— 1 —
This was the third day of my life in a game.
A refreshing morning greeted me. I felt like I had done quite some hard work the day before, but perhaps due to being in a game world, I didn’t feel the least bit exhausted.
In a cheerful mood, I opened the door to my room…
“Good morning, Souma! So, um, I spent all of last night thinking about it and decided that in order to make sure you’re not a bad person I’ll be monitoring you from–Ehhhh!?”
I immediately closed the door, turned around, dashed through the room, opened the window, and jumped out. The moment I touched the ground I used Sky-piercer to jump onto the roof of a nearby building, and started using Step to move across the rooftops.
It was an impressive maneuver if I do say so myself.
In under twenty seconds, I succeeded in completely escaping from Train Girl.
After covering a large distance, jumping back down to ground level and stopping, I realized what I had done.
I ended up escaping on reflex, but thinking about it, today I had been planning on going around to some stores for shopping, and there was nothing I would be doing that would be problematic if seen. There was no problem even if Train Girl tagged along.
But now that I had run away like this it would be tough to face her, and thus harder to go to the main streets where the chance of bumping into her would be high. It was a huge blunder.
Still, wouldn’t you say that someone who instinctively runs away when suddenly talked to would be something like a true loner?
“So basically, as a true loner, this is a chronic disease that I have to live with for the rest of my life!”
Though I somehow summarized it in a chuuni kind of way, it wasn’t really something to be proud of.
Also, I only became a loner after I entered university and started prioritizing games over human relationships, so my history as a loner was quite short. Likewise, I probably won’t stay this way for the rest of my life.
It’s just that, I hadn’t told her any of the small details like when I usually wake up, so that would mean that she had probably been waiting in front of the door for a while, and thinking about it like that you’d normally feel disturbed. Somehow I was starting to feel that maybe running away was actually the right choice.
In the first place, it seemed like since I first met her, everything she did was to try to follow me, but at the moment I did not intend to accept any companions. Right now, I just wanted to stay as far away from other people as possible, and focus on strengthening myself.
If this could serve to increase my distance from Train Girl, then in a sense this could be just what I wish for.
With that as a change of mood, I started to think about what to do next.
There were tons of things that I had to do, so for now let’s do something where I likely won’t run into Train Girl. Being careful of her investigation skills this time, I took off the conspicuous mithril armor and clad myself in the beginner equipment. With this, I should be a lot harder to pin down.
Still, if I was to stay in a field for a certain amount of time, then Train Girl will be automatically summoned there. She’s really a troublesome person, but this time it wasn’t much of a problem.
After all, I was not planning on venturing outside of this town for the next while.
–I’m going to become a shut-in.
Though it was cool saying that out loud, the actual reason was because I didn’t want to level up my character too much before raising my weapon mastery levels some more.
The reason why I was able to raise my weapon mastery levels so efficiently with the Master Torch was because my level was so low. Since there were no means to lower one’s level, it would be a shame to lessen this advantage by battling outside.
Really, there was probably not too much of a difference between a level gap of 240 levels versus 200 levels, but since I had things to do in town anyways I might as well work on that rather than going outside.
“Things I need to do in town, huh.”
I vacantly muttered a string of words that came to mind.
At that phrase, I recalled, vividly, a particular scene.
There were roughly 3 areas in which Nekomimineko characters could improve in.
Character level, weapon mastery, and skill mastery.
As normally in RPGs, character levels can be raised by earning experience from defeating monsters. The experience that can be gained from a monster is the level of the monster multiplied with an experience multiplier that depends on the monster’s type.
Normally, rare or strong monsters like bosses would have a higher multiplier, while small fries would have a low multiplier, but with Nekomimineko quality the settings seemed rather arbitrary, so there were clearly great monsters and worthless monsters.
Of course, items that have HP have this experience multiplier set at 0, so unfortunately no matter how many items one destroys they will not level up.
Since the experience is completely given to the person who dealt the final blow, attackers have an extreme advantage when grinding.
On the other hand, no matter how much a healer devotes to healing their companions, they will not receive a single bit of experience, so it was the worst, most unfortunate class.
If Nekomimineko had become an MMO, there was no doubt that it would have been a tragedy where everyone in a party would be an attacker.
For a moment I was honestly glad that Nekomimineko did not become an MMO.
I went slightly off topic, but as I was saying, right now I had no intention of raising my character level, and my weapon mastery could be trained any time now that I had the torch, so there was no need to leave the town.
Thus, the only thing left was to raise my skill mastery.
Skill mastery referred to the mastery associated with each individual skill such as Step.
The stamina gauge that is consumed whenever a skill is used doesn’t get its maximum value increased through level ups. In that case, one would think that the number of times a skill could be continuously used would be the same no matter how much one trained, but that was not the case.
This is where the effect of skill mastery appears.
By using a skill repeatedly, its skill mastery goes up, and as a result the efficiency of the skill goes up, reducing the amount of stamina consumed. Even if the maximum stamina value was constant, since the amount of stamina consumed is different, veteran players are able to continuously cast more skills than beginner players.
As for how exactly to measure skill mastery, it was simply ‘the number of times the skill had been used’. Whether the attack hit, whether any damage was done, and whether the opponent’s level was high or low were completely irrelevant. Whether you hit a boss or cancel it or just hit thin air, as long as the skill is used it increases mastery by 1.
It was a plain and simple system.
But as a result, it was a system with the fewest shortcuts.
Cheap tricks like defeating high level monsters to quickly level up or to continue to hit a high level item to rapidly level up could not be used here.
If, even then, you wanted to do this effectively…
“I guess there’s no choice but to go to the Marimite Dojo.”
Saying the conclusion that I had known all along, I heaved a heavy sigh.
To be frank, Marimite Dojo is hard to handle for me. With my poor communication skills, along with not having any kind of special fetishes, the hurdle for that was a bit high.
Especially doing that in what was now reality, just thinking about it makes my stomach hurt.
“But well, can’t hurt to take a look.”
Therefore, I headed towards the outskirts of town.
There were no shops in that direction, just an old and large church, the only one in this town.