So you're wondering why the translations are continuing.
It's also why all chapters are being moved, sinced Miaomix's Wordpress was based in America.
Chapter 1: 【Leveling Up】
-Translator: MiaoMix [Comments will be in Pink]
-Editor: Options [Comments will be in Blue]
>> Satou here. I'm what you would call a Japanese ant drone, but despite working hard every day, I have not been abused enough for that ‘Anywhere but here’ escapism. I think being busy has its own merits. I'm serious! <<
The pain that assaulted me just before the sandstorm seems to have knocked me out for two hours. That sandstorm was probably the aftershock of the earth being devastated by meteors.
The time is displayed on the 「Menu」. Simple yet convenient.
I give it my all trying to get my half-buried self out of the ground.
Weird? Can’t seem to do it...
Feels like trying to get up from bed on a winter morning. I want to move my hand, but I'm so out of it I can’t even budge a finger.
My foggy consciousness cleared as soon as I hear that metallic sound.
“There’s no way, right?”
I whisper to myself, but my mind is certain. It is the guy who shot the first arrow.
Confirming this belief, a red dot appears on the radar.
The map that has been open since before reveals him as the last enemy. An unexpected lucky survivor of three devastating 「Meteor Showers」.
Was he so close, that the attack wasn’t able to reach?
“That means I’ve lost!”
A bit disappointing, but when my body feels like a ton of bricks I can only think despondent thoughts.
The same mindset as when I lose in a strategy game all but vanishes the moment I see that guy appear on the cliff.
The guy is bleeding all over, dyeing the tattered blue armor that managed to avoid disintegrating until now in a bright red. Spitting out the spear held in his jaws, he slowly climbs up.
During the whole time, the guy glared at me without breaking eye contact. My limbs are shaking uselessly. Though I often have dreams where I want to run but can’t, this is the first time that I've ever felt so terrified.
This guy is using his spear as a crutch, dragging along his broken leg. He is pretty much wounded all over.
If I had taken him by surprise and tackled him just then, maybe I can win by pushing him off the cliff.
...Well, too late now.
He looks so beat up, but his eyes contain a will to fight. He’s definitely looking to kill me.
Unsheathing the sword at his waist, that guy tosses it near my feet. A part of his armor that had been hanging by a thread, unable keep up with such a sudden movement, falls to the ground with a clang.
As soon as he got closer, I’m assaulted by the smell of blood.
But to shatter the sense of realism, a health bar is displayed top-left of the guy’s head.
The label 「Lizardman, Level: 50」 is shown under the health bar mid-air. It’s an AR (Augmented Reality) display like you might see from a smartphone app.
“It’s just a game!”
I mutter to myself to ignore my trembling, and somehow my body feels a bit lighter.
I have no idea what he said, but I know what he intends to convey.
“Are you saying ‘Take this sword and fight!’?”
I force myself to budge despite having only recovered slightly, and reach for the sword. Maybe it’s ridiculous to say this in a dream, but my terror is real.
I grab the sword with desperation.
For reasons unknown, the option to beg for my life hasn’t occurred to me.
I hold out the sword, and ready myself for battle.
Up until this very moment, I have never learned swordplay or swordsmanship. (Kendo (剣道) vs. Kenjutsu (剣術). One is a sport with bamboo swords, the other is a method of combat with bladed swords.)
My only experience swinging anything heavy was limited to using a hoe on my grandfather’s field when I was little, and pounding mochi during New Years.
Hence, my stance is a bit impractical, only imitating what I’ve seen in manga or anime.
I grip down, and desperately try to stand firm.
That guy makes a small smirk, and holds his spear against me. His stance is composed, unlike my botched attempt.
He has been repeating the same sentence from before, something incomprehensible like ‘mokewgua’ or ‘makuega’. Of course, I have no clue what he’s saying.
Shouting and thrusting the spear that’s now glowing red, he stabs my shoulder— ouch, it hurts a lot. Though I often hear that stab wounds feel hot and not painful, this just hurts. Very much. My mind is clearly stuck in a loop of “It hurts”, and “I am unable to do anything”.
That guy pulls back his spear, and jabs at my leg this time as if to torment me, then when he pierces my thigh, I stumble back from the new pain.
For a wimp like me, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I faint from the fear and agony. But instead, the pain is subsiding; the feeling of panic too, for some reason.
Has the overwhelming terror pushed me over the edge?
The trembling in my limbs also vanishes, and my thoughts finally clear up.
It is evident that the guy’s health bar is nearly empty, but I still don’t think that I can win. Even if I take a swing at him, he can easily dodge and counterattack, and I will probably die from a stab to the throat.
Luckily, seems like it’s also very painful for the guy to move.
While he’s taking his time to torment me, I should take the chance and run.
I grab some dry dirt as I get back up. Taking out eyesight is a low blow, but I have no other options right now.
I carefully observe that guy’s movements, and parry his spear thrust with my sword at a good time, which throws him off his balance, perhaps out of surprise.
I slam the dirt at the guy’s face.
The dirt comes apart, but still flies perfectly toward his face. Yet, my opponent is regrettably a step ahead.
He blocks the dirt with his arm.
Damn, even though he’s already full of holes.
Still, the arm blocking the dirt is covering his eyes, so I swing my sword at the guy’s foot, and let it go. Maybe I swung too hard, as the sword flies toward the guy’s torso instead.
I was planning to take off the moment I throw the sword, but what I see stops me.
The sword flies with abnormal speed, cleaving the lizardman in two. The bisected halves spurt out blood.
Ugh, I can’t stand gory scenes!
Well, I don’t see anything more brutal than that.
Like enemies defeated in a game, the lizardman’s corpse disappears. But, signs of blood covering wherever the guy had stood prove that the battle wasn’t just hallucination.
I sit on the ground exhausted looking up at the sky, finally able catch my breath.
Whew, what a tiring dream.
If it’s all the same, I'd much rather dream about flirting with busty bikini babes on a tropical island.
I take off my shirt to treat my wounds. It’s a bit chilly, but not enough to catch a cold.
I stow my tattered polo in 「Storage」, and use my t-shirt to wipe off blood.
Unbelievably, the bleeding has already stopped. So quickly you wouldn’t believe I was just stabbed by a spear.
I rub the dried blood with a finger, and when it falls off, there are no scabs underneath, only flawless skin.
You know, I haven’t felt pain for a while now. If I completely recovered because the mission was cleared, it definitely feels like a game.
I open the character status window to confirm, and sure enough, my hit points have returned to maximum. What’s more, the maximum itself has become much higher. Besides hit points, I have also gone from Level 1 to Level 310.
When I defeated the lizardman earlier with an abnormally fast throw, it was probably due to that high level. Including STR (strength), all my stats have increased as much as they possibly can, maxing out.
Evidently as the result of those 「Meteor Showers」 annihilating so many enemies, I had leveled up.
Wanting to survey the damage from the 「Meteor Showers」, I peer over the cliff, but the scenery turns out to be absolutely horrific.
The wasteland is covered in dust that has yet to settle, and through the gaps I can see numerous impact craters.
The place where the lizardmen squadron had appeared is also covered in craters.
With that in mind, I figure that because the lizardman I fought moved away from his team, he wasn’t directly hit by the meteors. But for him to be an inch from death merely due to the shockwaves, it’s clear how powerful the attack was.
From afar I can see the crevice-like 「Dragon Canyon」, which now has large sections that collapsed.
Rather than the aftermath of attack magic in a game, this looks more like the barren surface of the Moon. Well, after being struck by hundreds of meteors three times over, of course it would look like this. Perhaps because this all feels like something out of a movie, I still don’t have any sense of realism.
Oh, right, this is a dream.
Feels too realistic to call it a dream, but it’s also far from reality. It’s probably most accurate to say that I've been pulled inside of a game.
A game should act like a game, so I hope that there is some event after defeating all the enemies.
To gather more information, I look at the Log.
The Log begins with “Welcome to Our World”. A meaningful greeting, but since the opening message in FFL is exactly the same, I quickly move on.
After entries about using the icon and killing some lizardmen, there are ones recording the death of dragons that originally ruled over the 「Dragon Canyon」, mixed with ones about leveling up and receiving titles, and these continued until the entry on the defeat of the last lizardman.
What comes after reads 『Source: you have conquered 「Dragon’s Canyon」』, but the significance is unclear, so I choose to ignore it.
After that is a long list of loot acquired. Seems like that lizardman disappeared at the end because his corpse was also treated as loot.
So does that mean I have to become a necromancer?
Recalling the lizardman’s appearance while he was still alive, I create a 『Graveyard』 folder within 「Storage」 and collect all of the corpses under it. I ponder a moment, then looking the Graveyard folder, I wish for them to rest in peace with my hands together like praying at a Buddhist Temple.
I check my status, and notice that the newbie bonus I used before is now registered under the category 「Magic」. It was disabled at first, but I can use it once I enable the new spell.
This is only a dream, but comes with such annoying little tricks, sheesh.
I cast the spell 「Full Map Exploration」, but don’t feel the effects, so I decide to try the 「Meteor」 spell.
I check the map again, but there’s no one besides me, so there’s no problem.
I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t test it first, then get told 『Insufficient Mana』 or something when I need to use it in an emergency.
I press 『Use』 next to 「Meteor Shower」 under the 「Magic」 tab.
Maybe because there are no enemies on the map, a window pops up with the prompt 『Select Target』.
With the same procedure for casting large area of effect spells in WW, by marking a target on the map. I select somewhere three times farther than 「Dragon Canyon」.
That worked, it seems, since my mana bar is rapidly decreasing.
At a rate incomparable to 「Full Map Exploration」, I feel something being continuously drained from my body. I didn’t have this sensation the first time, probably because I wasn’t using my own mana.
The drain of mana stops after a third the total is gone, or about 1000 points.
I look up at the sky.
The meteors haven’t fallen. Going by previous experience, it should be time.
Then, exactly like before, meteors break through the clouds shooting down.
They’re massive— what the?
The falling meteors, they're nearly a hundred times the size of the ones before. No, accounting for the distance, probably larger.
Before trying to figure out why that’s so, I instinctively make a run for it.
In the opposite direction, of course!
Meteors, or rather, colossal boulders, cut through the atmosphere.
The sonic boom arrived, and I felt as if my skin was being pricked by a thousand needles.
Without keeling under the massive boom, I ran with all my might while shouting, but I don’t quite recall what.
However, I do recall feeling like walking in water, running against strong air resistance.
I notice halfway that I am running too fast, but it is too late to slam on the brakes.
I spend all my effort on slowing down, but is still unable to stop. Having taken on all that friction, my sneakers break and scatter like confetti.
My ankles crush the stone below, and my fingers grabbing for the ground carve out ten grooves.
Still unable to stop at the edge of the cliff, I shoot into the air. But since I was able to cancel most of my momentum, I land on a ledge five meters below.
Whew, that was three times scarier than bungee jumping!
As the knee-buckling tremors continue to shake my world, I grab the ledge tightly, trying not to fall from that cliff.
Like a muddied river, the wave of dust and dirt flows across the land. Occasionally, I can see rocks the size of a small car rolling in the dust, sending a chill down my spine.
When the tremors stop, I decide to go back on the cliff, in order to see the effects of that 「Meteor Shower」.
Dust is still everywhere, so I use my t-shirt as a dust mask to cover my face. It smells of blood, but at least it’s better than choking to death on dust.
I poke my fingers into the cliff, and make some finger-shaped holes. Since the rock isn’t particularly fragile, I am able to easily climb up the cliff.
Realizing that I am now bare-footed, I look through 「Storage」 once I get back on the cliff.
I find a pair of sandals and take them out of 「Storage」, but seeing them covered in blood, I quickly return them.
If it has to be covered in blood, I'd rather the blood be mine
I take out my tattered, blood-stained polo, and rip it in halves to wrap my feet, fairly haphazardly, but they'll hold for now.
I look up, and a mushroom cloud comes into view from afar.
Walking up to the edge, I see the horizon glow red.
Is magma coming out of the crust?
Might be a simple fire, but I can’t tell this far away, so I check using the map.
I change the display mode from 2D to 3D. I see that the target is now in mid-air. Probably because the surrounding terrain was drastically altered.
As I silently stare at the mushroom cloud, I open the Magic tab under the Menu, and change the setting for the spell 「Meteor Shower」 from 『Enabled』 to 『Disabled』, so I won’t carelessly use it.
This spell is dangerous.
If I keep using magic like this, I will definitely go on the Demon King Route. “A wise man keeps away from danger”, as the saying goes, so I better seal up this skill.
The reason this 「Meteor Shower」 was much more powerful than the first, I’m guessing, is the level up or increases in certain stats like INT (Intelligence).
Various other stats seem to also have increased. My STR (Strength) that let me poke holes on the cliff. The high VIT (Vitality) that held me up against the shockwave. Being able to sprint so fast I could feel air resistance, was probably the effect of something like DEX (Dexterity) increasing.
After playing with a pebble in my hand, I figure out that I fortunately have no trouble controlling my strength.
If I just hold it or roll it around, the sensation and strength needed feel no different from doing so before.
However, once I intentionally exert strength, I can easily destroy it.
I try to sneeze while holding the pebble, and it didn’t get crushed. That’s reassuring. (I keep imagining Pochi and Tama’s heads exploding into a mist of blood when Satou pets them and accidentally sneezes, all because they were shedding or something.) (I have nothing against them, I swear) (How could you O.O)
Due to all that dust floating around, the weather is getting worse and worse, so I put up a simple tent I found in the loot and got some rest.
I chew on my energy bar, while quenching my thirst with the 「Bottomless Waterskin」 I found in the loot. It is a magical item that never runs out of water. It’s convenient, but if I want to know how it works it will probably keep me up at night, so I don’t dwell on it.
It starts to rain, so I have nothing to do before it stops, and I get so bored I look through what I looted.
Perhaps due to the meteor impacts, most of the items are damaged. There are a lot of equipment, tools, and everyday objects, but the majority is broken, so I separate those into their own folder.
Gold coins, silver coins, jewels and so on pile into mountains.
Seems the dragons really liked shiny objects!
There are several different types of coins for each and every country, making me lose motivation to sort them all out. There were more Furuu Empire coins than everything else, numbering more than ten million, weighing a ridiculous three hundred and three tons.
Is it because the dragons regularly receive tributes?
I still can’t figure out whether this is a game or a dream, but I probably don’t need to worry about money once I reach a village. I just hope it doesn’t trade only by bartering.
Among the magical items, I find things like Holy Swords, Divine Swords, and Magic Guns.
My delusional side (Yeah, his “中二心 *chuuni gokoro*”) I thought had disappeared is intrigued.
The names of the Holy Swords are 「Excalibur」 and 「Durendal」. So cheesy it really feels like a dream I would have.
I don’t know if the Holy and Divine Swords have some sort of anti-theft measure, but I felt a shock like static electricity as soon as I draw them, so I put them back.
Though I only used it for a moment, swinging a Holy Sword leaves a trail of blue light. Very pretty. The blue light disappeared mid-way, so maybe it’s glow-in-the-dark.
Next, I take out the Magic Gun from Storage and try shooting a rock nearby, and although there is a small but noticeable lag between pressing the trigger and firing, the power is nothing to scoff at.
Okay, enough playing, back to organizing.
At some point, the rain stopped.
While organizing 「Storage」, I seemed to have fallen asleep. Since that was the first sleep I have gotten in some time, I am wide awake now. To have slept so soundly on hard rock, I was clearly exhausted.
I take out a bucket from storage and fill it up with water to wash my face.
Oh? I saw something odd. I look again, and it’s clear I didn’t see it wrong.
I take a picture with the flip phone in my pocket.
“Um, it’s my appearance from around tenth grade.”
Maybe I'm overthinking it, but even my voice sounds younger. Whatever, it’s not like dreams where you become a student again is uncommon.
I've rested enough, and it’s boring to just sit here, so let’s move!
I find out the map that, a hundred kilometers west of here, there’s a facility labeled 「Warrior’s Fort」. No one’s there, and it’s on the edge of the map, so the situation there is unknown.
Since there is no other significant man-made structure nearby, I decide to head there.
Before I go, I check out the 「Skill」 tab of the 「Menu」 for a bit.
I skipped over the Skill tab yesterday, but it’s filled with all sorts of new skills. A total of eleven: 「Single-Handed Sword」, 「Throwing」, 「Dodging」, 「Running Away」, 「Strategy Magic: Alternate World」, 「Summoning Magic: Alternate World」, 「Fear Resistance」, 「Pain Resistance」, 「Self-Healing」, 「Observation」, and 「Ancient Reptilian Language」.
If I learned these by leveling up, it feels like there is too few.
Do I gain skills based on my actions?
Skill levels go from one to ten, and I can level them up by adding skill points. One point for one level, a simple design, and since I now have thirty-one hundred points left, I will distribute points as I please.
I don’t want a repeat of the encounter with the lizardman yesterday, so I max out all the technique and resistance skills that might be useful in battle. The skills can still be turned on or off after receiving skill points.
Then after descending the cliff, I run across the terrain.
My new shoes are the 「Feather Footgear」 I found when organizing 「Storage」, with the ambiguous effect 『Small support when traveling on rough ground』 yet quite reliable.
I have also put on a magician’s robe from my loot made of Yuriha fiber, which I have never heard of.
Due to my high stats, I don’t feel any exhaustion and my breath is not the least bit shallow, even though I am running at the speed of nearly sixty kilometers per hour. I would slow down if I let my mind wander, so instead I focus on running.
Facing away from the rising sun, I don’t think about anything but running.
Hmm? What was that?
While running by leaps and bounds towards 「Warrior’s Fort」, I felt something like a thin membrane going through my body. It really bothers me so I turn back, and about a kilometer away from the fort, I find a transparent film-like wall.
I stare at the invisible wall for a bit, and the AR displays a window that says 「Edge of the Dragon’s Canyon Barrier」. Not sure how I feel about it, but something fantastical like a “Barrier” has appeared.
Though there is some resistance, entering and exiting doesn’t seem to be restricted.
The membrane seems to block airflow, because when I kick up the dirt under my feet, it is stopped at the edge of the barrier. The environment is also separated by this barrier, as the originally brownish-red wilderness, has how become a light-brownish wilderness with some grass.
Well, the wilderness part didn’t change.
I take off the cloth covering my mouth as a face mask, and finally take a deep breath.
*Haah*, clean air is great.
With a slightly low humidity, it feels like the winter air.
After going through the barrier, I immediately arrived at my destination, the 「Warrior’s Fort」.
There stands a bowl-shaped plaza similar to the Colosseum, a small-ish stone fort.
A few places have already collapsed, making it look more abandoned than I had imagined.
Though I already know from the map that there’s not a soul here, I see now that this place is long-deserted and has become a haven for dust and cobwebs.
I investigate the inside of the fort and the surroundings, and only found a row of tombstones behind the Colosseum.
This place seems to be the edge of the 「Dragon’s Canyon」, and as I step away from the fort, the range of the radar shrinks to the area dozens of meters around me.
I open up the map, and the name displayed on the top-left changed from 「Dragon’s Canyon」 to 「Seiryuu County, Shiga Kingdom」.
Hmm, a monarchical nation.
If this were a fairy tale, I might meet a beautiful princess and fall in love, but with my personality I'll probably become 「Support Character A」 cheering from the sidelines.
I don’t know where this dream will take me, but let’s not try too hard, and set making friends with a nice busty maid as my goal. (Yes, Satou, we all know that you are a boobs man.)
I investigate 「Seiryuu County」 with the 「Full Map Exploration」 spell, but not before testing some things. Turns out, the AR display is a function of the 「Menu」, while the map exploration spell provides additional information.
As I am testing, I also open up the map and look for where people are.
The design of the map is similar to the one in WW, and after the entire map has been explored, in addition to displaying the terrain, searching and filtering people and beasts are also possible.
The closest town nearby is twenty kilometers away, 「Seiryuu City」.
There is another city, but it’s fifty kilometers away in the mountains, so that’s out of the question. There are quite a few villages, but they are all farther than 「Seiryuu City」, there’s no need to take the long way.
This 「Seiryuu County」 of 「Shiga Kingdom」 is about sixty kilometers east-to-west, and seventy kilometers north-to-south.
I think it’s bigger than Tokyo but smaller than Chiba? I'm not very confident, though, because I learned that while making scale models in middle school.
Five kilometers away, in the direction of 「Seiryuu City」, there’s a group of not more than a hundred that I think is an army. Their highest level is thirty-one, but the average only about seven.
As I exclaimed, I examine the map again.
Within the entire map, fewer than ten are above Level 40, and none are above Level 50. Seems like Level 310 would be considered unimaginably high.
Even so, I decide to go around the army to avoid trouble.
Maybe I'm being too cautious in a dream, but I don’t want to go through the same thing again.
On my way to 「Seiryuu City」, a fast-approaching red dot appears on the radar. I'm running on rocky terrain full of hills, I can’t see anything even if I look.
I check the map, and it turns out to be a Level 30 「Wyvern」.
In order to get a better look, I jump up on top of a rock.
My first time meeting a wyvern starts with a crash, then I am thrown back.
Whoa, I'm seeing stars.
I roll on the rocky ground for more than ten meters, and stop as I slam into a stone wall.
Good thing I have the 「Pain Resistance」 skill. Maybe because of my high VIT (Vitality), I’m completely unhurt after hitting the wall with that speed.
Once again taking the sky, the wyvern flies in circles waiting for a chance to attack. Judging from the size of its head when it hit me, its wingspan should be at least thirty meters.
Rather than a wyvern, doesn’t it look more like a pteranodon?
There is poisonous-looking spike growing on the end of its long tail, which is sort of like the wyverns seen in fantasies.
I pick up a pebble and throw it at the circling wyvern as a warning.
Wha? I was just going to scare it a bit, but the pebble punches through the wyvern’s wing and disappears into the sky. If this were a manga, it would fly away with a *ding* and a flash of light.
Though the wing was pierced, it was merely a pebble and couldn’t possibly take down the wyvern, but that did scare it away. In the direction of a far-off cliff, the wyvern flies away awkwardly in a wobbly path.
Oh no. I think that’s where the army is.
Well, the knight leading the army has a higher level than the wyvern, so they should be fine.
Still, I feel like I just pushed trouble onto others, so I decide to go check it out.
After three jumps, I finally climb on top of a twenty-meter cliff. I could have done so in two jumps, but tree branches sticking out on the cliff were annoying.
I can see the wyvern circling the sky like it has discovered prey.
I leap over several large rocks on the cliff, and watch for the army that the wyvern has its eyes on.
I’m probably about two or three hundred meters away from the army.
I can hear the commander’s voice, but I don’t know what he’s saying even if I listen carefully. I can only speak Japanese and some simple English, but still, I can usually guess the language. However, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.
It’s not an “unknown language” you usually see in dreams, but a “fully grammatical language”, like what appears in an overly-detailed anime.
Speaking of which, the way that lizardman spoke before was the same.
I’m no longer confident that this is a dream, but I’m afraid to guess what else could it be, so I’ll keep saying it’s a dream.
After dodging the question, I check the 「Skills tab」 in the 「Menu」, and sure enough the skill 「Shiga Language」 is now available, and I try adding skill points.
Let’s start with one point.
« You, make line, fast! »
Ooh, I can only make out bits and pieces, but I understood the commander’s words.
I slowly increase the skill level, and I can now figure out that the sentence before meant “Get into formation! Quickly!”.
After five points, my comprehension improves and I become fluent. I tried to max out the skill, but there isn’t much change after six points.
Other than the language, somehow I also got the seven skills 「Combat」, 「Sprinting」, 「Vertical Maneuver」, 「Enhanced Sight」, 「Telescoping」, 「Enhanced Hearing」, and 「Lip Reading」.
In either FFL or WW, in order to gain a skill, I would have to complete very difficult quests or procedures, but this dream seems poorly designed in comparison.
The display was annoying while I moved around, so I had turned it off, but now I want to learn how skills are obtained, so I painstakingly change the log to display only a few lines, and set it in the corner of my sight.
Back to watching the battle— So, I distribute points to skills convenient for gathering information and enable them, the four being 「Enhanced Sight」, 「Telescoping」, 「Enhanced Hearing」, and 「Lip Reading」.
The army stands in a circular formation in anticipation of the wyvern’s attack.
I concentrate my eyes, and due to the effects of the 「Telescoping」 and 「Enhanced Sight」 skills, I can clearly see the circular formation, as if looking through binoculars.
My field doesn’t change, but the place I focus on appears clearly, as if zoomed in, how does it work?
It bothers me, but I’ll investigate later.
I concentrate my wandering mind again.
The outer ring of the circular formation consists of heavily armored soldiers with large shields, and there are two rows of lightly armored soldiers carrying spears on the inside. Moving in unison with the wyvern gliding above, the swaying spears look just like some kind of living thing.
Surrounded by those spear soldiers, ones holding crossbows are crouching in standby.
“Soldiers, have no fear! Remember your training!”
“Let’s see your Seiryuu spirit!”
A voice rang from within the circular formation, encouraging the frightened soldiers.
Yeah, of course, it’s scary to fight against a monster like that right?
Then, in the center of the circle, a robed, magician-looking person takes out a staff.
To the left and right of that person, stood lightly armored female soldiers holding something like conductor’s batons, which I thought were short spears at first, but as the AR pop-ups show, these batons are actually something called 「Short Staves」. Their job should be 「Arcane Soldiers」.
If they’re magicians, why don’t they wear robes?
Around the three magicians, there is a group standing by probably as their guards.
Outside of the formation, about eight horse-riding cavalry are galloping around.
It’s obvious that they’re keeping themselves on the side of the formation opposite the wyvern, in groups of four. They’re protected by full-body armors with a silver sheen, yet they’re hiding behind the formation?
“Watch out! Spearmen don’t sway your spears! Hold it on the ground with your foot! If you don’t stand firmly you’d be knocked flying by the wyvern’s tackle!
“Bowmen, tighten your strings, wait for the spears to slow that thing down!”
The soldiers are not confused despite being afraid, all because of the commander’s clear orders.
Thanks to that, whenever the wyvern assaults the formation, it is repelled by the spears, and backs away fruitlessly.
The bowmen are very skilled, with nine-tenths of their arrows hitting the mark. Even then, most of the arrows are blocked by the wyvern’s hide, unable to do damage. Is it just the tough hide, or the level difference?
Well, just like in a game, critical hits are possible, and a girl among the guards protecting the magicians, hits the wyvern with only one shot.
I just noticed, there are also soldiers waiting in the trees some distance away from the formation, and they appear to be only lightly armored, which means that they’re probably unarmed combat engineers in hiding!
...In other words, that army is fighting because it is confident it will win.
I was going to throw some rocks to help repel the dragon in case something happens, but it’s probably not necessary.
I put the rocks back into 「Storage」, and decide to just watch the battle.
After that, the wyvern assaulted the soldiers several times more, but is stopped each time by a wall of spears and arrows.
When the wyvern prepared to attack for the fourth time, the situation changed.
After the attack failed and the wyvern tries to fly back up, suddenly its wings lose lift, breaking its balance. As if slammed by an invisible hammer, it crashes the ground unnaturally.
That was probably magic.
When the wyvern lost its balance, one of the magicians at the center chanted a spell with a synth-like voice, then I hear the call “Turbulence”.
The decisive word of this battle, appeared to me as two different words in stereo.
The modern and archaic terms are pronounced at the same time. 『Ran Kiryu』 and 『Tahbyuransu』 both appeared in my mind. The archaic version was translated into katakana. (Forgive me if this isn’t entirely accurate, but the first term seems to be the “modern” version of the word written in kanji (乱気流), while the second is the “archaic” version written in katakana as a loan word)(夕—ビュランス)
And the following spell that threw the wyvern on the ground, seems to be called 「Air Hammer」.
That was the first time I hear magic being chanted in this world, but how exactly are the spells pronounced?
The final keyword I understood, but the spell itself sounds less like a real language, and more like an irregular string of notes. I think it sounds a lot like music made with DTM software. (Desk Top Music)
While I am being distracted by small details, the battle goes on.
The grounded wyvern lets out a pitiful cry, though its health bar hasn’t decreased by much.
Still, the magicians seem to have accomplished their mission.
The excited soldiers repeatedly stab their spear into the wyvern as it’s trying to stretch its wings to fly, yet the wyvern’s health only dropped about two-tenths.
The higher-leveled knight, wielding a spear on horseback, pins one of the wings on the ground, forcing the wyvern on its side.
The remaining knights try to pin down the other wing, but they are thrown back by a single wingbeat, falling back several meters with their horses.
Where the wyvern crashed, it is less than a hundred meters from the cliff I’m hiding on.
Isn’t it a little too close?
“...■■■ ■■ 「Lightning Strike」!”
A magician at the center casts lightning at the wyvern.
It’s not as bad as real thunder, but the flash of silvery light and the loud boom hurt my eyes and ears. Turns out the 「Enhanced Sight」 and 「Hearing」 skills have their downsides.
As my ears are ringing, I didn’t hear the order to regroup, but the soldiers split into three teams, take out spears, and surround the wyvern. The magicians at the center each go with one of the three teams along with their guards.
Despite being pinned down and paralyzed by lightning, the wyvern still struggles.
One by one the soldiers are stabbed by the poisonous tail spike or bitten by its large jaws. Spears cannot pierce its hide and even point-blank arrows bounce off, but damage is adding up slowly.
The wyvern realizes that it would be defeated if this goes on, so it readies itself.
It whips its tail and sweeps careless soldiers who came too close.
Perhaps due to that move, its wing comes loose, and the wyvern takes off toward a cliff.
In my direction.
“Stop it! Zena!”
The one who looks like the captain, gives a sudden order to the arcane soldier in the wyvern’s path.
Though they may be afraid, the troops deployed in front of the arcane soldier still bravely stick out their spears. Their bodies are weak, but their resolve is strong.
I’d run for my life if I were them!
“...■ ■■■ 「Air Cushion」!”
Advancing at the speed of a short-distance runner, the wyvern crashes into an invisible wall meters in front of the arcane soldier.
The wall itself is invisible, but the dust and debris that the wyvern kicks up reveals its size. It is roughly two soccer goals stacked vertically.
Because I am watching from afar, the situation doesn’t feel very serious, but those involved probably don’t agree. As the existence of magic probably doesn’t change physical laws, a force equal but opposite to the one being applied to the wyvern is applied to the magical wall, and in turn to the arcane soldier.
The wyvern stops dead in its tracks, but the smaller soldier is flung far into the air.
The magical wall likely did its job as a cushion. Even though the soldier was thrown into the air, it didn’t turn into a gory scene. She is probably at most only braised.
Two spells are cast at the same time.
“...■■■ ■■ 「Lightning Strike」!”
“...■ ■■■ 「Reduce Speed」.”
One is lightning magic giving a decisive blow to the wyvern.
The other is a magic that slows down the fall of the arcane soldier who was blown away.
I didn’t realize what the magic did at first, but seeing the falling speed decreasing, I now understand.
The problem is, the horizontal velocity hasn’t decreased.
Twenty meters up in the air, she will fly right past me toward the other side of the cliff if I don’t do anything.
Maybe because the battle felt so realistic, without even considering that this is a dream, I turned my ankles, and hopped on a large branch sticking out the other side of the cliff.
It looks scary, but I will be fine if I fall from this height. I've already done this once when I arrived here, albeit unwillingly.
I stop near the end of the branch, and reach out.
I see a tree with slightly longer branches below, so I jump over and desperately extend my hand.
As if waiting for me to grab the robe, the magic slowing down the descent of the arcane soldier disappeared, and gravity takes over again.
Shit, I reached a bit too far.
With her weight pulling me down, I hug the branch tightly, to avoid falling off.
I adjust my grip, and pull her up by her chest.
If this were a manga or light novel, it would be an opportunity for a lucky pervert scene, but unfortunately I only feel the hardness of her breast plate. A shame, but this is no time to be taken over by lust, so I just hold her properly and move toward the root of the branch.
She seems to have fainted when she collided with the wyvern, and is now unconscious.
I brush back her bangs drenched by sweat, and see a cute face. The AR displays the name 「Zena Mariantell」, 「17 years old」. She seems to be the daughter of a Chevalier. (Unfortunately, this doesn’t carry over in translation. The Chinese used the formal title for a Knight (爵士) rather than the more common term (騎士), but English doesn’t have that distinction, as far as I can tell. I'm assuming this is the same in the original Japanese. Also need help on this one. EDIT: I’ll take a page from the WN here and borrow a French word.)
A Chevalier is a type of nobleman right? Never heard of it.
In short, she is a slim and natural beauty, the type who is quite popular without her awareness.
Her smooth, light blonde hair is tied up, and her diminutive head protected by her headgear.
The lashes decorating her closed eyes are long, and the brows hiding behind her bangs trace out an energetic curve, trimmed or not. Her face without any make up is blushing a bit, and her small lips neither too thin nor thick have a smooth pink hue.
She probably isn’t wearing perfume, but mixed within the smell of sweat, there seems to be a sweet scent that is unique to women.
She is wearing leather armor on top of her long-sleeved shirt and shorts, thick boots on her feet, and the firm robe that saved her life.
As I was too concentrated on saving her, I hadn’t noticed until now, that the log has new messages informing me of my new title.
＞＞＞ Obtained title 「Savior」
＞＞＞ Obtained skill 「Carrying」
Seems titles are as easy to get as skills.
“Mm... Where’s this?”
“Are you awake?”
I warn the girl who has just woken up.
“Be prepared when you look down.”
As expected of a soldier, even when she is on a thin branch sticking out of a cliff, she only let out a brief cry and quickly held back.
“Are you hurt anywhere?”
“No, my body is a bit sore, but it isn’t particularly painful.”
Perhaps not used to being around men, she seems to be quite embarrassed to be carried by me, so I let her down near the base of the branch.
“Are you okay?”
She moaned painfully the moment she landed, so I rush to support her. She seems to have hurt her ankle when the wyvern threw her back. It probably isn’t broken, but sprained.
“Thank you very much. Where’s this? I remember battling the wyvern...”
“When I was climbing the cliff, you fell from the sky!”
“On top of that cliff?”
She stares all wide-eyed up at the cliff. About five meters up? About as tall as a third-story window.
“You were affected by magic or something, and fell very slowly, so I was able to catch you.”
“Is that so? Then you are my savior.”
Saying that, she sheepishly thanks me.
She is supposed to be a bit taller than me, but when she pulls down her chin, her eyes look up at me, resulting in a very destructive smile.
If I was still in high school, I'm sure I would fall in love at first sight.
But, I'm not a lolicon who would take advantage of a girl more than ten years younger, so she’s out of the question.
“It wasn’t much. I am a traveling merchant, the name’s Satou.”
The story about being a traveling merchant is a setting I thought of on the road.
In terms of this world’s development, people might be barred from migrating, and normal travelers would be treated as vagabonds.
Though it’s very silly to be this cautious in a dream, considering the realism I’ve felt up until this moment, I might even be jailed if I’m not careful!
In order to make my story more believable, I said that while looking into her eyes.
“I-, I- I-, I’m employed by the esteemed Count Seiryuu, 「Arcane Soldier」 Zena. I have been serving in the army for nearly two years. Seventeen and single, no-, no boyfriend.”
Um, no one asked.
Looking a bit nervous, Zena tells me about her family with a serious expression. While I mindlessly responded, I find a stepping stone which I can use to climb up the cliff.
“Excuse me, we’re going to jump over there.”
I hold her in a princess carry, and easily jump on the stepping stone. She seems shocked, but not due to the pain.
“We’ll climb up, so please grab onto my shoulders.”
“Huh?! Climb up this cliff?”
“Yes, since there are actually a lot of rocks I can step on, let’s climb up!”
I remind her to hold on, and lightly jumped from one stepping stone to the next, and to avoid giving her more stress, I use my entire body to cancel the force of impact.
“*Haah*, *haah*, you’re quite nimble!”
Through her armor, I can feel Zena’s heart beating fast, as she clings to me tightly.
She raises her face slightly red from shallow breathing, and voiced her thought with a tremble. (Ladies and gentleman, the Suspension Bridge Effect.)
An interesting conclusion.
Maybe because she’s still afraid, she doesn’t seem to want to be let down from the princess carry, so I move between the rocks on the cliff, and bring her to her comrades.
“Halt! Who are you? Put down our comrade!”
On one of the rocks, a petite girl intercepts me and questions.
That’s probably Zena’s colleague! She cautiously takes out a crossbow, and aims at me.
“Wait, wait a minute, Lilio. This man is not a threat!”
Despite Zena’s plea, she does not let down her guard. Well, that’s expected.
I slowly lower Zena and let her sit on the ground.
“Now back away!”
“Lilio! This man is my savior, you know?!”
When I step back some distance, a heavily armored female soldier quickly runs up from behind a rock, grabs Zena, and retreats back to the rock. Soon another heavily armored female soldier enters, and points her claymore at me.
Though protests can be heard from Zena and her comrades behind the rock, it doesn’t seem like she is going to put it away.
...Sheesh, no good deed goes unpunished.
“Who are you? State your name.”
Though her face is hidden behind a mask, but the heavily armored soldier with a claymore has a melodious voice. Judging by her well-proportioned body that even the armor is unable to hide, she must be a beauty. It’s a baseless assumption, but I’d be happy if it is true.
“Don’t play dumb, state your name.”
“Nice meeting you, Miss Soldier. I am a traveling merchant, name’s Satou.”
“You’re a traveling merchant, but isn’t your luggage surprisingly light?”
The bag on my shoulder is taken off.
It’s something I found while organizing my loot yesterday, the tabletop RPG classic, infinite-capacity Bag of Holding. Its name is 「Garage Bag」.
I don’t need it because I have 「Storage」, but it’s a fashionable black leather bag, so I equipped it as part of my costume.
Would a merchant who uses a 「Garage Bag」 be rare?
“It’s a little embarrassing to say, but due to yesterday’s meteors, my horse ran away.”
“Meteors? You mean yesterday’s ‘Starfall’, right?”
The 「Meteor Shower」s should have been visible from afar, so I use it as part of my excuse. So it was named “Starfall”, quite a fantastical name.
＞＞＞ Obtained skill 「Deception」
＞＞＞ Obtained skill 「Explanation」
Come on, I did just come up with the story, but I didn’t intend to get these skills. They seem to be useful though, so I put in some skill points.
“There’s a hole in your story, you know. You said your horse ran away, but if you saw that ‘Starfall’ on your way to the city, you're going in the wrong direction.”
Too bad I can’t see her face. I guess she must be smirking.
I'm being interrogated at sword point, but I still don’t feel any tension, since the 「Menu」 and 「Radar Display」 that have been sitting at the corner of my sight break my immersion. I feel like I'm in a game, and can’t get serious at all.
Thanks to my now-enabled 「Deception」 skill, all sorts of good excuses appear to me.
“Excuse me, do you know of the place 「Warrior’s Fort」?”
“Yeah, I know. Isn’t that the place people go to kill themselves?”
A place for suicide? At least it’s not forbidden to go there.
“The grave of my grandfather’s friend is buried there, and on the way to clean the gravesite, I saw that ‘Starfall’. I desperately ran after my horse, but I still couldn’t catch up to it in its frenzy...”
“Really, what a disaster.”
Oh! She believed me? As expected of the maxed out 「Deception」 and 「Explanation」 skills. Super effective!
“Please show your identification.”
Identification? I do have my license in my wallet, but that will only complicate things if I show that.
“Um, I left my identification in one of the hidden pockets on the saddle, so I don’t have it.”
“No problem, just apply for another at 「Seiryuu City」.”
So she advised, putting away her claymore into the sheath on her back, and then fastening the buckle.
“Wait, Iona, is it really okay to let him go like this? What if he’s some rogue?”
“He has slender fingers, and is wearing an expensive-looking robe. So, he must be some noble from a small kingdom up north.”
“He could also be a spy from somewhere, no?”
“Who hires a spy for 「Shiga Kingdom」 with a face clearly not from around here?”
The girl who stood on the rock jumps down and starts whispering in the ear of the armored female soldier, and thanks to the 「Enhanced Hearing」 skill, I overhear everything.
“What’s up, Lilio. He’s the type of cute black-haired boys you like.”
“For personal reasons, I hate them right now.”
“Ahh, did your boyfriend dump you? I’ll treat you to some food good for breast enhancement next time!”
“I didn’t get dumped because of my breasts! But thanks for the offer. Please listen to my rants too!”
As I listen to girl talk, Zena comes back after talking to the guards, and apologizes for her comrades’ rude behavior.
I head toward their base with them, which is unavoidable because the city is in the same direction.
If I bid my leave and head in a different direction, it would look very suspicious.
The smell of blood on the battlefield is repugnant, but, due to the effect of 「Pain Resistance」, I only feel like vomiting, and didn’t actually do so.
On the battlefield there are several bodies covered by cloths, as well as wounded soldiers being treated, and the massive remains of the wyvern.
...Did people die?
Unbelievably, almost none of the soldiers are crying, perhaps they are purposely ignoring the sadness, by burying themselves in work?
Men who appear to be combat engineers are taking apart the wyvern with a tough-looking saw. As if unsatisfied to merely bleed, every time the men pull the saw, the corpse spurts blood all over.
A knight who appears to be the commander sees Zena on the back of one of the guards, and drives his horse here.
This is the first time I see a horse this close, its rough breathing carries a beast’s scent.
Don’t stick your beady-eyed horse face near me. I only want beauties doing this.
“Zena! You're safe!”
“Yes, I was saved by this man here. He’s Satou-san, the traveling merchant as nimble as a bird.”
Zena introduces me. Even though she added some unnecessary descriptors, I won’t say anything.
“We are very grateful. Thanks to you, we can end the battle without losing one of our precious arcane soldiers.”
Sounds like he meant: ‘It wouldn’t matter if she weren’t an arcane soldier’, but since people are laughing, it was probably a joke, and not serious!
The heavily-armored female soldier who questioned me quietly reported our conversation before to the captain.
I am also asked about the situation around 「Warrior’s Fort」.
Turns out, they are an investigative team from 「Seiryuu City」, here to see whether there are any changes after yesterday’s ‘Starfall’.