— 3 —
The second day of my life inside a game.
After leaving the inn, the first place I headed to was the item shop.
Melipe’s treasure contained large amounts of gems and accessories. From within them, I quickly equipped the rare Max Stamina Up and Stamina Recovery Up rings, and sold everything else without a second thought.
Being unable to come up with any safer way of carrying them around, I ended up heading to the shop with Melipe’s treasure inside the original chest. Only after the last gem had been sold and the appropriate amount of Elements transferred to my crystal was I finally able to calm down.
Every time I rounded a corner, I feared that a bandit was about to pounce on me, and every person I saw seemed to be scheming to snatch the chest from me. With thoughts like these, I probably shouldn’t have laughed at Maki.
Even when I made it to the store, I was worried that greed would take hold of the shopkeeper, causing him to assault me, or that I was going to be scrupulously interrogated about how these treasures came into my possession, but nothing like that happened.
I received an amount of money that seemed to roughly match what I remembered from the game, and was seen out from the item shop with the owner saying, “Thank you for your visit!” while wearing a perfect business smile.
By the way, in Nekomimineko’s world, currency was stored in specialized crystals as magic power known as “Elements”, and one can make purchases and conduct transactions using it.
With the rapid development of magic in this world, it had reached a point where magic was essential for making things or even starting a fire.
It was only logical that in such a world, some sort of magic that held a stable value would become the common currency, as it was much more practical than rare metals or jewels.
In other words, this was a system that was designed with the history of this fantasy world in mind… That’s what I would have liked to say, but I heard that it was the only story they could come up with to somehow bring the card payment system we were so used to in the modern day into the game.
In this day and age where paper money and coins were starting to go out of fashion, needing to count out the number of gold coins and silver coins to buy something would be unpleasant.
At least, I would find that annoying. Being able to buy something just by touching a crystal to something and having the correct amount deducted would be the best.
Even more importantly, the greatest advantage of this system was that there was no need to worry about theft. You would need to constantly keep an eye out if you were carrying gems, but once the money is in your crystal, then it is impossible to steal your Elements without your permission.
In other words, I was finally able to rest easy.
Technically, if the owner of the crystal died then that limitation was removed, and there existed people who would be willing to kill to steal your money, but I decided not to think about that.
With this, I now had 175000E.
Considering that I started out with 500E, this was a rather big improvement.
Quest rewards usually correlated with the difficulty of the quest. Being a quest from mid-game, and requiring one to navigate three dungeons and solving puzzles to clear it, the reward from Thief Melipe’s Legacy was orders of magnitude larger than what beginners would be used to.
Still, since this was Nekomimineko, you couldn’t always count on the game balance being sane, and there were quests where you would get barely anything in return for a large amount of trouble. But, for Thief Melipe’s Legacy, the reward seemed reasonable for the amount of effort required.
Also, this is completely unrelated, but isn’t the starting amount of 500E a bit too low?
Just staying a single night at the inn cost me 400E, so that meant I set out on a journey with only a little more than a day’s worth of lodging. How reckless.
“Now I can buy some equipment… But first I have to pay Old Tuto a visit, huh.”
Old Tuto was a retired adventurer, and, as you can tell from his name, was the tutorial character. He’s a useful character who taught players about the rules of adventuring, and, at the same time, provided adventurers with essential items, so the choice to not visit him was, well, nonexistent.
Old Tuto gave out three items.
Acting as your inventory in this world, being able to hold way more things than it seemed, the Adventurer’s Bag.
Acting as a storage, almost unlimited in what you can put in it, the Item Box.
Finally, the quest item, the Mysterious Scrap of Paper.
Each and every one of them was an indispensable item for playing the game.
Especially if I was going to buy equipment. I would definitely need the Adventurer’s Bag for that. The Adventurer’s Pouch that I had from the beginning was similar, but its purpose was for commonly used consumable items, and could only hold a total of 6 different types of items. To add on, it’s also impossible to store large items like equipment in the Adventurer’s Pouch.
Even the Adventurer’s Bag had a limit on what it can hold, so when it became necessary, one would desire an Item Box. To be precise, what you obtain is the right to use one of the Item Boxes in town, and it was extremely useful for storing equipment and other item one couldn’t use.
The last item, the Mysterious Scrap of Paper, was also quite important.
Although it looked just like an ordinary piece of scrap paper with some undecipherable scribbles on it, it was a required quest item for progressing through the story. Because it didn’t appear to be that important, it might become really tempting to throw it away when your bag gets full, but doing that would result in the player being stuck in the middle of the storyline.
What’s even worse is that after a set amount of time after an item was discarded, it disappears. Once that happens, it became impossible to clear the game.
The item had garnered quite a bit of attention when the patch released to fix the issue brought the problem to the players’ attentions.
I really have a hard time dealing with that old man, who was meddlesome, talkative, stubborn, and, only when it’s convenient for him, hard of hearing. But I had no other choice than to go.
Yeah, I know it’s quite presumptions to be complaining when I’m the one getting free items…
In the end, I headed straight towards Old Tuto’s house.
A short while later, I successfully obtained the items from Old Tuto. There wasn’t any particularly interesting new pieces of information, but let’s just say that even in this world, Old Tuto was still Old Tuto.
“At last, I can start assembling my equipment.”
I lightly tapped the Adventurer’s Bag that I just received.
Like the Adventurer’s Pouch, I was able to insert and remove items from the Adventurer’s Bag. With this, I can shop for equipment without any worries.
Still, what should I do?
None of the shops in Ramlich sold any useful pieces of equipment. Even so, they were much better than the beginning equipment I had, and even with just those, I think it would greatly reduce the time needed for me to gain levels. But, if I was going to get something, I might as well try for something better.
In that case, I would have to aim for either a quest reward or a monster drop, but the monsters around Ramlich were all low leveled, and the quests available were all quests from the early game. However, there were also exceptions like Thief Melipe’s Legacy. As an extreme example, the hidden dungeon on the outskirts of the town that only opens after the main storyline had been cleared contained the game’s highest-levelled enemies.
Obviously, with my current level and equipment, it would definitely be impossible to clear such a dungeon. But, depending on circumstances, it may not be impossible to suddenly come across some strong equipment.
“In that case, I guess I should go there.”
After drifting through all of that, my thoughts settled on a particular residence.
“To think that I would be coming here again…”
Guided by my vague memories, I arrived at a normal house that was situated slightly outside of the town center.
However, what lay sleeping in this seemingly inconspicuous house was the unique weapon Shiranui that would probably even make it into the top three of my personal rankings for weapons. Though the words “unique weapon” sounded strong, all that meant was that it was a one-of-a-kind item that could not be obtained in any other way.
Since Nekomimineko was not an online game, honestly, there was no point to having multiple copies of the same weapon, so it wasn’t actually all that rare for a weapon to be unique.
As an example, the Rusty Longsword (ATK 3) that I had equipped since the beginning can’t be obtained through any other way, so it was also categorized as a unique weapon.
“This brings back memories…”
In this house lived an old man named Lang, and in contrast to Old Tuto, he was a calm and quiet person.
At the end of the Lang’s quest chain, I would be able to obtain the blade I wanted, Shiranui, but this was, again, quite a troublesome series of quests.
First, after visiting Lang multiple times and getting close to him, Lang entrusts you with a letter to his son in the capital. → Deliver the letter to Lang’s son. → The son then asks you for a favor, and you complete it. → Obtain a reply to the letter from the son, and deliver it to Lang.
Or so the story goes, and eventually at the very end, after receiving his son’s letter…
“It seems that there were some weapons in my old man’s collection. I have no need for them so feel free to take one.”
is what you’re told, and, from within those weapons, you could finally get hold of Shiranui.
This was far beyond just a slight inconvenience.
Still, even without the strongest weapon in its level class – Shiranui – as a reward, this quest was worth doing. That’s because, surprisingly, for one of Nekomimineko’s quests, this one had a good story.
The consideration and faintly tangible love that the socially awkward Lang held towards his son who left for the capital, and the guilt and conflict said son felt towards his father for having left for the capital. Seeing the two’s passing feelings being resolved through the letters I delivered was so satisfying, and at the same time so touching that before I realized it, the corners of my eyes had become wet. It was a magnificent quest that, after clearing it, I genuinely was glad that I chose to complete it.
At the same time, if you asked me whether I would like to do it another time, I would put my foot down and say no.
To begin with, even getting close to Lang was exceedingly tough. To get close enough to be entrusted with the letter requires listening to Lang’s stories a minimum of five times, but that was very difficult to do. If I recall, during the game, I had to visit this house just over ten times.
It wasn’t because Lang had a difficult temperament, he’s just quite reclusive. So, if you don’t follow up properly, the conversation just fizzles out. When that happens, the event stops there.
When he says “please come again”, he’s actually driving you away, and the next day you end up having to listen to the same story again. While playing the game, I thought this person was messing with me by repeating the same things, but I wonder if it’s still the same in this world.
I did want to give it a small test, but at the very least I had no intentions of actually going through with it. My top priority right now was obtaining Shiranui. Right now, what I should be thinking about above anything would be how to get Shiranui into my hands.
“Still, what should I do…”
I paced around in front of Lang’s house.
Honestly, this was a highly difficult mission for me.
Due to my lifestyle playing games all day as a shut-in in university, my current communication skills should have deteriorated significantly. Even if that wasn’t the case, honestly, I was terrible at negotiating. I wondered if I could properly talk to Lang.
Stop worrying. Didn’t you even manage to get Melipe’s treasures?
This time too, everything will be fine.
I took some deep breaths.
As with anything, the first step is key. If I make a good first impression, then I should be able to get Shiranui in one go!
Preparing myself, I knocked cheerfully on the door of Lang’s house.
“Excuse me! I heard that there was a famous blade here, would you sell it to me?”
And then, a few minutes later.
In front of me was a certain sword.
<Shiranui [Sword, Greatsword] Attack: 91 Weight: 8 Affinity: None Special: None>
The weapon of my dreams, Shiranui—I have it!
Money really makes the world go round!!