My friend history with Fuji-yan is around 1 year long.
We just happened to be at neighboring seats in class, and became friends after a heated talk about games.
I like RPG games and Fuji-yan likes dating sims.
We like different genres of games, but we were able to form a good relationship with each other by lending each other the games we liked.
It has been 9 months since he left the Water Temple.
He now has his own store.
He went up the ranks really fast.
We are high school students, you know…
We also have our Light Hero that managed to climb all the way to being a knight captain of Highland though.
He is way too much of a special case.
No, maybe all my classmates have had a big success story.
I might be the only one who has been left in the dust…
I am feeling down now.
I arrived at the target location.
That’s what’s written in a big storesign.
I hope the personality of Fuji-yan has not changed.
I have been doing mage and adventurer training in the temple for a whole year.
As otherworldlers, we are exempted from paying the classes, so in a sense, we were leading an easy lifestyle of being taken care of by the government.
National level NEETs. <Not in Education, Employment, or Training.>
Fuji-yan may have had handy skills, but in Japan he would be considered underage. And yet, he managed to enter a merchant guild, and went all the way up to the point that he now has his own store after 9 months.
A lot of things must have happened.
I wonder if we will be able to have proper conversations after this 1 year of being cooped up in the temple.
I am worried.
“Excuse me.” (Makoto)
I slowly enter the store speaking in a low voice.
I was received by a female clerk.
When I look there…
A rabbit eared clerk?!
A short rabbit beastkin clerk with light brown curly hair welcomed me.
Her big and clear eyes are cute.
“Customer, are you an adventurer? We have good items for you.”
She speaks to me with a smile.
Her accent was interesting though.
A beast eared clerk.
The taste of Fuji-yan is working on full here.
“Uhm, is the owner Fujiwara-san here?” (Makoto)
“Oh, you were a merchant? If it is a business deal, I will hear it out first.”
Her tone changed.
“No, that’s not it. I am a friend of Fujiwara-san…” (Makoto)
The eyes of the clerk turned sharp.
“Friend of Goshujin-sama <master>, you say. Can I ask for your name?”
“Takatsuki Makoto.” (Makoto)
“Did you come from a parallel world?!”
“Y-Yes, that’s right.” (Makoto)
“Please wait for a bit! I will return soon!!”
She disappears inside the store and returns with a small tool.
This thing that is the size of a cigar has several buttons, and the clerk presses them.
And then, she places the tool in front of her mouth.
“Goshujin-sama! Goshujin-sama! Takatsuki-sama has come!”
“What?! Is he there?!”
I heard a nostalgic voice.
The clerk gives me what seems to be a communication device.
“Hello, is that you, Fuji-yan?” (Makoto)
“Oooh, that way of calling me, and that voice, there’s no doubt it is Takki-dono!!” (Fujiwara)
“It’s been a long time. I am in Makkaren now, so I came to visit you.” (Makoto)
“I have been waiting! I want to return at once, but sadly to say, I have a business meeting soon, so are you fine with meeting me in the store at 18 o’clock?!” (Fujiwara)
“Yeah, got it. Then, see ya later.” (Makoto)
I return the tool to the clerk, and tell her that I will be coming back later.
Fuji-yan hasn’t changed.
From what I could tell there, it seems like it is fine to keep speaking to him in the same way as before.
I am relieved.
Since there’s still a few hours before my meeting with Fuji-yan, I decided on exploring the outside of the city.
The clerk told me that the forest that’s north of the city has weak monsters like giant rats.
I want to try out the dagger I got from the Goddess.
“This is impressive.” (Makoto)
I hinder the movement of the giant rat with Ice Arrow, and finish it off with the dagger.
There was practically no resistance.
The blade passed as if it were cutting cloth.
“I have gotten a good weapon.” (Makoto)
Let’s give my thanks to the Goddess.
“Goddess-sama, thank you.” (Makoto)
I put my hands together and prayed.
(Right? Be grateful.)
I feel like I heard the voice of the Goddess.
I can imagine her with a smug expression and pushing her chest out.
I skinned the giant rats and went to sell them to a tool store.
I apparently can sell it in the Adventurer Guild as well, but since I had the chance, I wanted to check out the store, too.
I sell the 3 giant rat pelts.
With that money, I buy a sheath for the dagger I got from the Goddess.
The middle of the city is bustling with energy. There’s things like grocery stores, clothing stores, weapon stores, and tool stores lined up.
There was even a pet shop to buy a familiar.
When you move away from the main road of the shopping district, you enter the food district where you can find restaurants and bars.
Even further back from that, there’s the inns, and deeper, there’s the pleasure district where you can find the lewd stores. I don’t have the money, so it’s got nothing to do with me.
I checked a few weapon stores that piqued my interest the most.
I think the dagger of the Goddess will be okay for a while, but if possible, I would like to aim on becoming a magic swordsman.
I have aptitude for magic, but I lack the physical strength to become a swordsman.
That’s why I can’t swing a sword properly.
I tried doing physical exercise to get myself some strength, but it felt like my body itself was not gaining much from it. As if my constitution itself has changed to match this world and the stats.
But in this world, I heard that there’s holy swords and demonic swords that make people fight like they are masters.
I want to one day find that kind of magic sword.
I check out the store to see if there’s a magic sword here.
There were also a number of adventurer-like people here, too.
“Jean, you don’t need an expensive sword like that yet, right?”
“Yeah, but the sharpness of my current sword is kind of lacking against stronger monsters.”
And within those people, there was a warrior-looking man, and a priest-looking girl.
“Geez, buy me some equipment too once in a while.”
“Then, today I will give up on the weapon and buy new clothes for you, Emily.”
“Yay, that’s my Jean!”
The girl wraps her arms around the arm of the man.
And as I passed the time in this way, the promised time came.
I went to the store of Fuji-yan at the exact time, and I saw a familiar man of good physique loitering around.
It has been 9 months since I have seen that face.
“Fuji-yan”, I called him.
He promptly runs towards me.
“It has been a while!” (Fujiwara)
“You seem to be doing well.” (Makoto)
“Now now, I have reserved a place! Let’s go!” (Fujiwara)
We went to a street where there’s restaurants lined up, and we arrived at one quiet restaurant that was at a side street that seemed to be hidden.
He knows quite the classy place.
It seems to be a place that Fuji-yan frequents, they lead us to a private room deep inside.
We clink our glasses together.
Fuji-yan is drinking ale. I decided on a fruit cocktail.
This is actually my first time drinking alcohol at an establishment.
In this country, you can drink alcohol when you are over 13, so it isn’t against the law.
“How is it?” (Fujiwara)
“It is kind of like juice.” (Makoto)
“Wanna try some ale instead?” (Fujiwara)
“No thanks. I tried drinking a bit at the temple, and it tasted bad.” (Makoto)
“You end up liking the taste after a few rounds.” (Fujiwara)
While we were having that conversation, dishes were being brought one after the other to our table.
Thick steaks, fried prawn, sashimi of freshwater fish, pasta with a whole lot of cheese on top, and soup with a whole lot of ingredients in it.
“Delicious, it is delicious.” (Makoto)
“Ooh, so it is to your liking.” (Fujiwara)
“It is the best. It is completely different from the thin flavored food of the temple.” (Makoto)
“That was flavorless.” (Fujiwara)
We enjoyed the food for a while.
“You worried me, you know. There was no communication from you even after 1 year.” (Fujiwara)
“I stayed close to the time limit of 1 year after all. I was the last one remaining. I wasn’t invited to any party.” (Makoto)
“Is that so.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan showed pity in his expression.
I smile at that.
“Actually, yesterday, I defeated a group of goblins solo and saved a person that was being attacked.” (Makoto)
“What?! In order to defeat a group of goblins alone, you would normally need to be an Intermediate Mage or an Intermediate Swordsman. Wasn’t it dangerous?” (Fujiwara)
“I wonder. It was relatively easy. The use of the skills I had in hand were not bad.” (Makoto)
I tell him about the information of my skills that I got from the Goddess.
Fuji-yan went ‘Hohoh’ and listened with interest.
“Since I have safely registered to the Adventurer Guild, I will slowly do my best from Stone Rank.” (Makoto)
“Adventurer, huh. It is impossible for me, but I am slightly attracted to the idea.” (Fujiwara)
“You are succeeding greatly as a merchant though.” (Makoto)
“No no, I still have a long way to go. I still have a debt I have to pay for when I made my store.” (Fujiwara)
“And you also have a bunny eared clerk. It seems like you are having fun.” (Makoto)
Fuji-yan spurts out his ale.
“Right, you met the clerk at my store.” (Fujiwara)
“That clerk-san was cute.” (Makoto)
“W-Well, it is not like I chose her for her looks, you know?” (Fujiwara)
“It was a dream of yours, right? Being able to hire a cute girl like that with bunny ears. You are on the winners side now.” (Makoto)
“She is a clerk that I met at the Fire Country, and hired as a guard. She may look like that, but she is actually a Silver Rank adventurer, you know?” (Fujiwara)
“Hoh. She didn’t look that strong though. So not only is she cute, but she is also a strong adventurer, huh.” (Makoto)
“Fufufu, she was expensive after all……ah.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan, what are you saying?
“Forget that.” (Fujiwara)
“No no, there’s no way I can. What did you mean by expensive?” (Makoto)
“T-That clerk, she was a s-slave.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan bought a sex slave!
“It isn’t a sex slave, okay?!” (Fujiwara)
He spoke back as if he read my mind.
“Our relationship is purely that of business partners. I am paying her a salary too.” (Fujiwara)
“I see. So you are her employer.” (Makoto)
As expected from someone that has been sailing the stormy seas of society.
I can tell that he has experienced a lot of things.
Speaking of experience, there’s something that I am interested in asking.
It seems the alcohol is already taking its effect, so it should be fine to enter these kinds of topics too.
“Fuji-yan, you are still a virgin, right?” (Makoto)
Fuji-yan once again spurts out the ale he was drinking.
“W-What’s with that sudden question?” (Fujiwara)
If you stay a virgin for 30 years, you become a wizard -is the kind of urban legend that exists in Japan.
In class, we would often say ‘We are the virgin alliance! Let’s aim to become wizards!’.
I remember how Sasaki-san would say ‘Are you idiots?’ and look at us with cold eyes.
You are keeping our promise, right?
Fuji-yan averts his gaze as if feeling awkward.
D-Don’t tell me…
“You have to associate with a variety of people as a merchant, you see… There’s times when I have to obligatorily go to those kinds of establishments.” (Fujiwara)
T-Those kinds of establishments…
I remember the pleasure district I passed by when I was exploring the city.
“I have lost the qualifications to become a wizard.” (Fujiwara)
“Y-You traitor!” (Makoto)
I ordered the most expensive drink from the restaurant, and after taking a sip it, I coughed it out.
Is this poison?!
“C-Calm down please, Takki-dono.” (Fujiwara)
“I am calm. With my [Clear Mind], I am always calm.” (Makoto)
“It doesn’t look that way at all.” (Fujiwara)
“But now that I think about it, I kept the promise and became a mage, while you broke yours and couldn’t become one. In other words, I win.” (Makoto)
“That logic is weird.” (Fujiwara)
And I feel an incredible sense of defeat.
Let’s just stop this topic.
Even so, my friend climbed the stairs of adulthood in the while we were apart.
“By the way, what have you been doing after leaving the temple?” (Makoto)
There’s no doubt he grasped success as a merchant, but I wanted to hear about it in more detail.
“Ooh, hear me out. I was a member of an organization called the Frantz Company at first.” (Fujiwara)
The Frantz Company is the biggest company in the continent.
I heard that there were scouts from there in the time at the Water Temple.
“In the beginning, it was an everyday life of using my [Storage: Superior] to carry luggage.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan speaks nostalgically. Wasn’t that pretty rough?
“At times I would stock in weapons and be sent to the Fire Country, and at others I would be stock with ores and metals to sell them at the Earth Country. There were also jobs like getting a massive amount of clothes from the Wood Country to deliver them to the Sun Country. There was practically no rest, and I only had a little bit of sleeptime.” (Fujiwara)
“…That must have been hard.” (Makoto)
And from there, Fuji-yan grins.
“However, I have [Appraisal: Superior].” (Fujiwara)
When he was sent to a variety of countries, he would dig out things from the local bazaars, and sell them to other countries to earn some funds.
“Next, I found a person that I could trust in the company, and he helped me go independent. I still haven’t been able to repay all he has done for me.” (Fujiwara)
What’s with this decisiveness and communication skills?
That’s impossible for me.
“But I am surprised that you can find people you can trust in such a short period of time.” (Makoto)
No one even gave me the light of the day because of my all-around weak points.
On the other hand, for Fuji-yan who has handy skills, people that would want to utilize him would get close to him.
Fuji-yan lowers his voice to a whisper.
“Takki-dono, do you remember my skill?” (Fujiwara)
“Uhm, [Storage], [Appraisal], and…was it [Galge Player]?” (Makoto)
“Yeah, that last one is the thing.” (Fujiwara)
If I remember correctly, it is a skill that lets you keep a log of your conversations.
“When the proficiency of my skill increased, it began to read the mind of the person too…” (Fujiwara)
What’s that. That’s awesome.
“Just like the Goddess.” (Makoto)
“Eh? What did you say just now?” (Fujiwara)
“I will tell you after. So, does that mean you are reading my mind right now?” (Makoto)
“What you said just now piqued my interest, so I just ended up reading it… I will explain my skill to you.” (Fujiwara)
Summarizing it, the Galge Player skill was originally a pretty unique skill that let him read conversations in written format.
When talking to people, a message window only he can see would appear, and the conversation would be shown as text.
It is a system normally seen in adventure games.
You could say it suits the dating sim lover Fuji-yan.
By the way, the text is in japanese.
He said that at first it wasn’t that great of a skill, but it was convenient that he didn’t have to take memos every time he spoke to a variety of people as a merchant. The people around him were saying they were impressed by his astoundingly good memory.
“I was simply looking at the conversation log though.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan said this while laughing.
“I noticed something strange around half a year ago, I would say.” (Fujiwara)
The skill that had been showing the conversations in text until now apparently began to show the thoughts of the person as text in parentheses.
“Good day, Fujiwara-san. You profited a whole lot today.”
(Tch! You damn rising otherworldler bastard.)
Something like that.
“That’s awesome. That’s a cheat power.” (Makoto)
“Yeah, that’s true, but…” (Fujiwara)
Thanks to this skill, he was able to find the people that were speaking ill of him behind his back, and the people that had a grudge on him.
And it was incredibly useful in finding his allies.
Well, that’s a given.
“It is just that, it just isn’t good for my heart.” (Fujiwara)
It seems like he couldn’t tell anyone that he had obtained this power.
“Is it okay for you to tell me this?” (Makoto)
“I don’t have anyone else I can. Also, if I don’t say it from the beginning, it makes it increasingly harder to say it later.” (Fujiwara)
He says this with a dry laugh.
True. It would be way too awkward to tell someone that he was actually reading their mind.
“Are you not creeped out by my power, Takki-dono?” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan hesitantly asks.
“You are the second person I know that can read minds after all. I think it’s fine.” (Makoto)
“Yeah, that! That! What’s that about a Goddess?!” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan jumps up.
Well, it isn’t something I need to hide.
He is reading my mind anyways.
“Actually, last night…” (Makoto)
I tell him about how I became the believer of a Goddess inside my dream.
I showed him my Soul Book.
“Fumu, it does say Believer of the Goddess, but the fact that it doesn’t show her name is weird.” (Fujiwara)
“Right? I wouldn’t be able to increase the number of her believers like this.” (Makoto)
“Is that Goddess going to be okay?” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan seems to be worried.
This must feel like meeting a friend after a long time and learning that they have joined a weird cult, huh.
Yeah, that’s indeed worrying.
“Ah, also, the Goddess gave me a dagger after becoming her believer. Can you appraise it, Fuji-yan?” (Makoto)
“Hoh! A Goddess’s dagger! Sounds like it will be amazing. I would definitely like to see it.” (Fujiwara)
(Ah, wait, this is bad.)
I heard a voice in my head.
What was that?
“Fuji-yan, it is this one here.” (Makoto)
“Fuooooh! Simple yet beautifully ornamented. At a glance it looks like mythril, but it is a metal I have never seen before. This is clearly a rare material that has mana in it! It is quite the great weapon!!” (Fujiwara)
“It looks like there’s an Appraisal Prevention spell cast on it.” (Fujiwara)
“That’s pointless, pointless! My Appraisal skill has been trained and sharpened!!” (Fujiwara)
He seems to be having fun.
Fuji-yan looks at the dagger in excitement.
He looked at it with rough breathing for a while, but after a while, he froze in place.
He suddenly stopped saying anything, and was staring straight at the dagger.
Fuji-yan, who always had a smile on his face, had his eyes wide open now.
“Fuji-yan? What’s the matter?” (Makoto)
“U-Uhm, Takki-dono, you said you got this dagger from a Goddess, right?” (Fujiwara)
“Yeah, that’s right.” (Makoto)
What was the result of the appraisal?
“Fuji-yan? I would like to know the result of the appraisal.” (Makoto)
It seems like it was incredibly hard for him to say it, but he finally spoke.
“Takki-dono’s dagger…has been appraised as the Dagger of the Evil God Noah…” (Fujiwara)
It looks like I have become the believer of an Evil God.