To take a life
Shion-san and I decided to leave the town and head for a ruin in the forest beyond the hill I had first arrived on.
Oh my god!
I'm so excited!
"Onee-chan, is there a demon king in the ruin? If I defeat him, I'll be a hero! What should I do!?"
"Seeing how you can't chop wood, why don't you worry about that later?"
I don't plan to rely on the strength in my arms!
"We're about to leave the town, so let's form a party now."
Doesn't forming a party mean heading out together, like we are now?
Shion-san laughed at my usual clueless face.
"There is an Invite entry in the Status, right? You can invite people into your party with that, forming a group of up to six."
However, being able to see your Status and requesting to join parties, it's like I'm in a game. But it is another world after all, right?
Or is this a game? A dream?
... I guess I should make sure.
That being said, but how do I actually go about that?
For now I can say I get hungry and sleepy.
The five senses are perfectly recreated, too.
Compared to before I was reborn, nothing feels off about my body, either.
Well, of course there is a difference.
An extraordinary difference, the one between being a man and a woman.
Probably never before in my life have I been embarrassed to go to the toilet.
And while the standard of living might be higher in modern Japan, it's not that bad here.
I can see that an original culture has developed here.
It's probably too creative to come up in a dream of mine.
Actually, I'm on the verge of admitting I was reborn into another world.
If I am to fight with monsters, there is one thing I have to make sure of.
If there are the Status and parties, will the attacks I take from monsters be converted into damage?
In other words, is there pain?
Or is there not?
Will simply a value such as HP go down?
Was there such a value in the Status?
And this is important
Ignoring games for now, can I fight in this reality where my life depends on it? I'm not used to pain.
"... this is the one thing I didn't want to do."
But I still have to do it, before leaving the town.
I looked around and found what I was looking for.
And then I picked that up ———— a pebbly lying at a street corner.
A round pebbly of good size, fitting onto the palm of my hand.
...here I go!
"Come... on!! ~~~~!"
I smashed the pebble against my head with all my strength.
Shion-san was shocked by my cryptic action.
Seeing stars is probably a good expression for me right now.
I was rolling over the floor in pain.
This hurts, this freaking hurts!
Fine, I'll admit it.
It doesn't matter anymore what this is.
No matter what, this can only be reality.
I mean it hurts!
It hurts so much I'm crying!!!
"Wai, Alice!? Are you alright!?"
Well... certainly it hurts to smash a pebble against your head.
That goes without saying.
But does it hurt this much?
Is that it?
Does it want to say I'm paper?
Does it want to say I'm freaking tofu with Protection 0?
But I'm a maiden, not tofu...
Anyway, the pain finally subsided and I got up straight.
"... with that out of the way, let's go, Onee-chan."
"Eh? Ah, okay... wait, Alice... is everything alright with your head?"
What exactly do you mean with that, Onee-chan?
...I may have lost more than I thought.
For a while Shion-san gave me lukewarm looks, but that was alright.
After an invitation from Shion-san, the two of us formed a pair party.
"At first we're going to fight near the town, and once you're used to it, we'll head to the ruins. But since it's meaningless for me to do too much, the fighting will be done mainly by you."
"You're not going to abandon me, are you?"
"You'll be fine, you'll be fine."
Shion-san, do you properly realize I'm weaker than a puppy?
It's inattentiveness like "That little poses no problem" that leads to great accidents!
"And Alice, don't form parties with just anyone, you hear me? If it's not with people you can trust, or where you won't regret it even if they betray you, it's dangerous."
"Is that so?"
"Fundamentally, money and experience are shared equally between party members, but that doesn't work with drop items. Especially when you find a rare item, it's easy to be stabbed in the back."
Other worlds are scary!
Is this one of those cases?
Where you're not protected by the law?
"That's why I show my Status to people I decide to party with, without hiding anything. As a sign of trust."
Shion-san showed me her Status up to the details.
Weapon: Eastern Sword (high quality)(Inscription: Izanagi)
Armor: Light Plate (high quality)(Inscription: Kalon)
Accessory: Gale Earring
"Onee-chan, that looks really strong!"
"Well, getting your equipment in order is basic for adventurers."
Shion-san said that it wasn't actually that good, but she probably went through a lot of trouble to gather it.
Shion is great because she still doesn't boast!
"I'm going to show you my Attributes, too."
So you can see Attributes, too?
I never knew.
And Shion-san's Attributes are as follows:
Strength 3, Endurance 1, Protection 1, Agility 5, Mind 0
"...Onee-chan, that's so unbalanced."
Is it okay to have Endurance and Protection both at 1?
"Well, who cares, as long as it doesn't hit me."
Are you like that?
Are you like that red guy, Onee-chan!?
But Agility 5, huh.
There was a genius this close to me.
Frankly, I thought I wouldn't find anyone to beat my 4 Agility for a while.
"Onee-chan... now I'm a little bit worried how reliable you really are..."
"Ehh!? What are your Attributes, then?
"Very well! Feast your eyes, they're amazing!"
Strength 0, Endurance 1, Protection 0, Agility 4, Mind 5
There is another part that begs even more attention, isn't there!?
"Ehm, Mind 5 might be amazing, but it just doesn't click for me. Well, the 4 in Agility is a bit surprising though."
Well, I haven't properly experienced its amazingness myself yet, so I can't help you there.
"But the 0, 1, 0 is even more of a surprise..."
That's the result?
... I don't even know what you're talking about!
After exchanging the necessary information, we left the town.
From now on, puppies might attack us any time.
Full of vigilance, I looked left and right while carefully making step after step.
Because I was too much of a tortoise, Onee-chan started dragging me along by my neck midway.
"I'm no luggage~!"
"But you're light. Are you eating properly?"
"I've eaten four plates of curry before!"
Curry. Is it not getting translated? I can pronounce it, though.
"It's a food served in bowls, and I've eaten four servings."
"Hee. Just where does all of that fit into your body, hmm?"
"Hehe, are you impressed?"
That's the appetite of a growing boy, hungry after club activities!
"So, how much did you eat yesterday?"
"Rinnal pie, one slice. That's all that fit."
She's totally thinking I lied!!
I didn't, but I have no way to prove it!
"Oh? Hey, we have our first customer!"
A push from Shion-san made me land on the ground.
And before me...
Petite Panther Level 2 has appeared!
Enemy Status confirmed!
So you're here~...
Isn't it level 2?
Did I see something wrongly?
"O-Oneechan, leve, enemy!"
"Oh, its level? They fluctuate a bit. Even in the same place."
I haven't heard any of this!?
"Well, you'll manage."
And why are energetically sitting down over there!?
Are you just watching?
You have no intention whatsoever of helping me, huh!?
The level 2 puppy didn't wait for my trembling to settle down.
Of course he didn't!
With my inherent agility, I somehow managed to get past its initial attack.
Alright, bring it on!
I'm also a (former) man!
In my heart, I'm still a man!
That means there are some battles I have to fight!
I held the Lightning Rod before me and carefully closed the distance.
Maybe the level 2 puppy had noticed I'm not the me of the past, because it carefully watched me.
Wait, the one in the past had been impaled by Uncle.
"Here I come!"
With a nimble movement, I smashed the Lightning Rod into the puppy.
"Ah, sorry! ———cra!!"
The moment I was inattentive due to pangs of conscience, I almost got bitten for it.
This is dangerous!
Because with the earlier verification I've bitterly experienced how painful such a bite would be!
"What are you doing..."
I could hear Shion say something behind me.
But I ignore her!
Nng, after all fighting for life and death is severe.
This is the law of survival of the fittest.
This is what it means to be an adventurer.
Anybody who doesn't like it can just become a tailor or a smith in town.
"I have decided already..."
I'm going to live in this world.
I am going to adventure in this world.
Rather than confining myself to my small room, I really think this world is better!
After dodging an attack, I hit the puppy with all my might.
At that moment, the Lightning Rod gleamed and lightning washed over the puppy.
It gave one last twitch and stopped moving.
The puppy dissolved into the world and a Petite Panther's Fur appeared in its place.
A drop of something wetted the fur.
"... Alice, are you sure you can do this?"
"... I ... can."
I've already stained my hands with blood.
If I pulled back here, I would never be able to apologize to the puppy.
My resolve is hard.
But the tears just don't stop.
On that day.
I chose to live by taking lives.
- ↑ Red guy: Gundam reference, to Char Aznable. "Who cares, as long as it doesn't hit me/us," is a catch phrase of his.