Originally on Shin Translations
Vol. 2 Chapter 3 – Part 2
The moment when he ran through a field for beginners.
The time when he was depressed due to losing in PvP.
The eagerness to improve his stats.
The friends he had in the guild.
The loud laugh after defeating a large army of players.
The dungeon where he risked his life.
The tears he shed for not being able to protect someone’s life.
The assassin’s dagger he wielded.
The promise he made to a certain person.
The last time seeing his back.
“――I remember it all.”
Schnee said while calmly putting her hand above her chest.
“Although it was useless to ask you to forget it too, please say…”
“I’m not saying~”
The smiling face was too radiant as she answered bluntly. It was a facial expression that he hadn’t seen when she was an NPC, and when his fellow made this sort of face, Shin became a little glad.
“But, if that was the case. Though you only talked in pre-set sentences, were you in a state of awareness?”
“No, it was after Shin and the others entered the situation known as the death game, that a type of self-consciousness became clear. Until then, it felt like watching a moving picture. It is very hard to explain it, but it’s like looking at myself from a bird’s-eye view.”
Though it was her memory, Schnee said that it was like the memory of another person. To be frank, he didn’t understand it well, because he thought it was rather painful that her consciousness became aware while in a state where her body moved without permission, so he didn’t question it further.
“I see. In short, you know all about the logout stuff and the other things beyond that point as well.”
It was possible to say that that might be the reason why she had retained her memories of the game.
“Yes. At that time, it was because all of the adventurers sometimes used those words after the life and death fights began. If I am not mistaken, another world, different from this one, is the real world, right?”
“That is correct…so anyways, after I left, you guys searched for me and then separated, huh?”
While smiling as if she had been in trouble, Schnee affirmed it.
The last fight of the death game. If Shin won the fight, Schnee and the others would disappear. If Shin lost, Schnee and the others would lose their master. Either way, it couldn’t become a happy ending. Therefore, they took several actions, due the mysterious situation where they didn’t disappear even though Shin should have won.
“If only you all could have told me beforehand, though that might not be possible to say.”
“Then, wouldn’t Shin have been troubled by it? You had to do the best that you could at that time.”
“Is that so…”
Though it was decided that it was okay and he had been in high spirits when he left Tsuki no Hokora; when he learned about the circumstances that his support characters had concealed among themselves, Shin felt miserable.
Nevertheless, even if he had known, he would not have doubted himself, and would have done what he did, so he did not say anything.
“In those days, independent action was not completely possible yet, and the talk of freedom, like the present day, was more or less not even imaginable. Either way, it would have been impossible to talk about.”
“Well now that you mention it, when the death game began, I thought it was weird that the NPC’s were strangely acting like human beings. Now knowing that it was self-awareness, I realize ‘Ah! so that’s it’.”
“You have a difficult personality as always, Shin.”
“Shut up!…Leave me alone.”
He muttered at Schnee, who smiled wryly while he was embarrassed. He was pondering his past actions, thinking about if or when the programs had began self-consciousness or something, wondering ‘Did I treat them decently?’, as Schnee’s remark actually hit the target.
“Well, you would have gone to battle even if you had known, Shin.”
“…That’s probably true.”
Compared to the lives of ten thousand humans, the support characters were no more than data. Even if the data had been somewhat self-consciousness, it was still not comparable.
“Besides, didn’t you make a promise?”
Even though it wasn’t much, many people returned to reality.
In fact, it was due to that promise which Shin had exchanged with a certain person.
Since they knew about it for sure, neither Schnee or the other support characters would have said anything.
“Now then, let’s put a stop to this solemn atmosphere. Especially since we are able to meet again after so much effort and a long wait.”
“…That’s right. “What am I saying now, it’s quickly become depressing! Let’s stop it!”
In order to completely change the mood that had become depressing, Schnee behaved cheerfully and clapped her hands in an exaggerated manner. Shin also joined in by raising his voice.
“First of all, to celebrate the reunion, let’s go all out with a party. If it’s about food ingredients, I have a lot left in the Item Box.”
“Let’s do it. Please let me demonstrate my cooking skill that I have raised over the years.”
“By the way, what is your cooking level?”
“It became Ⅸ about one month ago.”
Shin was surprised that it had grown to the level where she could cook even a high level monster. Even if she made the lowest grade meal, a simple soup, with this level it transformed into a dish that generated a lot of bonus stats. It was said that a skilled cook was found to be as useful as a skilled blacksmith in major guilds. There were enormous bonuses when a dish was made using rare ingredients. If one of two players with the same level, job, and about the same ability ate the dish, the player who ate it would end up with a complete victory in combat.
And Rokuten, where Shin had been a member, was able to overpower other player’s skills and stats because there was a cook skill of level X. So, with a dish that gave a bonus of temporary adding to their maxed stats, they were able to exceed the limit, though it was only by a little. (Editor’s note: Even though their stats were maxed at 999, with that food they could go above 1000)
By the way, only Shin and the other members of Rokuten, who had reached the maximum stats, knew of that information. All of the members, including Shin, started to notice the increase in damage from the bonus effects, and the information was not circulated in order for only the six members of Rokuten to benefit from it.
“Though I’m not like Cook-sama, you can anticipate it.”
“Yosh! Leave the ingredients to me!”
While expressing “Fufufu”, he took a look at the ingredients in the Item Box. Even though the ingredients were stored since the time it was just a game, he himself had already confirmed that it was okay to eat them.
“By the way Shin, may I ask one more question aside from the questions earlier.”
“Yes? What is it?”
Schnee asked him the question while looking at the top of Shin’s head.
“That one, what is it?”
“This one? …Ah.”
He realized what she was talking about.
It was Yuzuha who was sleeping soundly on top of Shin’s head.
“Though since only its name and level are seen, did you use Taming on it?”
“Yeah, there were some minor circumstances, and we made a partner contract due to them. Its name is Yuzuha. I will be honest since it is Schnee. It’s race is the Element Tail.”
“…When I looked at the tails, I thought it was not a mere Demon Fox race. So it is an Element Tail, huh?”
Schnee became stiff momentarily, right after she heard the race of Yuzuha. But she promptly regained herself as if she thought, ‘Well, it is Shin after all.’
“You found out through the tail?”
“Perhaps Shin didn’t notice it? I could understand that it was not an ordinary Demon Fox because there are 3 tails.”
Shin tilted his head due to what Schnee was saying. There should be no such feature in Yuzuha’s tail.
Then he suddenly noticed it. Now that he thought about it, there was a sense of tails hitting his ears and the back of his head.
First, he grabbed a tail with his right hand. Yep, nice and soft.
Next, he grabbed a tail with his left hand. This one was also fluffy.
Finally, he concentrated on the sense of touch on the back of his head. There was a faint light touch.
For the time being, he released the tails from his hands, gripped the body of Yuzuha from above his head and brought it in front of his face.
“They had certainly become three.”
Yuzuha woke up after being moved from overhead. And then the tails that had increased to 3 swung side by side accordingly.
When looking at its level, it had unexpectedly gone over 400.
“…Well, I guess its level rose too much.”
Even if the former level was over 200, it had gone up too suddenly. It hadn’t killed many monsters while they were power-leveling Rashia. And it was indeed impossible for it to level up almost 200 levels just from the fight with the Lord.
“I think something else happened.”
Shin thought that there was something that he personally didn’t know. The growth extent of a monster partner or something similar was something he had heard from a member of Rokuten; Kashmir. Therefore, he understood that such a straightforward growth was nearly impossible.
The first thing that came to Shin’s mind was that a hidden quest had been completed when the requirements were fulfilled. He had experienced it several times during the game, so he had grown accustomed to it. If he remembered correctly, there was a quest with a monster partner, too.
“Schnee, how do you take up a hidden quest in this world?”
“As far as I know, I haven’t heard talks of any such quests being generated. The world voice I had heard before, it too was never heard from again after Shin vanished. And I have not heard of any story like this either.”
The world voice Schnee mentioned was probably the announcement system in THE NEW GATE.
Unlike the quest which could be accepted in a guild, when the conditions for the generated hidden quest were met, the player was notified of what kind of quest it was via an announcement as the hidden quest began.
In this case, since there was no sort of announcement at all, Shin didn’t notice Yuzuha’s level up. Also, judging from Schnee’s story, the system feature of announcements was likely gone.
“Still, for the number of tails to increase, is this because the level rose?”
Shin spoke while facing Yuzuha.
Because there were no Element Tail kit’s in the game era, he was uncertain about how they grew up.
It might unexpectedly just be a mere growth spurt rather than a quest and the like.
“Kua~…Good morning, Master.” (TL note: Yuzuha says ‘aruji’)
Without knowing that Shin was worried, Yuzuha yawned loudly… and greeted him like it was only natural.
“Wait a minute, Yuzuha! Did you reach the point where you are able to talk?”
“Kuu? When the black things disappeared, my head felt refreshed.”
When he heard about the black things, he was thought of the Lord’s core that was sliced in half just a while ago. If he recalled back, it was only Skull Faces that had surrounded the Shinto shrine where Yuzuha was rescued from. And it was not strange to regard the Lord that appeared this time as the boss.