Author: Hey guys, I have decided to change the skill [Eye of Truth] to [Appraisal]. All hail the almighty appraisal-sama!
“Humph~ hu hohm~”
“Tch… standing out so much, not my style. *giggle”
…3 heroes in Arnesti. That is the limit of heroes this kingdom can possess. The remaining two heroes are summoned in the Fortress Empire Ingram and the Magic Realm Laitzen.
But w-what are these guys? Did I mistake this for a circus?
I stood in shock as I watch the float move slowly in front of me. The up-close view of the heroes. The people that should have come to this world, leaving behind their original one. For them to be like this… It just takes out my hope of asking them anything. No, there is one normal looking one. The long haired girl that looks embarrassed for being with those two crazies.
I concentrate on the three with [Discern].
[??? <Class: Hero of Stars> <Level: 46>] This is the one that’s dancing around playing the violin. His skill with it is pretty high as he is managing to do all that while interacting with the citizens and doing those exaggerated movements.
[??? <Class: Hero of Sun> <Level: 49>] The guy in complete black, hiding his face. Looks coming straight out of an anime convention. For a while now he has been talking nonsense to no one in particular. His figure totally differing from his class as “Sun”.
[???<Class: Hero of Moon> <Level: ??>] And lastly, the girl. She has the highest level in the group. But judging from the level difference in the party, she must be 50 something.
Sun, moon and stars. What kind of class is that? I can’t get a clear image of what they can do. But they certainly don’t give me a good impression.
While at that, I also checked out the soldiers that were marching along. Most of the soldiers are level 40-45 and a low part are ???. The general soldiers wore blue armor but the variety increased with the higher levels.
Cavalry, flag holders, mages, archers, knights. I could see that all the ones at the front were more distinct than the rest. They all wore the characteristic blue though. The heroes were clearly no match yet for the seasoned ones. I can see the flags they are holding has a shield with dragon wings. They must be the Blue Scale Regiment I have heard so much about.
Comparing the soldiers at their feet with the heroes in the float, I could see a wide difference. The heroes probably can’t defeat a single soldier even when they have higher level. That is what my intuition is telling me.
“Those heroes… what did they return from?”
I decide to ask the group at my side, Elinalise, Lylian and Ethan. All of them were looking pretty surprised as well. It’s probably their first time seeing the heroes as well.
“Oh, Youma. Well, I am not quite clear on the details, but it seems they came back from the northeast regions where they hunted in a dungeon for several weeks along with a group of elites. In order to train their unpolished skills”
Ethan responds. His words were filled with doubt, he was pretty unsure if what he said was accurate. Though, it does look like that is the case as I hear a number of conversations regarding the case from around us.
A dungeon in the Galard region that goes all the way down and its divided in floors. Where the mana beasts get stronger and stronger depending on how deep one goes.
So in a sense, they were sent there with a group of elites to power-level them, or so to say, give them a big helping hand. Fighting monsters with a beefy frontline while they stay in the back and handle the last blows or something of the sort. A strategy that would only work in games and, apparently, in this world.
I heard that the heroes came here 3 months ago. Two months before me. In that time, they were taught about this world and the way to fight. As well as provided them with all commodities and luxuries. They probably don’t have to worry about baths and have no need to sleep in hard beds.
Seeing them fanfare their entrance and singing praises before anything has even begun, I can’t help but feel that they are trying to pamper them.
Well, I won’t be relating myself too much with them. Those eyes tell me they are not looking for a way home.
“How massive is that float! I want to ride it too!”
Lylian jumps, retained in place by Ethan who is grabbing her by the collar. She would probably really jump onto the float if Ethan didn’t stop her.
“Yeah and that group looks funny. The black robed one has some cool looking clothes. I wonder if he is a magician as well. Those clothes might be legendary class. Maybe those chains are some sort of seal?”
Elinalise questioned with her honest feelings. Looking at the clothes of the black robe with eyes of interest.
I use [Appraisal] to check his clothing.
[Several layers of black cloth: Very hot <+3 defense><Passive: Warm body>] That’s it. Even the necklace is telling me that thing is excruciating. Or more like, wow, this thing can scan so specifically. It changed the name because there were several layers.
It’s set. Those clothes have no practical use. No, it’s even bad to be using them right now. That he still uses it must be because… he wants to show them off.
“Umm… Elinalise. Are those clothes really that powerful looking?” I ask Elinalise to learn the reason she thinks those are magic clothes.
“Well, chains are normally used for sealing. And since it is a robe and we are in public view, he is probably using it to restrain its powers. If not, then why would he use those clothes in such a hot season? Only mages do that. As expected of a hero” Elinalise doesn’t show a single trace of doubt and her face only showcases her admiration.
“But those are normal clothes you know” And Lylian nonchalantly crushes it.
“I heard he uses a sword and shield. A knight type” And continues to crush it.
By the time Ethan shuts her mouth, Elinalise’s face was already red in embarrassment. Crouching on the ground covering her face. All that confidence she showed came crashing down on her.
Being a mage herself, Lylian knows about the clothes of a magician.
Elinalise is a mage as well, but her experience in magician clothing must still be rather low. She probably hasn’t seen that many mages yet.
Lylian is merciless. Even with her master, she doesn’t hold back.
The procession continues and ends without any incidents.
In the end, I decide not to make contact with them. They are too well protected and are now in the castle. There is no way I can meet them. The heroes don’t seem to share my same objective anyways. I won’t risk it.
We decide to tour the festival after that. As we checked all the stands, we had to restrain Lylian from going wild. It was like we were walking around with an untamed dog. Most of the leashing was done by Ethan though. Her strength was literally gorilla class.
The attractions in this world were very specific. Most of them were like shoot the price with bow, high striker, dodging tomatoes. They all concentrated on physical abilities. I don’t know well how they regulate those kind of games, but it seems that one uses weapons and equipment that will restrict the specific stat. Meaning, one has to use the same stat more effectively in order to bring out the most of it.
In the high striker game.
“I don’t really want to try it though”
I voiced my opposition.
In my hands I had a giant hammer. In front of me, a 4m tall tower with a lever at the bottom and a bell at the top.
“Oh come on Youma, you haven’t played a single one of them. Don’t be a party pooper. Anyone that rings the bell gets an X-Strength potion you know! Super rare! Now go and get it”
“… Yeah, yeah”
Lylian forcefully pushed me to play in this one. Just because she didn’t manage to ring it.
All the potions from the other games were high potions. So an X one is really rare and that’s made Lylian incredibly angry when she failed to get it.
It’s true that with Lylian’s display in the other games, I just don’t feel like doing it. Her crazy ability with her body is no joke. She broke through all the games with inhuman skills. One wouldn’t be able to tell if she was actually restraint by the items.
I look at my back.
At the sobbing Elinalise that is still cleaning her hair from her previous game. Dodge the tomatoes. As expected from her, her way of moving lacked a lot of dexterity and managed to splendidly catch all the tomatoes flying at her with her body.
Now, as to why she participated in such a game. Of course, it was Lylian.
Seeing that I am in the same situation, just demotivates me. Oh well, at least I wasn’t dragged into the tomatoes but into the hammer and bell one.
I probably wouldn’t get away without doing at least one, so this is the best option I suppose. Who knows what crazy game they have in this world.
I got interested in the items used in these attractions anyways, in order to activate my necklace I need to be at a certain distance so this is okay. I direct my gaze at the hammer and cast [Appraisal].
[High Strike Hammer: Restricts the user’s strength. <Strength Down = 10>]
The hammer seems to reduce my strength back to beginner level. But since I am always at 10 out of combat, I am not sure if it’s working or not.
Anyways, to think there is such an item in this world that reduces your stats when equipped. That’s scary. I wonder what material this is made of. I must ask in detail at a later time.
“Customer, you are holding the line. There are others waiting to try”
The owner calls me with a fake smile. His face felt like it was secretly saying: “Hurry up! There’s no way you will win anyways! The longer you take the less money I get!”
A very straightforward expression.
For now, I have to do this. There are a number of people waiting in line after all.
I stand in front of the 4m tower.
Before preparing my hammer, I cast [Appraisal] once more.
[High Strike Tower: 4.35m tall. Puck is heavier than normal. Rigged]
And it literally tells me the truth. These confirms two things: one, [Appraisal] analyzes the current item and gives me accurate information of it; two, this game is rigged.
Well, high strike is famous for being easy to rig anyways, and this world is a harsh one.
I could just smile wryly and prepare my hammer.
Let’s just finish this in one go and get some rest!
I lift my hammer up high, and bring it down unmotivated, knowing the puck would not lift that much anyways. The flat of the hammer hits the lever square in the center and…
A sharp sound of ringing reverberated in the area and the noise of something breaking.
“What… in the world”
The one in charge of the game looked up at the tower with wide eyes and a slack-jawed mouth.
I follow his gaze and find the reason of his surprise.
The top of the tower… was gone. The part where the bell was supposed to be was nowhere to be found. Only finding the top of the wooden tower in pieces.
The missing bell soon descended from the sky and made a heavy ringing sound as it dropped onto the ground. The puck also made an uncharacteristic heavy sound when it reached the ground.
Luckily, no one was in the area.
Wait, I thought it was rigged.
“Incredible Youma, to think you could manage to get so much strength out when using a strength reducing hammer!”
“No way, there is no way. You must have done something to the hammer!”
Lylian jumps onto me happily when she sees this, but the owner didn’t share her happiness.
He quickly took back his hammer and checked it. His face totally bluew, sweating buckets.
“It… is working properly?”
And he makes an absentminded face when he finishes checking.
Lylian walks up to him without caring about his current state of mind and stretches out a hand in front of his face while dragging me with her right arm doing a lock on my neck, her giant breasts hitting my face as we walk.
Tears formed in the eyes of the owner. An aged adult is tearing up in front of me while I’m suffocated in breasts.
The X-Strength potion, from what little I have heard, is a potion that increases the strength of the person that uses it for a temporary amount of time. The boost of strength depends on the level of the potion itself, but it seems the X is one of the highest types and boosts a crazy amount of 45% of one’s current strength, making it an item anyone would drool for.
The owner seemed extremely reluctant to bring out the prize, but he couldn’t hold out to Lylian’s pressure and had to yield. With a face of utter despair, he brings out a carved box made out of quality wood that clearly showed something important was inside.
To think that I would witness such a grand way of handing a prize, moreover, the prize is that of a High Strike game.
Lylian took the box, not caring one bit about the owner and gave it to me. I was finally free from her infernal grip.
“Open it Youma, you deserve to”
Lylian tells me with a wide grin. Her face filled with anticipation.
I just don’t feel any sense of accomplishment.
My weird class was probably the reason such a situation happened. Out of combat, my strength is 10. But that lack of strength is only displayed when I try to fight without activating skills. When I do anything else that is not related to fighting, this strength is not limited at all. I can swing heavy axes, push giant doors. However, since I had a strength reducing hammer, I really thought it would affect me. That wasn’t the case though.
I apologize to the owner in my mind. Well, he also cheated, so we are both in the same boat.
I take the box in my hands and slowly open it. As soon as I do so, a strong aroma rises out. A wild scent that rushed through my nostrils and quickly made my mind shiver. All the people in my surroundings also get affected by it. Everyone fell silent and seemed to be knocked silly by the strong aroma.
When I finally manage to return to my senses, I look inside the box. A single flask with a dark orange color. Even though my hands weren’t shaking, the liquid inside that flask seemed to be moving endlessly. As if it had a will of its own. I could feel its force as if calling out “I want to rampage!”
It’s clearly not a normal item.
“Woah, this is an X-Strength Potion. Ferocious” Elinalise said beside me as she looked at the flask mesmerized.
“Reminds me of Lylian”
“Oh my, Ethan. Flirting in public”
“It wasn’t a compliment”
Ethan and Lylian were now a few steps back of Elinalise. Looking at the flask as well.
I just close the box once more and give it to Ethan.
“Can you hold onto it for a while?”
I whisper at Ethan.
It seems Ethan noticed what I tried to say and holds the box.
A good item is always welcomed, but when shown in such a public area…
I look around with [Instinct of the Predator]. Numerous red figures and yellow figures were reflected. Sign that they are hostile right now.
“Sorry for the trouble”
“No problem. Anything for Elinalise’s benefactor”
After a while we decided to all go somewhere to eat. As expected, we got sneak attacks in the way. The attackers were no rookies, they were definitely veterans, but all of them were repelled by Ethan and Lylian.
It was clear, these two are strong, strong enough to make those “veterans” look like thrash.
It was already night.
With the festival over, we separate. The X-Strength Potion along with the box were now inside my inventory. By the time night came, all the attackers had already given up so it was already safe.
I do a little stroll in the streets. People were now disassembling their stands, packing the decorations and cleaning up.
I gaze at the streets and close my eyes.
What is it I am searching for? Why is it I don’t want to return to the inn right now?
I walk as I search for something in these streets.
The reason I didn’t want to return to the inn yet, I actually know why. I am scared. Scared of that dream. No, of that reality.
Right now, my body is probably searching for it instinctively. That melody. The melody that soothed me in the nightmare-less night.
Walking, I concentrate on picking up any sounds.
People talking about the festival, kids refusing to go back, carts being pushed and sweeping. Various sounds that told of the end of this day. And yet, I couldn’t find the sound I am looking for.
By the time I was already far from the area where I heard the melody and was in an unknown street, I decide to give up and go back.
But I once again heard it.
It was low, however, I could somehow tell it was the same.
It was on a place pretty far away from where I was. But I still follow the melody.
Without noticing, I somehow ended up in a green area of the city. A big garden with numerous trees. The melody came from inside.
I don’t stop my steps and enter.
Inside that garden, no sounds of birds or animals could be heard. Yet I could feel their presence. All of them staying silent, listening to this concerto.
The sound was dispersed in this garden that one could mistake for a forest, so it was hard to find its source. But I use [Instinct of the Predator] to follow the birds that were gathering.
When I arrive at the point of origin, I saw him. The same masked man, leaning his right feet on top of a stump, he plays his violin while lighted up by the moon. As if the trees itself gave way to illuminate his performance.
I sit in a place relatively far and listen, leaning my back on the trunk of a tree.
“Oh? A spectator. I didn’t think one would be able to find his way here”
Without stopping, the masked man voices his surprise at my arrival.
His performance grew livelier at the arrival of this unexpected visitor.
Birds I have never seen before gathered around. Some perching on his shoulder. His performance not hindered at all. Just serving to enhance that magical feeling.
After a while, his performance ends and he does a light bow.
The birds on his shoulder fly off and all of them circle around as they chirp. Their action resembling a clapping audience.
I get up and clap as well.
After that, the animals return and the man walks up to where I am.
“It was a splendid performance”
I greet him and thank him for the great performance, but his next words were unexpected.
“Right?! Man, it has been a while since I have felt this good”
Without showing any reservation, the masked man laughs while he rubs his shoulders and breaths a sigh of satisfaction.
Eh? This sensation…
“Ah! Aren’t you the one who was in my last performance? I also saw you in the heroes parade. Could it be, a fan? Did you come all the way here searching for me?”
Yeah, I did come here searching for you, and I could be called a fan. But to point out those things. Don’t you think about how embarrassed I feel now?
No anyways, this sensation. I feel I have met this person somewhere aside from performances. But where? My mind grows fuzzy when I try to remember him.
So instead, I decide to use [Discern].
[??? Class: Hero of Stars Level:46]
This cleared my suspicions perfectly and a definite image comes to my mind.
“You… are one of the heroes?”
“Oh? You were able to tell. Weird, this mask should block off your cognition of me”
While saying that, he takes off his mask and plays around with it. Beneath that mask, the face of a young handsome man. His pointed chin and long eyelashes, coupled with his shoulder length hair, one could mistake him for a woman. But he was clearly a man.
Wait, if he really is the hero, there’s something strange.
“Didn’t you arrive today? How come you were performing in this city two days ago?”
“Oh that. I snuck out. We were actually close to the city waiting for the preparations of the parade to finish. Aah, playing my violin in this city does feel a lot better”
So they arrived too soon and had to wait.
“So? Want to hear another one?”
“Thanks. But I am happy enough now”
“Hohoh, I see”
The hero prepared himself to play another one, but I politely refuse.
I would prefer to preserve my previous image of him. He looks like the type who would change his style depending on his mood.
“Anyways, Mister Hero, my name is Youma. May I have the honor of your name?” I bow and introduce myself.
“What a turn of attitude. My name is Marcos Saavedra. No need for Mister, just call me Marcos. Also don’t be so formal. Let’s go with a light mood a light mood”
The hero, Marcos, waves his hand as if shooing away the heavy atmosphere and takes a seat on the stump he was leaning on before.
“Come here. It seems you want to speak to me about something. I can smell it”
He makes a playful face as he acts mysterious.
But despite that playfulness, his words were true. I did want to have a chat.
I accept his invitation and sit on the grassy ground.
“Hero Marcos, I have come from a distant place and this is my first time meeting a person like you. From what I have heard, you are a person that came from another world”
“Oh, yep that’s right. I have come from another world”
“Then, if possible, could you please tell me how was that world?”
Without taking off my formality, I ask him, showing him a face filled with interest.
Marcos makes an exaggerated pondering gesture and answers:
“The world I came from is very different from this one. Without any magic, we fully focused on technology. Tall~ buildings all over the place and wide streets that connect all parts of the world. Mana beasts don’t exist and in their place there are animals who are 100% less scary”
“Heh~ sounds like a wonderful world. I want to try going! It sounds so much better!”
“Heh but that’s about it. There’s no magic, fantasy! No miracles! This world has so many possibilities my previous world doesn’t have”
Hearing my words, Marcos suddenly stands and raises his hands and with words filled with emotion, he shouts. Contrary to the cheerfulness he suggested, these words were of disappointment.
“Do you hate your world? Don’t you wish to go back?”
“… No, I don’t. This world is 200% better than my previous one~. Here I can run, here I can battle, here I can provide support! So many different things, so much expectation!”
… This hero Marcos might not be as crazy as I thought. His words and actions carried emotion. Even though it looked a bit exaggerated, I could see that it had a much deeper meaning.
I was also elated when I discovered my body was restored when I arrived at this world. Liberated from my duties, I felt like I could start from 0.
But now I have no such freedom.
I can see where he is coming.
He might be high-strung, but that’s probably how he is coping with this change.
“And you distant person. From where art thou~!”
Marcos does a turn and changes the topic to me.
Of course, I lie and tell him the contents of a book I have read. That I am from the Cordilia village. A secluded village I escaped from and am now travelling to discover all the facets of this world.
“Ooh! So fantasy, much dream! Very wow! Clap clap clap”
He seems to have liked my story and began playing a cheerful tone with his violin.
We talked about a lot of things. He told the tales of his previous world as he played his violin. As if he were counting a story. I listened carefully to this. At his description of the world we lived in but viewed differently. In that explanation, I felt like he was only scratching the surface, like if he didn’t want to delve into his own story. He told me about landscapes, cities, technology, but never touched anything related to him.
Well, I am a total stranger anyways.
“Sir Youma, you are mysterious. For some reason I can’t help but talk to you, tell you how I feel. Could it be because you are a fan? Or maybe because your presence feels so nostalgic~? I don’t know what it is, but I definitely would feel better having someone like you accompany me and my party. How about it? Do.You.Accept?!”
A sudden invitation.
“Sorry. It would be a great honor to accompany a hero like you, but I still have a mission to accomplish”
“Oh, too bad! But I like it! A mission. What a man has to do. Here take this mask. I am sure it will help you be mys.te.rious“
As he cuts off his words, he passes me his mask while striking a pose.
“Is it ok? Isn’t this an important magic item you use to perform?”
“Don’t worry. There are many of them inside the castle”
My value of magic items is becoming fuzzy…
I thank him and accept his present.
[Cloud Mask: Classy mask used in high class masquerades. Makes you unrecognizable until one’s completely sure. Play who is who]
“Now Youma, say it with-“
He was about to force me onto something but…
“AAH! So you were here! You know how hard it was to find you?! I can’t believe you ditched an important party!”
Out of nowhere, a voice echoes in the forest and the shape of a familiar girl in light armor appears.
“Oh Miss Merryl, did you come to j- Gaah! Not my ear, not the ear I use to listen to the whispers of fairies!”
“Fairies? There are fairies here?”
The girl called Merryl temporarily stops and asks.
Marcos makes a smug face.
“Beautiful fairies like you, Miss Merryl”
“I really shouldn’t have asked!”
“Gyaaaah! AH, see you later Sir Youma-!”
As he gets dragged with even more force, he somehow waves at me.
I wave back with a complicated expression.
I have confirmed that at least the hero Marcos doesn’t show any favorable emotions in returning to his previous world.
I don’t think I can expect much from him in my quest.
At least he doesn’t seem like an unsavory guy. One of these days it would be nice if we could talk, not as a fan and a hero, but as companions from the same world.
That night I tried to train my magic until I fell asleep.