“Wha~t will I catch today~?” (Souma)
I hummed cheerfully as I enjoyed fishing.
“…You look pretty happy there, Souma-san.”
I feel like I heard the spiteful voice of an acquaintance, but it must be my imagination, so I don’t worry about it.
The reason for my good mood is simple.
It is because I have managed to obtain a super useful item that’s impossible to obtain at such an early stage because of the game system.
Right now there’s one torch inside my bag.
This is most of the reason why I am in a good mood.
‘What, a mere torch?’ -you shouldn’t look down on it.
What I got ain’t just your regular torch.
It is the level 250 super torch that has HP regeneration ability which has looked after many hardcore Nekomimi Neko users, Master Torch.
The reason why it is called master when it is just a torch is because this is the best thing to increase weapon proficiency.
In the first place, the reason why I headed to that sealed cave despite there being no way I would be able to match the underground dungeon in my level is because you can’t even enter it without the items to begin with.
Even so, I still headed there because I was aiming for this Master Torch.
Regarding raising the proficiency of weapons, I have spoken about it before.
Proficiency increases depending on how many times you have hit and dealt damage. If there’s a difference in levels against your opponent, a bonus is added.
In other words, fight against a high as possible enemy, hit it as many times as possible, deal more than 1 damage. This is the shortcut to increasing proficiency.
And so, in order to increase weapon proficiency, it was the mainstream method to attack a high level slow monster endlessly with a weapon. But there was a guy who tested out something unusual.
Instead of hitting a monster, they tried to raise their proficiency by attacking an item.
For a part of the weapons, armor, and items like lamps and torches that can be broken, not only do they have levels, they have HP set for their durability.
If the only condition to raise weapon proficiency is to deal damage to the target, wouldn’t it be possible to raise proficiency by hitting items that have level and HP?
He thought of this and it was proved to be true.
Instead of monsters, you raise your proficiency with harmless items.
This could be taken as a brilliant idea at first glance.
But this was actually not an efficient method.
First, there rarely are any items that have a higher level than the player.
Especially with the weapons and armor level, they are mostly set at a level slightly lower than the character level, so it wasn’t an efficient method for the work.
The only high level item with HP was the suspension bridge quest at the Gigal Mountain which you can find in the beginning, but you have to defeat the mobs around in order to attack it so, in the end, you need a high level.
Also, even if you obtain high level equipment, the other wall would be the repair costs.
The HP of items is solely to show the durability of it, so in exchange of barely lowering unless you are reckless with it, it is really low compared to monsters.
And yet, if you are going to repair it, you require a lot of Element depending on the level.
Going out of your way to attack an item in order to increase your weapon proficiency is nonsense in a lot of ways.
Thus, because of these two reasons, it was deemed inefficient to raise your weapon proficiency with items.
…Until the day the Master Torch was found, that is.
Any player who has progressed till the hidden dungeon obviously knows about the torches that are in front of the dungeon doors, but there was almost no one who paid it any heed.
But, one day, a Nameless-san stopped in front of a torch and tilted his head.
Almost all illumination means in dungeons are made into objects. Putting it simply, they are a part of the scenery and can’t be interacted with by players.
But only this one, these torches weren’t part of the scenery. They were torches treated as items.
However, you can bring out as many reasons as you want. Like: they put some effort into the hidden dungeon, or they wanted an actual source of light, or whatever.
That’s not what he found strange.
The problem was that, no matter when you came, they would always continue burning.
In the first place, the reason why torches and lamps have HP is because they have a time limit.
That’s why torches and lamps slowly lose HP and once the HP is gone, they break.
But the torches in this hidden dungeon were different.
Despite them burning the whole time, no matter how long of a time it passed, they wouldn’t break.
Finding this strange, he tested out several things to solve this mystery, and he discovered that that torch has a massive amount of HP that can’t be compared to that of a torch, has the ability to regenerate its HP, moreover, has a dreadnought level of 250 that was most likely to match the hidden dungeon.
This discovery drove the Nekomimi Neko players crazy.
The last boss Demon Lord is level 250 and the mobs before him are around 200, so most players would be around 200 by the time they clear the game.
Even if it is exclusive for after you clear the game, if you can increase your proficiency with an item that has a 50 level difference, that would be extremely tasty.
Moreover, it has a lot of HP and it regenerates its HP, so there’s no need to use Element to repair it.
This information spread in the net, and the Godlike Torch in the underground dungeon became common knowledge in Nekomimi Neko in the blink of an eye.
The hidden dungeon entrance became the weapon proficiency training ground right before clearing the game. Many players would visit that god torch daily, and would attack it with their weapons as they pleased.
You can easily see the item parameters in the game, so there’s no need to confirm whether it has been injured or not.
If you see a 1 damage in your screen, you simply continue hitting. Pretty straightforward.
There’s no need for any special trick and has no risks.
On top of that, there was no other thing that could even come close to comparing, so there’s no way it wouldn’t be popular.
God Torch Worship soon became a top movement in Nekomimi Neko.
On the other hand, the players that had gone over level 250 and had already cleared the hidden dungeon at the fastest speed were stomping their feet and raging at the realization of this.
…I was that player.
Eventually, they began to call this underground entrance as the underground dojo of the Master Torch. Even though it is practically exclusive to before you conquer the hidden dungeon, it is a popular spot that’s even compared to the Lookmari Dojo of the Lamurick Town.
I even went as far as beginning the game all over again and defeating the Demon Lord at a low level (level 183) and raised my weapon proficiency a whole ton.
I think you already understand, but the reason why I endlessly attacked the torch was not in order to cut down the torch, but to reproduce the Master Torch’s underground dojo, and use the newly learned skill to escape.
I could tell Train-chan about the torch, but increasing your weapon proficiency at a blinding speed by just hitting a torch is obviously not normal no matter how you think about it. It is kinda like…unfair, or cheap.
That’s why I had Train-chan misunderstand that I was trying to cut off the torch in blind rage and raised my weapon proficiency single-mindedly.
There’s close to 240 levels of difference between me and Master Torch.
I could somewhat tell that my weapon proficiency was increasing at a fearsome speed every time I cut it, and I ended up losing sight of when to stop from all the excitement.
But, thanks to that, not only did I learn the Eternal Heaven Soaring Blade which you normally learn after you are close to clearing the game, thanks to patch 1.09 that fixed the weapon proficiency actually affecting the attack power of the skills, my attack power increased to an extent that can’t be compared to before.
As long as I have Master Torch inside my bag, I can increase my proficiency no matter where I go, so I am really looking forward to the future.
For now, rather than my weapon…
My thoughts were cut off by the shout of Train-chan.
When I turned, Train-chan was looking up here with teary eyes.
Seeing that, I finally remembered.
Right, I was fishing.
“Even now, I still don’t know if you are a good guy or a bad guy… But I understand one thing.” (Train)
Of course, this is not your average fishing.
The fishing line is a rope I bought in the town, and I am fishing in the Sealed Lands.
And what I am trying to catch is…
“Souma-san is a really horrible person!!” (Train)
…Train-chan shouts at me…from below the hole.
I had no choice but to go to the town and buy a rope to save Train-chan after having escaped from the hole.
I hung that onto the hole, and thought about pulling Train-chan up, but…
Every time I hung the rope and Train-chan came near…
“A bit more! Just a bit more!” (Souma)
It was amusing how she was jumping for the rope, and I ended up teasing her for the hell of it.
It can’t be helped that she would say I am a horrible person. It is an act that truly earns me that title.
“Aah, the length of the rope really isn’t enough~.” (Souma)
I threw out those words and flailed the rope to a height where her hands barely don’t reach.
Train-chan stretched her arms out here and there while jumping like a cat chasing after a green foxtail.
And then, she noticed that I am looking at that sight of hers with a grin and said:
“Your personality is also horrible!” (Train)
She shouted again from below.
Hm? Didn’t she say she only understood one thing about me?
I would feel bad playing around with her for too long, so I found a good time and pulled her up.
Train-chan was safely rescued with my game-like physical strength and…
“I-I will at least thank you for saving me. Thanks. B-But it is not like I trust you yet, Souma-san!” (Train)
She shouted this at the end and ran off to the town at full speed.
I hope we never meet again.
“I am tired for the day.” (Souma)
My second day in the game was more heavy than I thought.
I actually was planning on going to one facility in town, but I decided to do so tomorrow.
I just returned to the inn.
I apologized to the innkeeper that I had broken his shovel and to please let me compensate him for it, and he grinned at me with his rugged face.
“Don’t worry about it. If you are going to continue being a patron here, a mere shovel is a bargain.”
He laughed it off heartily.
Contrary to his looks, he is a nice guy.
I swore in my heart that I would go and buy a new shovel tomorrow.
“There’s still a bit more before dinner, so come down in around 30 minutes, okay?!”
He said as he pushed my back and I returned to my room.
After confirming that I can use Master Torch properly and that Shiranui doesn’t show any signs of breaking, I return to the 1st floor.
I headed to the dining hall and, aside from the guests and the innkeeper, there was someone there who was clearly waiting for me.
When she sees me, she runs towards me with a big smile.
“I am Ina Trail who will be staying here from today on! I will be in your care from here on!” (Train)
I ignored this girl who was making a face as if she got me and faced the innkeeper.
“Sorry, it looks like I can’t be a patron of this place.” (Souma)
And the lesson of today is…
You can’t escape from Train-chan!!