After 1 hour, I finally managed to regain my calm.
That violent figure of the monkey was still burned into my mind.
But I can’t get stuck on one thing the whole time. I have no choice but to think about what to do from here on.
The only way to give up here in this world is dying.
“…Is there something I can do with 19 points?” (Hikaru)
19 points is by no means a low number, but this is after seeing that monkey, so it strengthens the feeling of this being lacking. I will most likely need to manage this quite a lot in order to get out from this forest. One wrong move and there’s no doubt it will be instant game over.
I definitely don’t want my arms and legs to be torn off and be devoured while alive.
“Is that giant monkey…going to come back? If this place is that guy’s territory, it must be looking for me…” (Hikaru)
When this barrier runs out, I have to walk again.
When that happens, there’s a high chance I will encounter that monkey again.
Do I have to fight? Or is there a different method I can take?
Killing that giant monkey would be impossible. I can say that for sure.
If I pour all my 19 points into stuff like scrolls or attack magic items, there might be a chance; that’s as far as it would go.
My sole objective here is to get out of this forest.
I must not lose sight of that.
The remaining time of the barrier shows in the board and it tells me there’s 9 hours remaining.
It is currently noon, so it would run out at night. I should think about how to pass the night too.
“…At any rate, the viewers increased drastically there. There really are people watching this?” (Hikaru)
My eyes stop at the real time viewer count.
The viewer count is changing by the second, but the current viewer count is 116,320,000 people.
Thinking about how it was 2 million not that long ago, this is one abnormal explosive growth.
If we consider the fact that there are a lot of Chosen who have gotten attention from way before, this must be the effect of Random Transfer. Meaning that being the early laugh target at the beginning isn’t just for show – as ironic as that may sound.
People on Earth must be watching me surviving here from their TVs, smartphones, or computers all leisurely while eating snacks.
But if I hadn’t come here, I would be doing the same.
The one at fault here is the God that trapped us.
There’s a lot of logs in the Status Board, but in the viewer count log it shows as [X amount of viewers reached].
I get rewarded with Crystals from that.
I say that, but they are not physical, they are more like points.
I can exchange 30 Crystals for 1 Point, so you could even call them fragment points.
Anyways, right now I have 2 Crystals.
[Daily Viewer Count 100,000,000 reached] and [First Encounter with a Monstrosity].
The first milestone to get 1 Crystal being 100,000,000 viewers feels like a really harsh setting, but I will take anything I can get.
There’s a lot of ways to use Crystals.
First, you can exchange them for many diverse items.
For example; you can exchange 1 Crystal for a beginner potion. Also small things like pocket tissues, toilet papers, sandwiches, water, wooden swords, cotton wrapping cloths, memo papers, pencils, and so… You can exchange for quite small things.
Right now I am not hungry because of the intense mental strain I am currently in, but I will most likely be on the care of the sandwich and water eventually. In that sense, you could say Crystals are important.
If you use 3 Crystals, you can exchange them for physical strength, stamina, and spirit energy recovery potions.
A flip chart set can be exchanged too. Maybe for the times when the Chosen wants to tell the viewers something with writing?
If you use 5 Crystals, you can get intermediate potions, tools, equipment, and quite a lot of different things.
All of those will be necessary one day, so I really can’t waste them.
“Got no choice but to use it now.” (Hikaru)
Crystals can be exchanged for other things that are not physical too.
You can get information about monsters that you have encountered, [Monster Appraisal].
You can get information of what you are holding, [Item Appraisal].
And, you can get information to survive, [Survival Hint].
Of course, the one I should take here is the last one. I do have an interest in the Monster Appraisal, but let’s save that for when I can survive.
I may have 2, but even 1 Crystal is invaluable.
30 Crystals being 1 Point, if you turn it around, it would mean you won’t be able to increase your points unless you save the Crystals.
But right now I want a hint to survive.
I push the [Hint] button.
<<Will you use 1 Crystal to get a [Survival Hint]? YES・NO>>
When I pressed Yes, a hint showed up soon after.
<<Blend into the darkness>>
“Eh… O-Only this?” (Hikaru)
It is way too vague. Truly a hint.
It might even be telling me random stuff because I am beyond saving already.
But it is also true that I have nothing else to rely on.
“By darkness, is it talking about moving at night?” (Hikaru)
One would normally think that it is more dangerous at night, but I have taken Night Vision.
I won’t be able to tell just how well I will be able to see until night actually comes, but it most likely should be good enough for me to walk in.
If I can walk safely at night, I will shut myself in at daytime with the barrier for as much as my points allow, and cover the distance at night…
“Maybe the monsters in this forest aren’t active at night…?” (Hikaru)
I know close to nothing about this world. There might not be that many nocturnal creatures.
Or more like, how much blending in the darkness does that hint require me to do? At the very least, it would be more natural to consider this as telling me that night is safer.
“…But if that were the case, I feel like it would be better to phrase it as ‘act at night’.” (Hikaru)
It didn’t say night but darkness.
Now that I think about it, this reminds me of something.
I open the tab of Spirit Abilities from the Status Board.
Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Light, Darkness.
All Spirit Abilities have a cost of 10 Points.
It is a super heavy number for someone with 19 Points.
When I press on the Dark Spirit Ability, an explanation shows up.
[It has little in direct attack abilities, and it is composed mostly of support abilities].
That sounds like Dark Magic.
There should be a ‘way to blend into the darkness’…I think.
It says there’s a lot of support abilities, so stuff like covering the target in darkness does sound like something that suits my current situation.
(Also…I have the Affection of Spirits.) (Hikaru)
I don’t know the effect of that.
But thinking about it normally, it should be a buff for the use of spirit magic. I was thinking about getting magic eventually, so I should take this positively and just think of it as me taking it sooner rather than later.
“…Well, now that I have come this far, I just gotta do it.” (Hikaru)
Honestly speaking, I am currently pretty done for here.
It is because of the massive amount of viewers watching that I am somehow managing to maintain some self-respect here by a really narrow margin. If I had been thrown into this parallel world completely alone, I probably would have been bawling already.
If I continue breaking Barrier Stones without using my Points elsewhere, my Points will reach zero in an instant.
When that happens, I won’t be able to do anything.
I must do what I can at this phase.
[Will you expend 10 Points to acquire Dark Spirit Ability? YES・NO]
I resolve myself and press the Yes button.
[You have acquired Dark Spirit Ability. Please confirm the pertaining information of the Spirit Ability in the Status Board].
The system notification resonates in my mind.
After obtaining it, I got a grasp of what Spirit Abilities are…no, my body understood it as if it knew it from the very beginning.
Spirit Abilities can call the many Spirits that exist in the world, and by using yourself as an intermediary, you can activate an ability of the corresponding element.
When I opened the Status Board, the entry [Contract Spirit: Darkness] had been added.
I apparently can’t get more than one Spirit Ability, so as long as I don’t revoke the contract (don’t know if that’s even possible to begin with), I will be living together with Dark Spirits forever…
A new entry for Dark Spirit Ability was made so I tap it.
[Dark Spirit Ability]
Tier 1 Ability
・Revelation of Darkness [Dark Mist] Proficiency 0
“Oh! Isn’t this exactly ‘blend in the darkness’?” (Hikaru)
Rather than the fact that there’s only one or that it operates with proficiency, I felt like the light of hope had shone on me from the fact that it is exactly what I was looking for.
It is ironic that it is my light of hope despite this being darkness, but I can now see one ray of hope in getting out of this forest.
I don’t understand the meaning of Revelation of Darkness, but I will think about it once I get out of the forest.
“Gotta try it out. Uhm…Dark Mist!” (Hikaru)
I put energy in my stomach and shout the name of the ability.
The Spirits around me passed through the reactor that’s me and it steadily changed into Darkness.
It is slow.
It really took its time. Little by little, the surroundings were being covered in darkness.
On top of that, it was only 50 cm in radius with me as the center.
I as the user can see outside, but it is in the end mist. With just this much, I feel like they can see me from outside to a decent degree. Also, the range is so small.
Is this it?
The darkness dispersed in around 1 minute.
It is way too unreliable of an ability to blend in the darkness and escape this forest.
But even with that, this is the only weapon I have.
“It is good that I can use abilities even inside the barrier though.” (Hikaru)
The barrier still has a little over 8 hours. At the very least, I can use that time to train.
I confirm my Status Board.
[Dark Spirit Ability]
Tier 1 Ability
・Revelation of Darkness [Dark Mist] Proficiency 1
“The Proficiency has increased. So it increases by 1 for each use?” (Hikaru)
Whatever the case, just gotta use it like crazy.
I also need to get a grasp of the limit in my Spirit Energy, and I can just hope that raising the proficiency will increase the effective range and duration.
I also tried stacking them, but it doesn’t look that effective.
Looks like it would be better for me to aim for the increase of power from a single use.
I don’t know if the effect of the Affection of Spirits is working.
Not having any issues with activating the abilities might be thanks to the Affection of Spirits. It does sound plausible that just trying to use the abilities is already difficult for the ones without affection.
“…If one has Affection of Spirits, you are also loved by the energy that’s required to use the abilities? I can’t really tell myself…” (Hikaru)
But whenever I use Spirit Abilities, I do feel the feedback of borrowing power from the Spirits.
This feedback might be proportional to the amount of Spirit Energy used.
“Anyways, I should test it out by the numbers…” (Hikaru)
It is not like I got a teacher here, so no choice but to improve blindly.
I can use the ability itself, and I currently don’t feel the fatigue from the reduction of Spirit Energy.
Since I will be walking at night, I will use the remaining 8 hours to train.
I used 1 Point for that Barrier Stone, so I must not waste a single minute.
Remaining Points: 9.