＊ ＊ ＊
When I woke up, I was in a dim-lit room inside the inn.
Ahh, I was, beaten……
“Ara, are you awake? “
“――Hmm, Wha-!? “
I doubted my eyes. Next to me, sitting next to my bed was ‘THE’ Chérie Lumberjack.
I immediately jumped up, correcting my posture. I can’t let myself be seen as rude in front of the daughter of an Earl.
“It’s alright, you can leave courtesy aside. Still, I’m glad you don’t seem to have any problems with your body. It’s all thanks to that girl’s Healing Magic.”
Now that she said it, my body indeed feels light. It doesn’t even look like I received a punch to the face from that fool and fainted.
“His team member, the beastgirl, healed you.”
“……Uhhh. But, with all due respect, that girl is–“
“You’re right. Most people, when they see her, would think of her as a shield bearer……”
Just as I tried to deny her words, Chérie-sama interrupted me and stood up.
“If you’re fine now, how about we go for a walk?”
“Yes, I’m alright.”
The two of us left the room.
As I walked down the elegant boarded corridor, I could hear the pleasant hustle and bustle from the distance. The sun had completely set. I’m sure everyone’s having feast right now.
……Suddenly, I remembered. The words that I suddenly threw at my team members in a moment of anger.
Even if I show up at the banquet, I won’t be able to enjoy having dinner with them anymore.
There’s a part of me that thinks it’s not a big deal, and a part of me that feels sad.
I wonder what is this feeling? While I struggled with this problem which I couldn’t find an answer to, Chérie-sama suddenly stopped walking.
“I was once brought to this inn by my father.”
Our current location was the courtyard. Chérie-sama sat on the edge and invited me to join her.
“This is a great place, isn’t it? “
The courtyard, being dimly lit by lanterns, was unrealistically beautiful, and even gave off an atmosphere of mystery. The sound of the water flowing, the sound of the grass and tree leaves fluttering in the wind, the sound of the tableware echoing in the distance, the voices of people, the coldness of the night breeze, the smell of soil. Everything soaked deep into my body.
Somehow, this mysterious sensation made it feel as if I was inside a dream……five minutes, ten minutes, I don’t know how much time passed, but I spend it thinking.
“Before, you see…… I felt terribly annoyed by him.”
Starting with a mutter, Chérie-sama suddenly began to talk.
And as to whom her “him” meant, I could immediately tell.
“He had the knowledge of how to capture the Proline Dungeon, and he was liked by my father. Thus, he was able to make a huge deal. One of tens of billions of CL……I was frustrated.”
“Prol……! ? “
I was shocked. Speaking of the Proline Dungeon, I heard it is a dungeon in the upper ranks of intermediate difficulty, and that no group that has tried to capture it has come out alive.
No, that’s not it. It appears that not long ago, a team has captured the dungeon all on their own…… It can’t be!
“Are, did you not know? Well, I supposed it’s normal to not look up information about people you don’t like. It seems that they did not only capture the dungeon on their own, but they also did many laps each day. The adventurers started to call them ‘Prokichi’, and nobody approached them in fear. By the way, the team itself consists of four people, but they captured it with only three.”
I became speechless.
Going around such a dangerous place with only three people is just crazy.
“Well, let’s go back to the topic. At that time, I didn’t know he was such an outrageous guy, that’s why I snapped at him. I can’t stomach him, I don’t like him, it’s making me sick! I was like that.”
“……Is, that so?”
I unexpectedly felt sympathy. I didn’t like that guy, so I snapped at him every time.
“Fufu. My case was worse than yours, wasn’t it? After all, I’m the daughter of an Earl. The bother was different.”
“I-I guess you’re right.”
That’s not something to be proud of. But she might be right.
“……Envy, I was jealous. Why did father like that man? Even with me…… And thus, after a single day, the flames of jealousy could no longer be extinguished.”
“What did, you do? “
“I will capture the Proline Dungeon before that guy! That way, father, and everyone else will have to recognize me! I was deranged like that, so I secretly sneaked into the Proline dungeon at midnight.”
Obviously reckless. First of all, that is, without a doubt, a suicidal act. However, Chérie-sama is alive right now. As for why, I was somewhat able to foresee the reason.
“Just as I was about to die after receiving a single hit from the Mithril Golem, that guy arrived. Until that moment, I always thought of him as a summoner, but he wielded a sword. Then, while moving at a speed that my eyes couldn’t follow, he one-sidedly overwhelmed the Mithril Golem with incredible swordsmanship and footwork…… It didn’t even take two minutes to settle it.”
“T-That can’t b-be! “
“That’s exactly what happened, I saw it with these eyes. And it’s only now that I know what ‘that’ was. It was Spirit Possession…… it’s an advanced skill that is unlocked by raising Spirit Summoning to Grade 4.”
Ahh, I’m feeling lightheaded. In other words, that means――
“That guy is a first-class summoner. He’s also a top-notch swordsman. Later I learned that he also is a first-class Archer and Mage. And I’m sure he must have some other hidden card.”
――Our levels are in a different dimension. I could only think of that cliched impression. But, it’s only that. Why? Because it’s impossible. Is he really human? I can’t help but have my doubts. What’s the difference between me and that guy?
“That guy’s team members are the same. That bow and shield pair, how many rounds in the Ngultrum Dungeon do you think they made today? “
“Come to think of it, I saw them many times.”
“A hundred and twenty-eight rounds.”
“A hu――!? “
……That’s crazy. This I thought.
They made 128 rounds in a dungeon that we could only painfully complete 16? Crazy. If that’s not crazy, then I don’t know what is.
However…… I couldn’t even see dirt on them, let alone any sign of tiredness. I’m scared to think this might be “normal” for them. They’re on a level where a simple round around the Ngultrum dungeon is ordinary for them.
“That cat beastgirl, Eko Leafret, she isn’t just a shield bearer. Healing Magic is her strong suit. That’s why you’re now alright even after being hit.”
“I see, so that’s the reason why……”
Any wound that was left after that man hit me completely disappeared as if there had never been one.
Still……Until that rant of mine, something like this never happened.
Lastly, those words I said to try to protect my pride, hurt my team members. And even though my wounds have healed, those I inflected onto them have not.
“――You, must have already noticed, don’t you? About what you shouldn’t have done.”
I don’t know whether it could be seen on my face, but Chérie-sama looked at my face and said those words.
……I already know that; I’ve been thinking about that for some time now. That man’s words are correct.
But still, I wanted to bring out results with my own power. Otherwise, I would feel as if all my efforts have been in vain.
Using the weapon called ‘effort’, I would win, having everyone acknowledge me, and leave that man speechless. But with such reckless behavior, it was only normal to fail. And I, while blaming it on others, ran away.
“That is……since I didn’t want to deny my past and future efforts, I ended up hurting them……”
My puny pride was protected. But in its stead, I lost their trust.
Why couldn’t I just be honest? Why did I become jealous? If I had thought about it more deeply, I shouldn’t have gotten angry, I shouldn’t have become impatient, I needed to be calmer and more rational. Regrets rained on me. But even if I thought like that now, there’s no way to undo what I’ve already done.
After calming down like this, I finally understood it. The price of envy, the price of being unable to back down, is incredibly big.
“I understand how you feel. You must be thinking that he isn’t even trying to work hard and that he’s just messing around.”
She hit the mark.
After giving so much effort to become a Court Mage, that man overtook me in an instant with a face of not even trying. I simply hated that.
“You see, after that guy helped me…… I was a tiny bit curious, about many things, so you see, I…… uhmm…… investigated him a bit.”
Chérie-sama spoke with her cheeks tinged slightly in red. She looked girlish and cute, quite fitting for her age, making me a bit curious about the contents of the story.
“Listen and be surprised. That guy does work hard. To a surprising degree. Although he doesn’t usually show it. Behind the scenes, he keeps making quite the effort. During the Proline Dungeon rounds, he was so stoic and unperturbed, that I even grew tired by just watching.”
I suddenly began to think. I wonder if I ever made such an “effort”, of going around an intermediate class dungeon and capturing it? Every single day, doing several rounds each day.
There’s no way I would. Even for a lower class, it would be almost impossible. At best, what I did was hunting monsters in a shallow forest.
……The one who wasn’t working hard was me.
“That guy succeeds without working hard. And we struggle despite working hard. This is the difference that makes you envy him, right?”
Chérie-sama’s analysis fell right on the mark.
That’s correct. When I looked at him, he always seems relaxed and with plenty of leeways. That’s why I decided “he’s not working harder than me” all on my own, and became jealous of him.
“Probably, in order to reach a place far higher that we can’t even begin to imagine, that’s why he’s working far harder than we can think of. Let’s see, for example, an upper-class dungeon.”
That’s probably right. No, I’m sure that’s the case.
I see. I was hit by such a person.
I was a foolish woman who rebelled against him just because I didn’t like him, who never listened to anybody, who was envious of him despite neglecting my own efforts, and who, despite all that, tried to imitate him stupidly and then rubbed off the responsibility on others when everything went wrong. It might be normal to be hit.
“I see, so it was that……”
The small justification and fragile pride that was in me collapsed at this very moment.
I felt so stupid to have those feeling that before I knew it, a dry laugh escaped from my lips.
Ahh, if this was to happen, I should’ve, sooner――
“How about it? Once you accept it, it becomes easy, right? “
“! ……Yeah, indeed.”
The pains in my heart were blown away as if they never existed.
……However, that’s not the only problem.
Just like magic, once it’s shot, it can’t be taken back.
“You might think it might be over for you, but that’s just not the case. It’s not what you’ve done, but what you will do what determines your own value.”
“But, for me, a Court Mage, to have made such a remark……”
“Think carefully about the reason why that guy hit you.”
At first, I thought it was for Irie’s sake.
What would have happened if Irie had slapped me like that? First of all, our friendship would have broken down, without a doubt. The me at that time might have hurled some terrible words at her, hurting her deeply.
That’s the reason why he stopped Irie, right?
However, a sudden thought came to my mind. If that’s the case, then only stopping her would’ve been enough, right? There was no need for him to hit me.
Can it be? Did he do it for my sake……?
No way――To put a stop and make everyone forget about the previous me? That’s just stupid.
However, the more I think about it, the more I agree.
As a result of that, my head had cooled down, and the sour feelings of those people might have died down, making my atonement a bit easier. And, like this, he also gave me the opportunity to talk with Chérie-sama. “She has reflected on it since she was hit in such a flashy manner”, some people might think that. And probably because of that, at the banquet, the topic of “My reckless behavior” has been replaced with “His brutality”.
Did he choose to become the bad guy? I might be overthinking this. Yet, that may be the correct answer.
……Suddenly, my eyes felt hot.
I thought everything was over. But, still……I can……
“……Uhmm, Chérie-sama, when you made that mistake…… what did you do afterward? “
“I apologized, I thanked him and then ran away. I was too embarrassed to meet him face to face.”
“Is that so?”
I might have done so too if he was the only person. However, he’s not the only one I need to apologize to.
“You, if you don’t run away now, you’re amazing. You can show your resolve.”
Chérie-sama smiled happily.
I could somehow understand her. That’s what real strength is all about.
“It’s alright if you’re desperate or torn. You’ll never have a chance like this again. This is the moment to fight. Don’t you think so? “
That’s right. This is the last and greatest chance that he gave me.
Gripping my fist…… I then got up.
“Good! Well then, shall we go?”
Chérie-sama followed by my side, her figure so reliable it made me want to cry.
I wish I could be as strong as her. While thinking that from the bottom of my heart, I stopped forward towards the banquet hall where everyone was.
＊ ＊ ＊
- HP Hit Points
- MP Magic Points
- SP Stamina Points
- STR Short range attack skill power, strength, physical power.
- DEX Long range attack skill power, dexterity, hit rate.
- AGI Quickness, avoidance rate.
- INT Attack Magic skill power.
- LUK Good luck, critical rate.
- VIT Simple defense.
- MGR Magic defense.
Types of combat skills
Named after shogi pieces (The word in bold is the one being used in this translation). From easier to acquire to harder.
- Pawn/Soldier (Fuhyou)
- Knight (Keima)
- Silver General (Ginshou)
- Gold General (Kinshou)
- Bishop (Kakugyou)
- Rook (Hisha)
- Promoted Bishop/Dragon Horse(Ryuuma)
- Promoted Rook/Dragon King (Ryuuou).
List of Swordsmanship skills
- 《Soldier Swordsmanship》 Normal attack.
- 《Lance Swordsmanship》 Piercing attack.
- 《Knight Swordsmanship》 Precision attack.
- 《Silver Swordsmanship》 Strong single-target attack.
- 《Gold Swordsmanship》 Small-range attack to all directions.
- 《Bishop Swordsmanship》 ???
- 《Rook Swordsmanship》 ???
- 《Dragon Horse Swordsmanship》 ???
- 《Dragon King Swordsmanship》 ???
List of Shieldmanship skills
- 《Soldier Shieldmanship》 Normal defense.
- 《Lance Shieldmanship》 Piercing deflection.
- 《Knight Shieldmanship》 Defense + knockback.
- 《Silver Shieldmanship》 ???
- 《Gold Shieldmanship》 Ranged guided defense + knockback.
- 《Bishop Shieldmanship》 Reinforced defense (Temporarily boosts VIT and MGR)
- 《Rook Shieldmanship》 ???
- 《Dragon Horse Shieldmanship》 ???
- 《Dragon King Shieldmanship》 ???
List of Archery skills
- 《Soldier Archery》 Normal range attack.
- 《Lance Archery》 Piercing range attack.
- 《Knight Archery》 Precise sniping range attack.
- 《Silver Archery》 Strong single-target range attack.
- 《Gold Archery》 Weaker range attack with added knockback.
- 《Bishop Archery》 Strong piercing range attack.
- 《Rook Archery》 Very strong single-target range attack with scaling % damage.
- 《Dragon Horse Archery》 Powerful piercing range attack.
- 《Dragon King Archery》 Powerful on-impact range attack.
Types of Magic skills
They use the “Form” or “step” system of martial arts. From lower to higher.
- First Form Regular attack
- Second Form Extended range attack
- Third Form Strong single target attack
- Fourth Form Strong extended range attack
- Fifth Form Extremely powerful extended range attack
- Their cast time becomes longer in this order First→Third→Second→Fourth→Fifth.
Ranking of the skills
From lower to higher, then it changes to the “Dan” system of martial arts, which means Grade.
- 16th class
- 15th class
- 14th class
- 13th class
- 12h class
- 11th class
- 10th class
- 9th class
- 8th class
- 7th class
- 6th class
- 5th class
- 4th class
- 3rd class
- 2nd class
- 1st class
- Grade 1
- Grade 2
- Grade 3
- Grade 4
- Grade 5
- Grade 6
- Grade 7
- Grade 8
- Grade 9