Mistake 5; I try to perform a rescue.
I took Tetsuya Akuto into the goblin cave early morning, and joined up with the girls. Our aim was to reach Greenview’s Guild and submit the quest.
We arrived early morning and Hiromi led us into the guild. I ignore the stares of other adventurers and sauntered boldly with them to the clerk counter. A cute onee-san greeted us and took our cards.
Why the hell do I get the feeling of being badly treated in this world!
Goblin subjugation is a serious event in these rural farmlands; we got 100 coppers each per goblin and 400 coppers for completion. That’s 1500 coppers, since we were treated like a party. The guild paid us 15 silver. 1s=100coppers.
I requested a map of the area and the displayed map was updated with all villages nearby. The city of Frost to the north was also updated. Next we all went to the blacksmith to sell the daggers and purchase some items.
Then to the tailor for clothes to blend in. Coincidentally the people we rescued were the tailor’s family, so clothes were purchased at rock bottom prices. We got spare clothes and additional items as thick blankets used by adventurers free.
In half a day’s time, our party was on the road to the nearest of the other three villages. Hillside, Dryriver and Yellowdale were their names. We will check all in turn and from the last village the road to the north leads to Frost City.
Miki had a new staff, and was dressed in a robe that hid her figure, but still easy to move. Hiromi was in the typical warriors outfit, a short pleated leather skirt and leather vest over a cotton shirt. Unless you look closely, both were like your average adventurers. In this region our features were not that different from the locals.
I on the other hand looked like a country bumpkin, rookie adventurer. I think with these simple clothes, instead of being recognized as a Traveler, I will be picked on and bullied by others. Our schoolbags and clothes were all hidden in our backpacks. I left my shinai at the tailor’s for safe keeping; someday I promise I will be back. Swords at our sides we looked like adventurers on a quest.
Hiromi insisted on keeping the sword, our party looked like we had two fighters and a priest.
God help the sucker who aimed for the weak linked priest.
I kept the map active, I had experimented when we were going to Greenview; the radius I can spot a Traveler is about 1 mile. Problem is that this area must be removed from the fog of war.
The best action is for me to circle around a position I want to rest or remain in. By raising the darkness I can spot someone from a distance. The other option is to continue to find maps to update mine. Enemies might have be a skill to remain hidden; I hope we don’t meet someone with it.
It will take us until evening to reach the next village. The three of us had decided to form a party so we have no problem sharing information.
Hiromi and Miki are both at level 1. Hiromi has the level 1 skill fireball and registered as a fighter. She is aiming for a magical swordsman route, targeting a wide area attack and mopping up the survivors. This is why she STOLE the skill book from me, and yes I am a vindictive and petty bitch!
Miki has a unique job called Valkyrie; it was dropped off a black colored demon rabbit. They both nearly died in that encounter, but it was worth it. The skill allows a massive 10% increase in close combat attacks, and provides a level 1 heal skill. And that’s only at level 1.
WTF! Who has all the luck here?
We all posses the special skill Otherworlder.
Hiromi is a closet otaku; I won’t say it to her face though. We agree to keep the current format, with her moving from fighter to drawing back as cover fire mage. Miki will support from the back with heal, and move to offensive when Hiromi needs time to recover. I will continue to act as a tank, until I find a suitable job besides fighter.
There is a gap every 10 levels that make it hard to climb further. From our information it seems that one of the main reasons these guys who came before us didn’t level up was because they didn’t grind. In truth they became lackadaisical and lazy. Level 10 would allow them to be far superior to the races of this world. Level 20 would be like the highest level kingdom knights, affording them power in the large cities. Only the Capital cities had their local heroes and guardian personnel that were at level 50 ability.
I suspect that is the reason those fallen heroes didn’t attempt to attack and rule the whole of Sky Continent. Light Continent was a far dangerous place, in addition to the large amounts of battle seasoned warriors and magic users, 6 Travelers still remained in Light Continent. Thus they who chose to simply live a life of debauchery and greed didn’t continue grinding levels.
They had no reason too, with a demon army backing them and the closest level Travelers all sealed with a curse of death. Their highest level was still below 20 as most succumbed to the temptation offered…
Harsh grinding of levels, and more importantly skills, will give us the advantage. If we can get skills to level 20, the only threat would be a party or army of level 20 or one of the Saidai.
Our main goal now is to find the others at the villages.
We arrived at Hillside village before dark. Currently 4 people are sitting in the room of an inn. Our company consists of one healthy boy and three stunning beauties.
Am I on my way or what?
Okada Akemi was a 17 year student council president. Her looks are just what you would imagine, a thin spectacled glasses, and braided hair little longer than shoulder length and a logical mind. In short a scared like hell person in this world.
I think she would have gone with any Traveler who offered comfort. It scares me to think what is happening to those like us who now arrived. We correlate everything from the latest trends, happening and politicians in our world to gain trust between ourselves. I leave the explanations to the girls.
Time is critical; I went to the guild as prearranged if we meet a girl. The most dangerous beast on the road to Dryriver at night is the demon fox. They move in pairs, and have a subjugation quest associated.
When I came back, Akemi was ready to join us. I think the benefit of knowing others are in the same boat as you, gives you comfort. I relay the information to the others and we set off. Akemi is given a cloak to use; we will purchase suitable clothes as we move along.
Akemi is a level 1 mage, she choose this as she had a skill book of ice magic. She found it when she was on the herbs quest.
This book gave her the spells ice bolt, ice armor and ice field. She can only cast ice bolt, since her level and mana is low. Perfect, we have a sweet dedicated mage.
With torches in hand we leave for the next village Drywater.
Given my tank ability and the ice bolts ability to cast a slow effect on target, we decimated the opponents and arrived at Dryriver after midnight. We took turns eating on the road, and rotating the kills. I think we are all close to leveling up.
Finding the target resting at the inn using my map, we made contact. My harem plan went up in smoke; I was faced with a serious looking guy. I paid for an empty room and let the girls have time to clean up and sleep until sunrise.
Nakano Tamotsu was a 15 year samurai clan descendent. These guys have a one tracked mind; honor and loyalty are imbedded in their bones. I sat across from him and spent the time explaining the situation. He was aware of the girls in my company, and as expected of his demeanor agreed to join until he assessed the situation for himself.
Ok I still have the age ranking; I can still save this harem!
At dawn I was awaken by Miki, ahhhhhh…….. I can get used to this!
I slept in the adjoining room from the girls. On the side of caution, we took turns keeping watch between me and the two girls. I am still paranoid ever since learning the truth.
I provided the samurai with a cloak, and we moved onto the last stop, Yellowdale. Tamotsu is a fighter, but has no skills yet except the usual bonuses. The guild here has quest for the basic monster slimes that roam the roads here. Yellowdale is called because of the rows of wheat and corn farmed by the village. The pests in this village are the slimes and monster rats.
The bulletin board in the Dryriver guild had quest for these pest. When I reach Yellowdale we will see about submitting quest.
When we arrived at Yellowdale, my companions had leveled up. Beside me at level 20, the others are at level 2. This included their skills. It was a good grinding for us. The last person was found in the guild when we arrived tired and worn out.
The samurai had lost half his clothes to acidic slimes. I cursed him when he took a squirt attack for Akemi. Those attacks had the ability to melt the clothes of a person.
The mode operandi of these slimes are to remove defenses of their enemies using the squirt attacks and then physically knock them down and absorb them. After knowing that I was hyped, until this idiot kept sacrificing himself. I just cant catch a break.
Using my map I made a quick scan of the area before heading in. I think my mouth became unhinged when we entered.
This person, does she not understand where she is?
In the bar room of the Guild, full of the usual riffraff and hardcore adventurers of all trades. In the middle of this band of strapping musclemen, crooked shifty eyed thieves and brawling fighters sat a schoolgirl complete with tidy uniform.
The tables were drawn together and a gambling atmosphere permeated this place. Cigar smoke was obscuring the high ceiling.
The focus of everyone was a stack of wooden blocks about 2 feet high. A mercenary sweated as he pulled a block from this tower after contemplation. When he succeeded, cheers rang out among the crowds. As he sat down he gazed lecherously at the girl who was exuding a sexy vibe.
The girl placed her finger on her lips seductively and then slowly removed another block. Groans were heard throughout.
The mercenary was now sweating bullets, I mean it was like a spring gushing out of his bald head. He walked around the table as if analyzing the possible outcomes, finally he pulled another block.
It was here the structure wobbled and came crashing down. As groans of despair echoed around, the girl pulled a large stack of coins towards her.
- Toshiko-chan, you cheated! There is no way that could happen.
The mercenary stood up and complained from his chair.
Big, Big mistake! This girl transformed into beast mode!
- WTF! Tom! You dare to accuse ME?
She jumped up, one arm on her waist the other pointing at the mercenary. One foot was raised and slammed onto the chair seat for added effect. God I needed to drop to the ground now, that space under the skirt is calling me.
And why do I get the feeling of déjà vu?
- …But it’s been nearly a week and you still haven’t lost a game?
The guy said somewhat meekly.
- WTF! Tom are you stupid, I invented this game called Toshiko. You idiot, is it so easy to beat the creator of something?
The next few lines were just hers.
- Next time bet on something reasonable like taking off my skirt, instead of being greedy and looking for sex, you virgin!
- F@#$%# assholes, I try to help you pass the time and you take advantage!
- Screw you guys I am packing my bags and heading home tomorrow!
I look at Hiromi covering Miki’s ears and grinned awkwardly. This girl is bold enough to claim a known game in our world as hers. Worse yet her attitude and domination bluffs are making these hard ass men squirm. We listen to them beg her to stay and invent more things for the village.
When things calmed down I sent Hiromi to invite her over. I think it would be best to talk in the inn; these guys might kill us for snatching away this clever beauty.
After making arrangements we submitted all quest to the guild and received the rewards due. Leaving the guild we moved to the inn and rented two rooms. The samurai can be trusted and the girls have become close. We ate first then met up to Toshiko in her room.
- Whaaa, I was afraid I was all a…a…alone, thank gods th…there are others hereeeee!(crying)
A complete turn of character, which one is real; this girl is an A+ con.
It turns out Kubo Toshiko is one of the most streetwise persons here. This girl is a quick judge of character and knows how to socialize. Being the lone girl in a house filled with brothers, uncles and cousins, she can manipulate a man at whim.
She has survived using her brains and hasn’t even leveled up. I don’t know if it is amazing or simple foolhardy.
As usual I left the girls to talk and we went to our rooms. I sent the samurai to buy clothes for himself and took a bath. In the evening we all went down for an early dinner. All shopping to blend in was done by the girls and tomorrow we will have an early meeting.
Tonight is a long awaited rest, but the samurai and I will take turns being on guard. I have constantly used my map, since it is the only safeguard against a surprise attack.
For the first time since the facts have been known, I had a good night’s rest. The samurai failed to wake me but when I was going to admonish him and force a seppuku, Hiromi intervened. Despite the dangers she shared the watch with Tamotsu and Akemi. It seems she was aware of me taxing myself and decided this.
This girl cares for me……..waaaa.
Soon, soon I will succeed and mold these girls into an obedient harem. Like hell any guy is going to take this bright spot away from me……AHAHAHAH! I am pumped up.
- Hey pervert! Stop dreaming and follow me, we have to get this meeting underway.
- Damn girl, you will be my first……eheheh!
- WHAT did you say? I will roast you alive, virgin man.
- Hiromi-chan, please stop the flirting; we have some serious matters to attend to. Will you support me?(spoken seriously)
- Let go of my hands before I burn you, little man.
This girl will be a hard nut to crack. We gathered in the girls’ double room. Ah, the smell of fresh clean girls.
The information we shared was all spoken and questioned by everyone. Toshiko underwent the same questioning that Akemi did, last thing we needed was a bonafide assassin in our mist. My Aura Sense and Health Bar skill did confirm a friendly and a low health quantity.
I knew that Hiromi and Miki would follow me in any decision but I wanted to feel out the others. There is no point in taking others along a road of extreme danger.
Suggestions from remaining in a village, to living in a self sufficient environment until the Light Continent defeated the demons, to even trying to reach the Light Continent for safety were spouted. Inevitably everyone turned to me for my decision. All concerns and fears were voiced out so we could assess them.
I looked each one in the eye before I replied to the silent question.
- I have done what I set out to do with my companions, that is to rescue and inform you of the situation. Presently we are safe but before long others will come after us. We have no choice but to grind levels and find skills to give us the edge. Then there is the matter of our companions who came in this wave. Will we abandon them? We cannot save them because we are weak, and by the time we get strong they may be beyond our ability to save. There is one way for me to keep my conscious clear, and that is to rescue as much people as I can.
- I am going to Frost City. Somewhere in that place, according to our source lies a hidden checkpoint where all captured Travelers are processed and smuggled into the Hellfire plains. One by one I will rescue them and grow stronger. Frost City is a battle ready city, and some of the best skill books may be available for purchase.
- By the time I am finished I will be a fully buffed killing machine…..hehehe.
- Ahem, anyways that is my plan, it will be dangerous there, but it is the same here. Better to be lost among thousands than shining brightly among a few.
When I finished, my two oldest companions nodded. I know they had the same understanding as me. We couldn’t stand to see others fall prey to what we nearly went through. I mean what would have happened to Toshiko or the timid Akemi. Those girls would have been advantaged and molested. Given the attack on us, I think the probabilities of boys surviving are slim. Unless they are advantaged by an onee-san…ehehehe. I wipe the drool from my face.
Akemi was the first to speak; she agreed with my plan and added to it. She would like to access the library and become our source of this world information. Knowledge of skills and limits on how much we can learn will be researched by her. Information on this world’s monsters and races along with their weakness’ will be helpful to our team. The benefit of a pure bookworm in this world is frightening.
Toshiko has no objection; this girl wants to level up to become the ultimate assassin. With her skills in manipulation I think she will go far. I second her choice, if she could grind levels and skills that complement each other, she would be a valuable asset. I really think she should be great if thrown among the unsuspecting idiots of the city’s underworld.
Tamotsu has no objection continuing; he is the youngest and has constantly shown his character to sacrifice himself for another. I plan to nip this kamikaze style in the bud. Like hell I want a sacrificial member, I need skilled people. I will grind him to dust until he levels up.
Hiromi and Miki are only lacking in skills. Once we grind, they will be unstoppable with me. Thus our plan was decided. I went to the guild and inquired about the quest and dangers on the roads to Frost City. We have to pass through one town before reaching the city; Keel which is 2 days away. Frost City is another 3 days travel.
With these distances, it can be seen how swiftly the Saidai have mobilized their network. I hope because we are located the closest to the city, we can save those who were summoned to the Empire.
Preparations completed, we plan to set out from this evening. Success depends only on high quality and quantity grinding. Those who have skills will be given first preference to level up.
Why is it that when you complete a good deed, only work awaits you in the end. Who said there is no rest for the wicked only?