.

 

  [Fuu, so this is the porridge made with Paradise Meat.. It’s even better than I expected.] (Yuuya)

 

Just this one dish was filled with all sorts of flavors.

Even if it was just a normal soup, it was still a perfect match for the freshly harvested rice from Grannel that I couldn’t get away from.

 

  [It was delicious! Luna is going to paradise!] (Luna)

  [Me too! Heading to paradise isn’t just a saying. It’s so delicious that it feels so good as if I’m in heaven.] (Til)

  [This makes me wonder just what kind of cook prepared the soup I’ve eaten till now.] (Selene)

  [It’s a shame that we don’t have seconds. However we do have some meat leftovers so we’ll be able to enjoy a good meal tomorrow.] (Phil)

 

We’ll be able to indulge ourselves tomorrow too. 

However, there are still other dishes planned for tomorrow as this soup was capable of drawing out the hidden flavors of the Paradise Meat. The true charm of this soup has yet to be seen.

After eating such delicious porridge, the atmosphere felt lighter as everyone became excited.

Furthermore, even though Phil said that we had meat leftovers for tomorrow, she proceeded to present a lean cut of meat from the Paradise Bird that she secretly prepared. It was presented as a steak cooked rare with a special sauce which caused me to crave for sake.

It was going to be an enjoyable supper although people avoided late night food while camping out.

This was the luxury of a safe zone in the dungeon.

 

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Since a squall was going to arrive, we proceeded to enjoy the supper in our tent.

With the Paradise Meat which could be eaten raw, when cooked rare with a delicious sauce it’s delicious meat presented a taste that could only be tasted with a high quality of meat.

Currently, the two girls were asleep as they both had a weak alcohol tolerance.

They each had extremely blissful sleeping faces while Phil began preparing another tent for Luna and the girls tonight, leaving me alone with Selene.

 

  [Selene, there’s something I want to ask. Is your elder brother strong?] (Yuuya)

 

If possible I would like to know about my enemy before the actual battle.

 

  [He’s very strong. He too received training with the stone from a young age and his level might even be higher than mine currently. Furthermore he had a good battle sense with smart intellect. He was someone I had idolized in the past.] (Selene)

It was surprising to hear that Selene had idolized her brother in the past. According to her, if her brother was to gain control over the Laluzulu Kingdom, the people would definitely suffer and thus she planned to challenge him for the right to the throne in order to pass it to her sister.

 

  [If he was someone you had idolised in the past, then wouldn’t it be fine to leave the kingdom to him? That way you’ll be able to leave your kingdom in good hands while remaining in our party, for most likely the rest of your life? The Selene I’m seeing now looks much better than Princess Lutra from before.] (Yuuya)

  [Fuu, that sounds plausible. I would definitely be happy if I could do that. However, my brother who was kind-hearted to everyone including me, has changed. Several years ago, rumors about his self-centered shenanigans had spread throughout the kingdom, replacing his initially pleasant reputation. Then, he began keeping his distance from me. My brother who was filled with greed and an obsession for power, began to respite me, who was born as the splitting image of Renoir-sama with her signature silver hair.] (Selene)

 

Selene looked into the distance with melancholic eyes as she began talking about her brother.

 

  [For better or for worse, people change. I’m sure you’re still harboring hope that he’ll return to his old self. If that’s the case, then I’m sure he will return one day. However, there’s something strange. Is his level really higher than your current level? Furthermore isn’t the training he received the same training you did?] (Yuuya)

 

Ever since Selene joined our party, we began raising our levels several times faster than an ordinary adventurer which was why it’s surprising that her level was still inferior to his.

 

  [Me and my brother are the same and yet we’re different. My mother was a concubine. After my brother left me, my brother could access the royal family’s dungeon and proceeded to receive training from the royal knights. On the other hand, I could only rely on my mother’s side for training and the only dungeons I had access to were the public dungeons.] (Selene)

 

I hadn’t realise that Selene had such a complicated family situation. This explained why we found her hunting inside Greenwood. Just as she mentioned, it was known that the royal family had an exclusive dungeon which could let you hunt to your heart’s content without dealing with other adventurers. In terms of experience, it was an excellent dungeon as well. Furthermore, he was taught by the royal knights who belonged to a family specialized in their sword skills, who carefully refined their sword over several generations.

 

  [He definitely sounds formidable. The other party has so many advantages over our side. However, there’s something else I want to ask, is this instructor, the royal knight better than me?] (Yuuya)

  [Fufu that’s not true at all. Yuuya-ojisama is the number one instructor in the world.] (Selene)

 

Selene let out a small laugh in response, displaying her beauty and her charm as a woman. Luna and Til were both cute girls however, in her case she was the definition of beauty.

 

  [I pray for Selene’s victory. Selene will win the succession ceremony, and I’ll win the knight’s tournament and become the strongest knight. That is the reason why we’re heading towards the Laluzulu Kingdom.] (Yuuya)

 

That was what I decided. And I will do everything in my power to make that happen.

 

  [… Ever since I decided to fight my brother, I’ve never been able to sleep. Regardless of how exhausted I was, just thinking about the future makes me anxious. But the moment I met Yuuya-ojisama again, I’ve started to sleep again. My anxiety seemed to just melt away.] (Selene)

  [That is the confidence having a good teacher can give you.] (Yuuya)

  [It isn’t just from a teacher. It isn’t just that. It’s because it’s Yuuya-ojisama that I can rest easy.  Yuuya-ojisama. If I were to say my true feelings after everything is over, would you answer me?] (Selene)

 

Selene closed the distance between us as a sweet smell wafted past my nose, however it was also a smell of reason.

 

  [I..] (Yuuya)

 

At that moment, the sound of footsteps began to approach as Phil was done setting up the tent for Luna and Til.

 

  [Half of it was a joke. Half of it was serious, and the other half… was serious too. However, I don’t have the intention of troubling Yuuya-ojisama. It’s about time for me to head to the other tent.] (Selene)

 

Selene and Phil grabbed Luna and Til respectively and carried the two of them to the other tent.

… Sigh this is bad for my heart. That small princess Lutra has become a fully grown woman.

I felt like I was becoming old as I emptied another cup of sake.

It’s about time for us to head to bed. I should focus on everything I can do right now and focus on raising our levels by hunting tomorrow.

That is all that is on my mind now.

<End of Chapter>

I apologise for the sloppy previous edit. I’ve re-edited the chapter and hopefully its readable this time.

Chapter 10 : The old man climbs a cliff.

We entered the hot and humid jungle in Grannel where squalls and heavy downpour occurred excessively.

Just as expected, a squall occurred just as we entered the dungeon. Thanks to the horrible weather, our visibility was effectively zero making it impossible to advance deeper into the jungle. Instead we looked for the largest nearby tree, hiding under its reach to seek shelter from the rain.

Despite this, Luna and Til were still in high spirits.

 

[Yuuya, Yuuya. Look at my cute raincoat!] (Luna)

[The rain is unexpectedly fun.] (Til)

 

The two of them enjoyed putting on their newly bought raincoats. Phil and Selene on the other hand, didn’t enjoy the rain in the slightest.

Their reactions were much more reasonable as heavy rains were disastrous for adventurers.

Firstly, at this level of downpour our vision is effectively cut off and rendered ineffective.

Second, the sound of the rain drowns out any nearby noises and even washes away any smell lingering in the area.

With our eyes, nose and ears being ineffective against our enemies, we may as well be defenseless.

 

[Luna, no matter the circumstances do not turn off your Presence Detection. This rain is extremely dangerous.] (Yuuya)

[Uhn? But I can’t sense anything at all. Wouldn’t the monsters be the same?] (Luna)

[What you just said is the most dangerous thing yet. Think about it from another perspective. In this situation where our eyes, nose and ears aren’t reliable, our actions are affected and limited. For monsters who live in this environment, they are likely unaffected by the rain. How much of a threat are they to us?] (Yuuya)

[That sounds dangerous.] (Luna)

[Yuuya-niisan, isn’t that dirty. In this rain even though I don’t have the confidence to shoot my bow. Even my lightning spells can’t be used. If I was as good as my sister then maybe I would be able to do something.] (Til)

[That’s not true. If it was just a drizzle then it should be alright but with rains this heavy, I think the maximum distance I can shoot is only thirty metres.] (Phil)

 

Although a distance of thirty metres is the distance a normal archer could guarantee to land in perfect condition in the perfect environment. Til and Phil were abnormal in retrospect as they could easily land arrows a hundred or two metres away

 

[Yuuya-ojisama, how would the monsters be able to see us in this weather?] (Selene)

[It’s simple. Using Presence Detection. There are also monsters capable of using it from time to time.] (Yuuya)

 

Monsters capable of using the same skills as us also exists. Albeit rare there are still monsters capable of using Presence Detection. Among those monsters, the most famous is the Silver Slime. It was a monster which gives an insane amount of experience once defeated, as if you had just defeated the boss of the dungeon.

Essentially everybody wanted to defeat this monster, however with Presence Detection it escapes from its predators with incredible speed whenever it senses danger. Furthermore, it’s much more difficult to defeat the monster let alone keep up with its speed while its escaping. The only known way to defeat the Silver Slime was to corner the monster by cutting off its escape route, chasing it into a dead end and attacking as hard as possible using your strongest skill with a critical hit. Without a party capable of using Presence Detection and Assassinate together, it’s pretty much impossible to defeat the monster.

 

  [I understand! Luna will do her best using Presence Detection.] (Luna)

 

Although Presence Detection didn’t drain its user’s mana to activate, it does place a huge mental strain onto the user making it difficult to maintain for a prolonged duration. However in this rain we can only rely on Luna’s Presence Detection

We’ll have to do our best.

 

.

.

.

 

I began to feel drowsy as I continued to listen to the sound of the rain.

The water on the ground wasn’t being drained quick enough as the mud pools on the ground had piled up, merging into a gigantic shallow mud lake. Due to this, we had no choice but to switch to our waterproof boots. It was a lot heavier than our usual footwear and slowed down our mobility significantly.

 

  [Yuuya, there’s a monster approaching us from the back.] (Luna)

  [What kind of monster?] (Yuuya)

  [Probably… a cat?] (Luna)
  [The monster I was hoping wouldn’t appear is here. It isn’t a cat. It’s a Squall Panther.] (Yuuya)

 

It was a monster who utilized it’s Presence Detection and the frequent squalls to sneak up on its prey. It sneaks up within the storm, targeting its unsuspecting prey neck with its razor sharp fangs. It was an intelligent monster which hid in the shadows during the clear weather and became active once it begins to rain.

 

  [Everyone, do not turn back. It’s a cowardly monster. Once it realizes that we’ve noticed its presence it’ll definitely escape. It may be a difficult monster to deal with but we’ll definitely defeat it. It also drops desirable items for us.] (Yuuya)

 

Since it was a monster that only appears during the rain, adventurers would not encounter this monster often and even if they did, it was a monster that only appeared whenever it was confident of its kill.

 

  [Yuuya, it is only 10 metres away from us. It’s slowly approaching us with silent steps.] (Luna)

  [You’re lying. I can’t sense its presence at all. And I’m pretty sensitive to the presence of others.] (Til)

  [We’re in this rain after all so it can’t be helped.] (Phil)

 

Although we were currently within a rainstorm, it was still impressive that the monster couldn’t be detected by Til and Phil who were elves with sensitive senses. That was its natural ability it possessed being born as a panther.

 

  [Another 5 metres.] (Luna)

  [Who is it targetting?] (Yuuya)

  [Phil. It feels like its looking towards Phil’s neck.] (Luna)

  [Understood. In that case, we’ll continue to move forward to hide our intentions. Selene stay next to Phil and the moment it pounces, you’ll intercept it using your spikes.] (Yuuya)

  [I understand.] (Phil)

  [I’ll make my preparations.] (Selene)

 

Selene seemed to be nervous as she began clutching her shield. Since we were unable to turn around, we had to focus our nerves behind us. It was likely too close for Luna to give us any signal since our voices could reach its ears. The moment it was within two metres, I finally caught a glimpse of the Squall Panther. However, what I noticed wasn’t it’s figure but it’s murderous intent as I was particularly sensitive to it.

Taking advantage of its body structure, it leaped into the air, masking its actions using the strong winds. Selene who was next to Phil turned to the side as she held Renoir’s shield into the air.

 

  [Shield Bash!] (Selene)

 

Using the strength of her entire body, she stuck out Renoir’s Shield, releasing a spike into the Squall Panther who was about to bite into Phil’s neck, blowing it into the large tree we used to seek shelter.

The Squall Panther’s body began conversing as it laid on the ground, turning into blue particles several seconds later and leaving behind its pink skin.

 

  [Fuu. Somehow I actually defeated it. I was worried that Phil-san would get injured to my incompetence.] (Selene)

  [I knew that I would be safe since we’re talking about Selene after all.] (Phil)

 

Though it may sound like it, Phil wasn’t speaking words of flattery as she was a veteran explorer with a reliable sense of evaluation. She wasn’t naive enough to leave her life into the hands of someone she couldn’t trust.

 

  [Yuuya, that was a vicious monster.] (Luna)

  [Uhn. It look extremely disgusting too.] (Til)

  [That was the result of evolving into a predator specialized in assassination.] (Yuuya)

 

The Squall Panther was covered in pink skin with a rubbery texture. Since it didn’t have any hair it wasn’t bothered by the rain and could move around easily in the rain and mud. Furthermore it didn’t have any eyes, nose and ears with a huge mouth. Since it evolved to rely on Presence Detection, its other organs weren’t necessary and had deteriorated severely.

 

  [We’ve gotten a good souvenir though.] (Yuuya)

  [What are we going to do with that rubbery skin?] (Til)

  [If we use this to craft an armor, the end result is a piece of equipment highly resistant against the lightning element. Eventually among the three dragons, we’ll need specialized equipment against them. Against the Wind Dragon, we’ll need to have lightning and wind resistant equipment before we challenge it. Without it, it wouldn’t even be a battle.] (Yuuya)

 

The Coronoa Dragon which took us a difficult battle for us to defeat was actually the weakest among the three dragons. However it was still possible to defeat it without any flame resistant equipment. Unlike the Coronoa Dragon, the other two dragons were impossible to defeat without it.

 

  [Yuuya-ojisama. I don’t really want to imagine myself wearing equipment made of that pink skin.] (Selene)

  [Just as Selene probably imagined, the equipment will turn out as a rubber suit which sticks to your skin. Its colour will  likely remain pink just like its ingredients. Well it’s look aside, its performance is excellent too.] (Yuuya)

 

Even during the game era, the equipment was also avoided due to its appearance however it was still worn despite that due to its good performance.

 

  [It doesn’t just nullify the Wind (Lightning) attribute, but it is also light with high defensive properties. It has a high level of resistance against blunt attacks while providing some protection against sharp attacks.  Very few equipment in existence were blessed with such properties .] (Yuuya)

  [I see I see. But I’ll have to refrain from that. It isn’t just embarrassing but doesn’t that equipment classify as a piece of clothing? In that case, I think it’ll be better for someone who wears light equipment rather than armor to have it instead.] (Selene)

 

That was a rather blunt excuse but a sensible one as well.

I turned towards Phil.

 

  [Ehh? Is it going to be me? For me.. Well. I have my highest ranked equipment that I kept from our previous adventures. My equipment is pretty amazing you know. I could live peacefully for the rest of my life if I sold this on the market.] (Phil)

 

What Phil said was true too.

Her equipment could be said to be the best set possible for a bow-user. In fact, the pink rubber suit was probably inferior by several levels compared to her equipment. The only person left..

 

  [Uhm.. Yuuya-niisan, are you going to make me wear that!? I’ll look like a pervert!] (Til)

 

Til began shaking her head forcefully however unlike Selene and Phil, she had no reasonable excuse to avoid it. Since its already at this stage, should I just make her wear it?

 

  [Uhn. Luna wants to try it! It looks interesting! Luna wants to try putting it on.] (Luna)

 

Luna began wagging her fox tail with shining eyes as if it was a lie that she felt uncomfortable looking at the Squall Panther. Actually, it would also be better for our party’s balance to have the front-guard wearing the Wind (Lightning) resistant equipment.

 

  [I understand. In that case, the clothes made from this will be given to Luna.] (Yuuya)

  [Hurray! Luna looks forward to it!] (Luna)

 

I’m looking forward to seeing Luna in a tight rubber suit, however what is this guiltiness rising up from my chest?

Just as we resolved the matter about the rubber suit, the rain began slowing down. 

It’s about time for us to continue moving forward.

.

.

.

 

As the weather cleared up, we decided to continue travelling deeper into the jungle.

After walking for a little while, Luna found another Paradise Bird as Til shot it down with an arrow, displaying her amazing learning ability.

Although the strength of the wind was different when compared to the previous squall, she had adapted well to the environment. This time however, we managed to obtain a lump of Paradise Meat as the two girls performed their usual mysterious dance.

The moment we reminded them that we needed to find a total of three Paradise Meats for the quest, they froze halfway through their performance with an extremely hateful look. The scene had made for an extremely interesting sight.

We continued forward until we reached a dead end, arriving at a cliff wall with a height of over 100 metres. Just then, Luna’s fox ears began twitching.

 

  [The top of the cliff. Presence Detection is telling me that there are four Paradise Birds up ahead. Since there are four right up ahead, it feels like there will be many more up ahead.] (Luna)

  [*Slurps* If that’s the case. Then we have no other choice! Since the sky’s getting darker, we’ll barely be able to complete the quest otherwise!] (Til)

 

Til was right. If we wanted to get enough meat to try it out for ourselves, we’ll have no choice but to overcome this cliff.

 

  [The two of you. Please calm down. It’s fine for you to try your best but it’ll be a huge mistake for you to climb the cliff. Please take a look.] (Yuuya)

 

I placed my hand on the cliff and wiped the surface of the soil, revealing a steel wall. It was impossible to get a firm grip onto the soil and neither is it possible to stick a knife into a steel wall. Just as one would suspect, it was impossible to scale a steel cliff.

 

  [Luna doesn’t want to give up. Just beyond this cliff is tonight’s dinner!] (Luna)

  [I want to try the Paradise Meat and go to paradise~~. Even though the delicious meat is in our grasp, I don’t wanna eat more preserved foods!.] (Til)

 

The two girls continued to stand on the cliff with despair as if it was the end of the world.

It should be fine though as I’ll be able to teach them how we could overcome the steel cliff without much trouble. Truth is, this cliff could easily be overcome by using a gimmick utilizing the stormy weather. However, just as I was about to act, Phil nocked an arrow with a hook at the arrow head and at the bottom, a magic rope was tied to the arrow.

 

  [It’s height is about 123.43 metres. My rope should be enough and so is my range. Although I’m unsure about my strength.] (Phil)

 

Phil fired three arrows into the air. Since all three arrows had hooks and were connected to the same rope, the arrows flew in a parabola over the cliff as Phil pulled down onto the rope causing it to stay taut.

 

  [With this, we’ll be able to climb up with ease. Now then, let’s go ahead and collect our dinner.] (Phil)

  [Phil is amazing! I love you!] (Luna)

  [As expected of onee-chan! I’m getting goosebumps!] (Til)

  [That is an amazing display of skill. It is incredibly difficult to fire and place the three hooks in place accurately while pulling down the rope at the precise timing.] (Selene)

 

Even before I got to explain the gimmick of the steel wall, Phil surpassed everyone’s expectations with her ridiculous archery skills.

 

  [Since it’ll be dangerous for all of us to climb simultaneously, I’ll go on ahead. Once I arrive at the top I’ll reinforce the hooks to make it more stable. Looking at the weather, it shouldn’t rain for awhile longer. This is our chance.] (Phil)

 

Phil began climbing the rope and within the minute, she had already arrived at the top of the cliff. After arriving at the top, she continued to secure the rope as Luna and Til also displayed their excellent physical capabilities as they climbed to the top of the cliff within several minutes. Although Selene was following behind them, she wasn’t as fast and had the riskiest movements out of all of them.

 

  [Yuuya could you please hurry up. Luna-chan and Til have already gone up ahead to hunt the Paradise Birds. They were afraid that the birds would escape if we took too long.] (Phil)

  [Ahh. Is that so.] (Yuuya)

 

Although we still managed to scale the cliff, what is this sense of reluctance I’m feeling? It feels strange. Even though the gimmick I knew made use of the rain, I had expected to wait awhile for the rain to arrive however even without waiting for the rain, Phil managed to overcome the cliff immediately. What is this sense of regret that is welling up within me although we’re able to begin our hunt much earlier?

 

  [Once the squall arrives, blowing away all the mud and soil on the cliff. There will be a hint that appears which will reveal a hidden door. Once you discover and solve the hint, it’ll be much easier for you to climb the cliff.] (Yuuya)

 

Even though there was no one around to hear it, I explained how the gimmick functioned. It’s a good thing though as there wouldn’t be the need to go to the trouble of solving the hint in the midst of the bad weather. This method was much easier too.

 

  [After overcoming this cliff, the area will be filled with Paradise Birds. Although it was fairly difficult to get the Paradise Meat to drop, the birds themselves gave large amounts of experience that didn’t fit with their levels, allowing us to earn a large amount of experience points. After clearing the difficult entrance, we’ll be able to access a bonus stage with tons of experience and items that we can hunt.] (Yuuya)

 

However, there wasn’t a need for me to explain this as the two girls already had their hands full trying to hunt as hard as they can. After climbing the cliff, Luna and Til turned around and ran towards me.

 

  [Yuuya, tons of meat! There’s already four that dropped!] (Luna)

  [If we manage to hunt all of them then we’ll be able to eat as much as we want!] (Til)

With sparkling eyes and a face full of smiles, the thought of explaining the gimmick didn’t matter to me anymore.

 

  [Yes, let’s eat plenty together tonight. Since the best place for the meat to belong to is the frying pan. It’ll make an amazing broth. This will be a great time for us to cook the freshly harvested rice we purchased at Grannel.] (Yuuya)

 

  [Hot pot! Porridge!] (Luna)

  [Uwa! Sounds amazing!] (Til)

 

Thus began the second mysterious dance. However this time, they wouldn’t be interrupted as they would be able to eat as much Paradise Meat as their hearts desired.

 

  [Yuuya, will we be camping out here tonight?] (Phil)

  [That’s right. It’s already the evening and we’re too far away to head towards the magic vortex to return. Since we’re already in a good hunting ground, trying to return to the inn is wasteful. Let’s just stay here tonight. Let’s hurry up and set up our tent since it’ll be dark soon.] (Yuuya)

  [I understand. Then I’ll properly pick up the wild herbs in the area and make a delicious pot of soup for everyone.] (Phil)

 

I let out a smile as I wanted to try out the Paradise Meat too albeit not at the same level as Til and Luna. I’m starting to look forward to our dinner now.

<End of Chapter>

Hey guys, I’ve managed to rush through this chapter to make up the chapter for last week. It’s late here so there may be errors so please do let me know if there are any blatant errors and I’ll rectify them in the morning.

Edit: Forgot to mention this, but the item drop for the paradise bird is called Paradise Bird’s Meat but I just shortened it to Paradise Bird.

Chapter 9: The old  man goes into the jungle

Having bought our dolls, we returned to our inn.

As expected of the inn recommended by the guild, their service was solid. 

Since this inn was going to serve as our main base of operations, it’s a great location for us to raise our levels before the succession ceremony and with the quality of the inn, we’ll be able to rest comfortably for the rest of our stay.

After organizing our luggage, I turned towards the dolls in my possession.

In the game, this was a useful item for surviving unfortunate situations. I had bought this with hopes that its ability was still in effect. However at the same time, it is also highly unlikely that this is the case.

The doll’s actual ability was to prevent any events that were deemed as *unfavourable* aka misfortune flags, breaking itself in the progress. The effects of such events included an old trauma of mine, a reduction in the victim’s status due to “old injuries”, randomly destroying an item in your possession due to “wear and tear” or reducing the amount of currency you had by half due to “counterfeit currencies”.

I often felt miserable playing this game in the past. Previously while I was deep inside the dungeon, out of all the items in my possession the one item that was broken was my magic bag. I ended up leaving most of them in the dungeon when I escaped above ground. Just that plight alone dealt enough damage to me to cause a trauma.

Since the game was now reality, the concept of having a bad flag being raised with an event didn’t exist. If it was a game, the game would merely send a system message stating that the event has occurred. In reality however, a process was required.

Using our party as an example, my old scar of lowering the status could easily be prevented by performing proper body maintenance. Having damage inflicted onto our belongings could also be prevented through proper equipment checks while you could only lose money through actual cases of fraud.

If anything, I’m looking forward to whatever ability that will replace the effect of negating a misfortune flag.

There were also a small fraction of higher monsters capable of bestowing curses onto players. Even players were capable of inflicting cursess onto other players. It isn’t an ability registered as a skill, but rather a bloodline trait. These families also offered their abilities as a service, inflicting curses given the right amount.  

Just as there are ways to inflict curses, there are also items capable of preventing curses.

Thus, even if they weren’t easy to come by they were important items to have on hand. Especially for someone as prominent as Selene.

Inflicting harm without getting your hands dirty is a dream ability for people in the political world which made the necessary countermeasures necessary.

 

  [Yuuya is so cute. Luna will be hugging Yuuya to sleep tonight.] (Luna)

 

Startled by the voice behind me, I turned around to see Luna lying in bed while embracing my doll tightly. I was relieved as the one Luna will be hugging to bed tonight isn’t me but my doll.

Sleeping right next to Luna was Til.

  

  [Luna, you must really like that doll. You’ve been playing with the doll the entire time.] (Til)

  [Uhn. It’s my favourite. Wasn’t Til also been grinning while caressing the doll earlier.] (Luna)

  [It’s not like I was thinking of anything weird. Don’t go around saying weird things in front of Yuuya-niisan.] (Til)

  [Why are you getting embarrassed? Luna wasn’t saying anything weird.] (Luna)

 

Unlike me, Luna and Til seemed to genuinely like the dolls as I began to blush watching them pamper my doll-look alike. I understood how they felt though since I thought that their dolls were cute too but since it’ll paint an unsightly picture I decided not to play around with the dolls in self-restraint.

 

  [Kyu kyu!] (Erik)

 

Erik flew towards the two children with a loud cry as it began kicking the doll in Luna’s embrace.

 

  [Erik, bad boy!] (Luna)

  [kyu..] (Erik)

 

Erik looked despondent as Luna raised her voice towards Erik with genuine anger.

The unexpected sight of Erik making Luna genuinely angry was amusing as I let out a laugh. 

 

  [You got pretty angry at that. Erik must have been jealous.] (Yuuya)

  [Jealous?] (Luna)

  [You and Til have been all over your dolls that he must have felt threatened by them.] (Yuuya)

 

Thinking back to awhile ago back when Til just joined the group, Luna had felt a similar sense of jealous thinking that I was going to be taken away, resulting in her treating Til with more hostility than necessary. Erik was going through something similar to Luna in that time.

 

  [I understand. Erik, you kicked Luna’s precious item and you are a bad boy. But Luna understands so Luna isn’t angry anymore.] (Luna)

  [Kyu!] (Erik)

 

Luna hugged Erik as she began stroking his head causing Erik to let out a cry. The scene of the young girl playing with a faerie dragon was a therapeutic experience as I thought to myself, ‘I want it to stay like this’. However I couldn’t say that out loud as I had to prepare for tomorrow.

 

  [Now then, let’s begin discussing about our exploration tomorrow. It’ll be our first time entering this city’s dungeon. The environment of the dungeons here are different from Flaregard’s. There are several key pointers to remember.] (Yuuya)

 

Everyone began to gather as I started my briefing. The dungeons in Grannel were intermediate dungeons. Compared to the Temple of the Primal Flame, the dungeons here were easier however underestimating the dungeon was dangerous. Hence the reason they are called dungeons.

Thinking about our levels alone, there shouldn’t be a reason for us to be wary of intermediate dungeons. Hence this time, I’ll be minimizing my advice to observe the girls’ abilities to respond to unexpected situations. The main objective is to gain experience mapping out uncharted territory without any information about Grannel’s dungeons.

 

Note: I am interpreting curses and misfortune flags as two separate things as they have different kanji in the raws although their abilities might be similar. Their effects might also be preventable by the same items at least based on my understanding. 

 

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.

.

 

The next morning, we arrived at the dungeon entrance.

Since it was right after the dungeon’s reset, there were a lot of adventurers entering the dungeon. The glint in everyone’s eyes changed as they entered the dungeon.

At this rate, we’ll be left behind.

 

  [Yuuya, it’s green everywhere!] (Luna)

  [This isn’t what I expected. The wind feels stuffy and the ground feels muddy. I don’t like this place.] (Til)

  [It’s much more of a jungle than a forest.] (Phil)

  [I’m looking forward to the monsters that will appear in this dungeon.] (Selene)

 

Everyone began saying their first impression and as Phil stated, Grannel’s dungeons weren’t forests but a jungle instead. The greenery surrounding the town looks similar to Greenwood, however the rainforests here were filled with countless vines and undergrowth. The atmosphere here became even hotter as if it was agreeing with Til’s sentiments.

 

  [Everyone, have you properly prepared your equipment?] (Yuuya)

  [Perfectly!] (Luna)

  [I saw several good items in the market.] (Til)

  

Luna and Til took out a raincoat from their magic bag.

 

  [The unique trait of this dungeon was it’s weather. Squalls often occur here causing the weather to change extremely quickly, making it difficult to deal with without rain gear. At the same time, underestimating the rain isn’t an option either. Being drenched in the rain saps away your body heat reducing your physical strength as well as causes your footing to become unstable from the mud. Furthermore long ranged attacks had reduced accuracy and power. We won’t be able to challenge the dungeon at our usual speed and risk exhausting ourselves quickly. It’ll be easy if this was any other dungeon, however be sure to listen to your body this time around. If it’s getting difficult, we’ll fall out immediately.] (Yuuya)

 

Normally, the weather in the dungeon doesn’t experience changes. However this point onwards, we’ll start to experience dungeons with unique weather. Furthermore those dungeons often have gimmicks which takes advantage of this.

In this dungeon, there is also a hidden floor containing treasures which can only be entered by understanding the change in weather. Since this was a secret that could be understood by other adventurers, I have to be on the lookout for other adventurers.

 

  [Understood. But Yuuya, Erik doesn’t have a coat… Erik, if it rains be sure to enter Luna’s raincoat!] (Luna)

  [Kyu!] (Erik)

 

This should be enough preparation before our departure.

Let’s begin our departure.

 

  [Yuuya-ojisan. The quest I accepted in the guild was to gather meat from Paradise Birds.] (Selene)

  [Ah. The Paradise Birds appear in this dungeon…. Normally the meat dropped by monsters are roughly categorized as Beef and Pork. However there are rare cases where the meat has a unique name. For those cases, the meat itself is a delicacy. One of those meat belongs to the Paradise Bird, typically served as a special dish in the upper echelons of luxury for Grannel. I haven’t tasted it myself, but I’ve heard that it tastes exactly the same as its name, like paradise.] (Yuuya)

 

There were many people who visited Grannel just to eat this special dish. Just as you would expect, I did encounter the item in the past however as I was more concerned about my financial status I sold it. This time however I am curious about its taste.

 

  [Luna wants to go to paradise!] (Luna)

  [Uhn Uhn. I want to taste it too. We definitely have to get it. It’ll be our dinner tonight!] (Til)

  [The two of you should listen carefully. Our quest is a gathering quest and that takes priority. Although if we’re able to obtain more than required for the quest, we’ll be able to enjoy it too.] (Phil)

  [Luna will do her best!] (Luna)

 

Luna perked up her fox ears and began searching around. Whenever food is concerned, her motivation increases by another fifty percent.

 

  [Now then, let’s begin moving forward. We aren’t the only ones targeting the Paradise Birds. Above all, its meat sells at a high price. Everybody who is capable will be targeting it. It’ll be a scramble.] (Yuuya)

 

This was the reason why the adventurers’ attitudes flipped around as they rushed towards the depths of the jungle. Everyone was eyeing to hunt the Paradise Birds to make some quick cash. In other words, everyone is our enemy.

Our main weapons were our mobility, Luna’s Presence Detection and her Increased Drop Rate. Let’s earn as much as we can today using our specialized Thief and her exploration skills.

 

.

.

.

 

We are currently walking within the jungle. 

Due to the heavy downfall, the soft soil turned into mud as our ankles began sinking to our ankles.

 

  [It’s difficult to move.] (Luna)

 

Luna had a tense look as her main weapon, her speed was being affected. Luna’s fox ears began twitching out of the blue.

 

  [It’s here! A bird-shaped monster. But something is wrong. I feel it there by the tree but there’s nothing there.] (Luna)

  [No, you’re right. Look carefully. It’s on that branch.] (Yuuya)

  [Ahh. I understand. The bird is perched on the branch right there. It has the same colour and shape as a leaf. It looks exactly like a normal leaf.] (Luna)

 

For male Paradise Birds, they stood out prominently with their gaudy coloured bodies while the females camouflaged into their surroundings like this. Thanks to this, the male Paradise Birds were often hunted by adventurers for their meat while the females were left relatively untouched as they went by unnoticed.

 

  [Til, can you hit it from here? If we get any closer than this, it’ll notice us.] (Yuuya)

 

The distance between it and us wasn’t that far however our footing was unstable due to the mud and the trees were dense here. Firing arrows in this condition would be akin to threading a needle.

 

  [Fufufu. Who do you think you’re talking to. Something like this can be done even with my eyes closed. Look at this.] (Til)

 

Til was full of confidence while Phil seemed to be uneasy watching her behave like this…  Or rather, she didn’t seem that worried as Til reached out for an arrow.

Til continued to fire with her usual elegance as her arrow flew cleanly through the vegetation towards her target. However, the arrow was slightly off as it pierced through the branch, shaking it.

 

The Paradise Bird took off in surprise as it tried to escape towards the sky. However before it noticed, Phil immediately took out her bow and arrow, firing two arrows which seemed to home towards its body, piercing it before falling towards the ground.

 

  [It won’t escape.] (Phil)

 

Phil acted so quickly that I wouldn’t be surprised that she had expected Til to miss. She was certainly expecting this outcome as Til grasped her bow tightly.

 

  [What is this!? I did it as usual. I read the wind correctly.] (Til)

  [You missed precisely because you fired it normally. You weren’t able to read the power of the wind correctly. The environment here is very humid making the wind heavier than usual. This shows that you’ve never fired an arrow in this climate before.] (Phil)

 

Til seemed tongue tied as she began to close her eyes, trying her best to grasp the feeling of the wind blowing past her body.

 

  [So this is what you mean. I still have a long way to go. However I won’t miss the next one.] (Til)

  [If it’s you, then I’m sure you’ll get it once you try it out several times. The important thing to confirm your surroundings as compared to firing everything as usual.] (Phil)

 

Til continued to ask questions. Phil was as great of a teacher as I expected. Knowing her I can leave Til in her care with confidence.

 

  [Meat.. I guess not.] (Luna)

 

Luna proceeded towards the location where the two elven sisters defeated the Paradise Bird however she turned around dejectedly, walking slowly back towards us. This couldn’t be helped as the meat’s drop rate was so low that even with Increased Drop Rate it was incredibly unlikely.

 

  [We don’t have time to idle around. The more time we waste, the more Paradise Birds will get hunted by other adventurers.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. Let’s continue searching.] (Luna)

 

For all we know, the male birds could have already been wiped out. It’s just a matter of how many female birds will be overlooked by the rest. We’ll have to be incredibly lucky to get the meat no matter how much we want it.

Just as we continued our hunt, heavy winds and rain began to pour as if a bucket was flipped over the sky. 

This was perfect as there were some places that we wouldn’t be able to access without the rain and it was about time for us to head there. Supposing no one has accessed the area yet, the Paradise Birds in that area will be ripe for the taking.

<End of Chapter>

Sorry for the delay! Since this chapter was barely completed late last week I decided to just release it today. Due to the nature of my job I won’t be able to release chapters consistently but I’ll try my best to churn out as many as I can.

Chapter 8: The old man gets a doll.

We arrived at the town of Grannel, a town situated in close proximity to the capital of the Laluzulu kingdom. Grannel is a town that is larger than Greenwood as a whole, and was divided into two sections: the agricultural zone and the commercial zone. The agricultural zone covered a large amount of land with the most prominent crop being the rice paddy as it was currently in season.

 

  [Looks like we arrived at a good timing. We’ll be eating freshly harvested rice that is so sweet and delicious that you could eat it alone.] (Yuuya)

 

Since this world’s wasn’t especially globalized, their preservation and distribution technologies were lacking, causing the quality of food outside their seasons to drop. Although it was possible to eat rice during the other seasons elsewhere, it was difficult to eat freshly harvested rice making it a luxury.

 

  [Luna prefers bread but rice is good too.] (Luna)
  [I feel that way too. It’s hard and dry and has a weird smell. It’s delicious with soup though.] (Til)

  [You’ll understand once you’ve tasted how it’s supposed to be.] (Yuuya)

Once they’ve tasted rice at its best, I’m sure their opinions will change. I’ll have to choose the store carefully though as most stores would only replenish their stores with fresh grains once the older batch are sold. 

 

  [Although the first thing would be to head to the guild..] (Yuuya)

 

Normally I would head to the guild while the girls acted on their own however it was time to show Luna and the other girls to the guild as accomplished adventurers.

 

  [Everyone, let’s head to the guild together.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn! Let’s go!] (Luna)

  [Yuuya-niisan has finally recognized us.] (Til)

 

The two girls had responded first as it seems to have been on their mind for awhile. Although Selene has been visually frustrated ever since we entered the town.

 

  [Relax a little. I doubt anyone will recognize you since your hair colour is different. Even if someone looked closely you would just look like a passer-by.] (Yuuya)

  [I understand but I just can’t help but get nervous being this close to the capital.] (Selene)

I could understand where she’s coming from. Although this wasn’t the capital city, there were still many people who knew about Princess Lutra of the capital. Since she was the child who was born with silver hair, people were singing about the second coming of Renoir. However since everyone was focused on her silver hair, her other features were not as well-known. She has always been thinking about the time her disguise would be blown, however there was no reason to worry to that extent.

 

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After arriving at the guild, we were being taken care of by a popular receptionist as we handed over a letter of introduction by Flaregard’s branch, placing us higher on the priority list. As usual, the popular receptionist was a beauty.

 

  [Nice to meet you. My name is Maria1. You’ve had a wonderful career, piling up this number of achievements in the past month alone. Let alone the number, each of them are impressive in itself. With the average level of only 35, defeating the Coronoa Dragon as well as defeating the Temple of the Primal Flame at level 36! It is my honour to be serving you. It is important to navigate past difficult quests however it is important to enjoy yourselves as well. I hope you enjoy yourself in Grannel and leave the matter about your lodging to us.] (Maria)

 

She seemed to be an extremely bright person as we proceeded to register our party. The registration process itself was short and simple and our lodging was already prepared. However, the receptionist’s eyes turned cloudy as we completed our registration.

 

  [Uhm. Yuuya-sama. This may sound rude but could you please decide on a party name? Even though it’s fine to continue being nameless, considering your achievements so far there might be people who would nominate you for a quest. It’ll be difficult for your potential client if you continue without a name.] (Maria)

  [Well.. That’s true.. ] (Yuuya)

 

Our party name is important. More so in something as private as a nominated quest since the information had to be conveyed to the client. Even the guild wouldn’t be able to introduce my party as *Yuuya’s Party* if they did not know of me in the first place. Eventually, even the towns we’ve been to would forget us without a name and we’ll lose the opportunity to complete difficult quests while making a name for us in the process.

 

  [Yuuya, we’ve been procrastinating on this for a long time. How about we decided on the name right now?] (Phil)

 

Phil came up to the desk as the receptionist widened her eyes in shock.

 

  [Could you be, that charismatic Phil Etherlance-sama!?2 I saw you at a parade I went to once! We’ve also met once at a guild gathering! Phil-sama was already perfect as a receptionist.. But as an adventurer you were in the same party as the hero Leonard…? Yuuya? Are you that Yuuya? The master of the hero, the strongest yet weakest knight, the undefeatable apex of all swordsmen, that Yuuya Grandwood?3 It’s a lie~~. Me of all people, meeting two of the members of the Roaring SIlver Dragon. Ahh I’m glad to be alive~] (Maria)

 

The receptionist continued to smile, staring at me and Phil while letting out a joyful voice. 

Well.. I expected someone to recognise us sooner or later. On the other hand, it would be weirder for someone to think I was just someone who resembled me at this point.

 

  [Firstly, could you please treat us differently. In fact, isn’t our guild registration number different?] (Yuuya)

 

Everybody receives a guild registration together with their status card. Since it is the most reliable identification method that can’t be hidden along with the person’s status although our information have been resetted along with our levels. In fact, this is likely the reason why we’ve been treated differently by every other person in the past. Thanks to this I couldn’t receive any messages sent to my previous number, however the advantages of travelling as a separate person was greater.

 

  [I see that you have your own circumstances. I understand. I won’t pry nor will I snitch. Leave it to this Maria! I’ll keep Yuuya-sama and Phil-sama in my heart!] (Maria)

 

Thankfully she looked like a good girl who’ll keep her word since it’ll be troublesome if someone asked me about my level. 

I could hear Luna and Til’s voices from behind.

 

  [Yuuya’s previous party, Roaring Silver Dragon… So cool.] (Luna)

  [Yuuya’s  titles are cool too. Master of the hero, the strongest weakest knight, the undefeatable apex of swordsmen. I want to have my own titles too.] (Til)

 

I clenched my fists to hide my emotions. Please stop it Til. I may have thought they were cool as other people called me by my titles but now I wished to have a simpler title…

It was a dark time..

 

  [Well let’s just leave it at that. We’ve talked about the name of our party before haven’t we? Did anyone come up with a name they want? Otherwise we’ll leave this matter as it is and decide on another day.] (Yuuya)

 

We still have plenty of things to do before the day ends. It’ll be much more beneficial to discuss tonight rather than spend time trying to think of a name.

 

    [Luna wants Yuuya and his happy friends!] (Luna)

    [Rejected. That sounds like the party revolves around me.] (Yuuya)

 

How did you even come up with that name?

 

  [How about True Dragon Knights? Dragons sound cool. Knights sounds cool too. Mixing the two is even cooler!] (Til)

  [Isn’t the only one even remotely resembling a dragon Erik? In fact, where did you even get the idea of knights from?] (Yuuya)

 

Please stop this, I can’t handle anymore than that.

 

  [Speaking of dragons, Yuuya-niisan’s previous party Roaring Silver Dragon didn’t even have a dragon did you.] (Til)

  [Kyu!] 

 

For some reason Erik was even cheering Til. He might even be happy to hear that our party may represent him with our name.

 

  [That party is that party and this party is this party. Anyway, rejected.] (Yuuya)

 

In any case, there was indeed a dragonkin thief in our party. Speaking of him, I wonder if Lyle is doing well now. I kinda feel like having a drink with him after such a long time. 

There’s just the two adults left as I turned my gaze towards Phil and Selene. 

Phil was the first to voice her opinion.

 

  [Uh. The name I thought of was the Mixed Wine. With elves like me and Til, a fox-girl in Luna, a human in Yuuya and a noble in Selene all together in a single party. Different people from different backgrounds put our powers together, as if it was a perfect blend of wine.] (Phil)

  [As expected of Phil. It’s a nice name that suits us.] (Yuuya)

 

It could be a surprisingly nice name for us.

 

  [What about you Selene?] (Yuuya)

  [The name I thought of was the Twilight Home. I think of this party as a place that I want to return to.] (Selene)

  [Uhn. Luna understands how you feel. Luna will return to wherever Yuuya is.] (Luna)

 

Phil and Til both nodded as their eyes told me that they were convinced.

 

  [Looks like it’s settled. Our party name will be Twilight Home.] (yuuya)

  [Uhn. Perfect.] (Luna)

  [The True Dragon Knights will give up!] (Til)

  [I think that it’s nice too.] (Phil)

 

Selene looked a little embarrassed at our reactions.

 

  [Thank you. I’m happy that everyone decided to use my name. I’m starting to get embarrassed. Speaking of which, we’ve not heard the name that Yuuya-ojisan’s4 name yet. What name did you come up with?] (Selene)
  [I put all of our specialties together, Fox’s Bow, Sword and Shield5.] (Yuuya)

  [Yuuya, if this name is fine then I don’t understand why you are embarrassed by the Roaring Silver Dragons.] (Luna)

  [My thoughts exactly! Exactly!] (Til)

  [Kyu kyu!] 

 

As I thought, is it a feeling that’s absent in children? The two names are completely different.

 

  [Uhm. Sorry Yuuya but I don’t understand either.] (Phil)

  [I agree as well. I don’t see how they are different.] (Selene)

 

What?…. 

If the two of them are saying so…

 I should reflect on this a little, just a little.

 

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After registering our party name as the Twilight Home, we proceeded to check in at the inn arranged by the guild and kept our luggage before leaving the inn. Our raptor carriage was also left at a reliable store. 

Then, we arrived at a Doll store.

Although there were many stores that sold dolls in the city, I decided to head towards the store that was the most prominent during the game era. Since princess Renoir was a legend from hundreds of years ago, we are probably several centuries ahead of the game era although there wasn’t anything to prove that something special in the game would work now. 

Regardless, I’ll gladly keep any item that might have special effects since it is also likely for the abilities of the store to be passed down to future generations.

 

  [Looks like we’re lucky. There isn’t a long queue.] (Yuuya)

  [Lines are a little troublesome.] (Phil)

  [It looks even more popular than the last time we came.] (Yuuya)

  [I remember now. At the time we couldn’t even afford a single doll so we didn’t even consider getting one.] (Phil)

 

Phil began to laugh as she recalled what happened in the past. At the time the thought of enjoying myself didn’t come to mind as I was always thinking of charging forward.

  [But Yuuya-niisan. It’s already late and I’m hungry. By the time the queue ends our stomach will reach our backs.] (Til)

  [Luna too.] (Luna)

 

I am prepared for that as well.

 

  [Truth is I’ve bought onigiri from a restaurant recommended by the receptionist.] (Yuuya)

 

I began distributing the onigiri in my magic bag to the unimpressed girls as the onigiri looked fairly simple.

 

  [It doesn’t look delicious.] (Luna)

  [I’ll still eat it since I’m hungry.] (Til)

 

Luna and Til6 bit into the onigiri as their eyes became wide open.

 

  [Delicious, its fluffy and not hard and dry at all! This rice tastes like magic!] (Luna)

  [The filling is delicious too. It’s sweet and spicy meat and goes well with rice. Yuuya-niisan, one more please!] (Til)

  [That is how rice is supposed to be.] (Yuuya)

 

I handed over a second piece to the two of them as I began eating my own portion.I bit into the onigiri causing the unique fragrance and sweetness of the fresh rice spread throughout my mouth right  The filling consists of simmered pork cooked in honey causing the meat to be soft and allowing the fat to melt and mix with the rice although it was cold. This was my first time having such a delicious rice ball.

 

  [Yuuya-ojisama. It’s so delicious that I’m surprised such a thing existed this close to the castle. I’ve not seen anything like this.. I’m glad that I got to experience such a thing on my trip.] (Selene)
  [Let’s leave the solemn mood to the end shall we. Let’s enjoy today to the fullest.] (Yuuya)

  [Yes, let’s do that.] (Selene)

Selene smiled as we continued to enjoy our onigiris until it was our turn.

Without any discussion and any hesitation, we ordered four Yuuya dolls.

 

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After two hours, we finally left the store.

I’m exhausted..

After placing our order, I felt the gaze of all the customers and the craftsmen pierce through me as they all heard the order for four Yuuya dolls and one of each girl in our party. I felt like I could hear the atmosphere mumbling harem,harem,harem the entire time we were in the store. The four girls were all amazing in their right with Luna and Til being a little young, but I was still shot with envious and jealous gazes from the other customers. 

When asked by the craftsmen about our relationship, I made sure to mention that they were my disciples, with Phil being my girlfriend and Til being her sister.

 

  [Yuuya, let’s exchange dolls!] (Luna)

  [Me too, It’s my doll!] (Til)

  [I’ll take good care of Yuuya-ojisama’s doll.] (Selene)

  [I pray that this will make you think of me.] (Phil)

 

I received the doll from each of the girls as I gave back a doll of my own. Since each of the dolls were made after a beautiful girl, by an expert craftsmen, each of the dolls were beautiful too. They were all made well and I wanted them even if they were just plain dolls. 

As soon as the girls received my dolls however, the scene of each girl treating my doll so affectionately caused the atmosphere to become flowery.

 

  [Everyone, remember the legend involving the dolls. If your feelings towards the person are true, then if you were to be in danger, then the doll will take your place and take the danger away for you.] (Yuuya)

 

That was the doll’s ability in the game. There was a hidden status behind everyone’s status, which was shared between companions. By exchanging dolls between companions with this status above a certain value, you’ll be able to survive any misfortune7 or lethal damage by taking your place making it an extremely useful item. However unlike the game, I can’t confirm how intimate I am with my companions. Since I’m constantly thinking of my companions, I believe everyone is doing the same and that we’ll definitely be protected by the doll.

 

  [Uhn. Luna likes Yuuya. Yuuya also likes Luna! Which is why the doll will protect us.] (Luna)

  [Me too, but I don’t want my Yuuya doll to be destroyed.] (Til)

 

The two girls raised their opinions as Selene and Phil merely smiled at the scene. It feels as if the dolls had caused our party’s relationship to deepen.

Now that we’ve done everything on our list, it’s about time for us to return to the inn.

Since Luna and TIl mentioned that they weren’t satisfied, it’ll be a good idea to return to the shop earlier and purchase a couple more onigiris.

 

  [Tomorrow, be sure to prepare yourselves. It’ll be time for the monsters to be re spawned.] (Yuuya)

 

I heard a bit of good news from the guild, that the monsters will be re spawning tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be the perfect time to raise our levels, so let’s hunt to our hearts content.

 

Note: 

  1. Maria in the raws was called メリア (Meria). I couldn’t tell what name it was so.. Maria it is
  2. I vaguely remember translating her name once but I couldn’t remember what it is, so.. Etherlance it is. 
  3. You’ve probably guessed that I’m bad with names. So.. Grandwood it is.
  4.  The author didn’t mention ojisan which is how Selene addresses Yuuya so I’m inserting it since it sounds like Selene.
  5. Oh gawdd please stop it with the names. I have absolutely no idea how to translate this so someone please enlighten me. This is probably the chapter I would never want to translate ever again. T.T. The kanji is (弓狐剣盾,きゅうこけんじゅん). 
  6. The author made an error and wrote Phil but I’m assuming it’s Til anyway (I guess I’m not the only one bad with names)
  7. The word used for the doll means misfortune or danger, but it can also mean death.

 

Sorry that this chapter took much longer than usual. I’m quite rusty as I’ve been busy so I apologize if the chapter feels somewhat awkward. The fact that there were a lot of names and the chapter being slightly longer didn’t help at all *sobs*.