Reborn in another world, as a pretty girl
When I woke up, there was nothing familiar surrounding me.
I was confused, but I had one idea.
I am a very imaginative person.
"...eh? Another world? Seriously?"
Yep, I am very imaginative, but hearing my voice say it, it's really nothing but foolish.
Wait, waitwaitwait, there was an even more important truth in my voice.
Exactly, my voice.
You want to know what's wrong with my voice?
My name is Arisugawa Akito
Eighteen years old.
I'm a student who moved to Tokyo just this spring to attend university.
To calm my nerves a bit, let me reminisce.
About what happened yesterday...
Until I finished high school, while living out in the boonies, I entered a club, applied myself and lived an overall vigorous student life.
I'd played soccer since I was tiny and I spent a large part of my youth on it, too, but in the last tournament of my third year in highschool, we lost and I burnt out.
Afterwards, I buried it under studying, fulfilled the condition for leaving home by qualifying for a rather good university and began living alone.
Well, so far, everything was good.
But by that time, I was so burnt out you wouldn't believe for an eighteen-year-old. I couldn't get myself motivated to do a~nything anymore.
I only went to university for the opening ceremony.
Then I unquestionably turned into one of the enrolled students on the verge of becoming NEETs.
But while I had no motivation, I certainly had more time that I could spend on my hands.
At that point, I encountered online games.
Creating new characters that would become extensions of myself, acting out a new self in virtual worlds was quite exhilarating.
In no time at all I was caught and played game after game, all month long, even cutting down on sleeping time.
I never went.
Ah, sorry, the opening ceremony. I did go there.
Which is not to say that I have issues communicating with people.
It's just a bother, you see!
D-don't get the wrong idea, alright!
Well, not like any of that matters.
Anyway, I particularly liked fantasy-themed MMORPGs.
Since long ago I've liked reading books when I was tired, I loved submerging myself in my fantasies.
On nights with movies from Ghibli or so I could fantasize so much, I was all fluffy inside from happiness.
There may not be any Aetherium, but I did float as I pleased inside my head, you know?
Right, I loved running through fantastic worlds.
As a new me, that is.
And like that, I wandered through many worlds as many characters and lived a fulfilled university life, but there I found one experiment I wanted to try.
——I want to try playing a girl.
It's alluring, right?
And, knowing how rude it is, don't you sometimes think you're better than a girl at acting like one? Meaning an ideal one, in the mind of a man like me.
Well, I had such a slight obsession with changing myself.
So I decided.
I was going to become a girl cuter than anyone.
Then I searched for an appropriate online game and finally arrived at "New Life in Another World", a rather relaxed-seeming representative of its kind.
The name was unassuming, not going for an extreme impact or anything.
That's what I liked about it.
In that game, I was going to make my debut as a girl character.
I spent quite a bit of time on character creation.
There were all kinds of races, but to begin with I decided on a half between human and elf.
I wavered for a while over the hair color.
Two hours, maybe?
You can't go wrong with blond.
However, red is cool.
But pink is cute.
Blues are also cool and give good vibes.
Still, exactly because it's a fantasy world, going with black after all has a point, too.
I wavered and wavered and finally went with the other safe option, platinum blond.
In short, I picked silver hair.
Long, straight silver hair.
It was quite cool and I liked it.
The eyes were a bit slanted and had that strong-willed look.
I set their color to amber.
Just 160cm for height, and a slender, model-like figure.
Boobs are filled with dream, but for this character it felt excessive so I gave them a moderate size. Yep, my pickiness led to a good result..
With that I finished setting the appearance..
Time spent: ridiculous.
But you can say I managed to create the most beautiful girl I could.
Next came setting the character's attributes.
There was a large number of classes and I wavered again.
Just which one was appropriate for this beautiful girl?
Grabbing a sword and standing on the frontline was fascinating, but I decided to leave it for another time and wanted to pick a magic class after all.
Firepower or healing, that was the question.
Due to the strong-willed expression, it had to be firepower, right?
So it had to be a prodigiously offensive class.
I picked Mage and went on to spending the points.
No matter how I set them, I'd probably be able to get quite strong through leveling, but apparently the first points decided the direction the character would take.
I again wavered.
There were 5 attributes, and I could spend a total of 10 points to bring their values up to 5.
Strength, Endurance, Protection, Agility, Mind
I was to allocate the points in these five entries.
If I spent them equally, all would get to 2.
In short, it should be alright to think of 2 as the average.
3 was a bit superior.
4 was quite excellent
5 was genius-level.
I don't like being a jack of all trades.
So min-maxing it was!
Strength 0, Endurance 1, Protection 0, Agility 4, Mind 5.
That completely used the 10 points I had.
Truly the defensive power of paper.
I was going to live on Agility and Mind - which was probably magic attack power – alone.
And, of course, beauty.
The next step was setting special abilities.
There I could get special abilities by allocating points, but I only had 3 this time.
There were a ton of options, but I decided on "Latent Potential", "Double Cast" and "Cast Time Reduction".
I'd already decided on min-maxing after all.
Nobody would be able to defend against my attacks!
...but if I didn't find someone to be my shield, and soon, wouldn't I die from one tackle from a slime?
I could always use my Agility to dodge.
Finally, I finished all the trials and tribulations of creating this character.
I clicked "Next" and got a popup titled "Welcome to another world!"
"Do you believe in other worlds?"
Hmm, that's a Yes, yes.
Because I'm a pure boy dreaming of other worlds.
Without wavering, I clicked YES.
"Then, have a nice life."
That was the last message.
I think, because at that point my consciousness stopped.
I'm getting a very, very bad vibe here.
It's not a cheap trick like dreaming or hypnosis, definitely not.
This meadow I'm sitting on? The softness and smell are certainly natural.
In the first place, where is my one room apartment, my home and my castle?
I'm not half-asleep.
My vision is clear.
Nothing is blurry.
Alright, I finally made my resolve to clear the issue that had given me my first doubts.
I readied myself and said something once more.
"Ahh. Test, test?"
... I heard an unbelievable lovely voice.
Coming from my throat.
I combed my hair that felt a bit odd.
Long. It was also glossy and smooth and silver.
I touched my chest.
They were moderate, but definitely filled with dream!
... I touched them again.
I-I'm not doing anything dirty, alright!?
This is important!
This is important!!
It's really important, so I repeated it.
There was an absence between my legs.
Can you understand my despair right now?
Only barely did I manage to not fall unconscious again.
But I pulled myself together.
I got up.
My old height was 175cm.
"What's with this line of sight, so low..."
This is so weird.
...ahhh, yes, yes, I'm one-sixty, right. I know that.
I was just a bit negligent.
Furthermore, I also know something else.
No, I have no idea how to deal with it yet, but let's admit it:
"I became a woman..."
I only thought I'd play a girl, but it looks like I became one in another world.
I am at a loss and there's nothing I can do about it.
No, actually I've been at a loss for a while now, but reality doesn't accommodate you just like that.
Reality meaning the reality of another world, that is.
After noticing I could see my own Status, for a start I did just that:
Class: Apprentice Mage
It's true that I set the age to fifteen, but to think I'd really grow three years younger...
Well, I've changed gender, so that may be the least of my worries.
And the name, Alice, is just like I set it.
Alice, because it's so close to my last name Arisugawa.
The clear, nearby lake reflected my appearance.
A pretty girl just like I had made her.
I tried smiling a bit.
Crap, she's too cute.
I might fall for her.
Although it's me.
Didn't I make a slight mistake with the settings?
Are other worlds no fun after all unless you're a man?
A more pressing issue is the entry on magic.
As a Level 1 Apprentice Mage, I should learn magic after leveling up a bit, but at least at the moment I had none.
Because everything's been true to my settings so far, chances are the Attributes will be the same, too.
In other words, hand-to-hand combat is impossible for this character.
And yet I can't use magic.
This is seriously bad.
My life's not gonna be in serious danger the moment I meet a monster around here, is it?
The moment I realized that, I got scared of being on that meadow.
Am I going to be fine around here, monster-wise?
In my early days, it's not going to be that unreasonable, right?
But because I couldn't see anyone around, I had no choice but to move on my own.
By the way, to see if I couldn't log out or something, I minutely checked my Status, loitered around a bit and spent some more time at a loss, like before.
... all for naught.
I'd seen that coming.
So, first I had to search for a town or so to survive.
Before making my move, I checked my equipment.
Armor: Cloth Clothes
Hey, aren't I really gonna die when a monster comes?
To warn myself, to not do anything reckless, I remembered my own Attributes.
Strength 0, Endurance 1, Protection 0, Agility 4, Mind 5
Like this, right?
No weapons, but Strength 0.
Only Cloth Clothes, but Endurance 1 and Protection 0.
Mind 5, but no magic to rely on.
I have to overcome this with Agility.
If I encounter a monster, I'm going to run away!
That decision in mind, I set out.
While fearfully walking around, something like a distant town came into view.
Looks like I'm on top of a hill right now, so I can easily see all around.
I call it a town, but it isn't that large.
Only a bit more developed than a village, I'd say.
However, even if I enter the town, I have neither money nor a place to stay. What's going to happen to me?
Furthermore, you see?
Right now, I am the most perfectly beautiful girl I could imagine.
I checked it earlier, and I'm so lovely I could fall for myself.
Sleeping outdoors will be bad.
If I don't secure a place to sleep securely, it'll be bad.
This place definitely has worse public order than modern Japan, right?
I like the thought of getting attacked by a man even less than getting attacked by a monster.
That would be hell.
First, I have to find a way to defend myself.
In all kinds of meanings.
——but just before reaching the town, I finally encountered a monster!
Level 1 Petite Panther
Enemy Status, says the information popping up in my head.
But more importantly...
EHHH WHAT'S THIS SO CUTE!!
It's a puppy.
It's a perfect, mischievous puppy.
It's grown a little horn, but it's still a cute horn.
The fangs a bit sharp, but they're still cute fangs.
I'm a complete dog person, by the way.
I think had my apartment allowed pets, I totally would've kept a dog...
The cute puppy came charging at me with its horn.
I dodged it at the last second.
Hey, wait, puppy!
That was dangerous
What are you going to do if you stab me with that!
That's not funny!
"...sorry, puppy! I mustn't die in this place, either!"
I readied myself and decided to fight.
Before the puppy recovered its stance from the charge, I punched it.
As expected of my Agility.
With casual ease I hit the puppy.
The puppy's big, round eyes met mine.
I almost got bitten for that.
"CRAA...!" I quickly dodged.
...ap, I definitely can't win this.
This is too powerless, right?
When my limit is prodding a puppy.
Arm strength that loses against a puppy? Come on!
What do I do? What do I do!
While I my thoughts were impatiently treading in circles, the puppy charged again.
I can't dodge that one.
Am I going to die in one hit?
Protection 0 means paper, right?
I keep watching the events in slow motion, blinking not even once.
Suddenly, a well-built uncle stepped between the puppy and me.
Why uncle, you ask?
Because I saw his dandy profile that made it clear he's that old!
Uncle stopped and repelled the puppy's charge with his shield and impaled it with his sword.
... doesn't make for a nice picture, does it.
With that, the puppy stopped moving and disappeared like fog.
I see, monsters disappear upon defeat.
That's way better than leaving behind corpses.
A drop item appeared.
Petite Panther's Fur
I wonder, can I just sell these and make my living that way?
Uncle specially picked it up and threw it to me.
"That was dangerous, Missy. A little Missy like you shouldn't loiter around outside town like that?"
Ahh, he means me.
This dandy old man threw me a look over his shoulder and loosened his face into a broad grin.
"Y-yes. Thank you very much."
Alright, perfect yourself!
I originally intended to do so anyway, but now I'll show you what a great girl I can be!
I am a bit excited though.
Although there's nothing that could expose me. I'm not gonna be exposed, right?
"But... this is a surprise. Missy, are you an elf?"
Uncle made a surprised face after looking at me again.
How did he notice I'm an elf?
I'm actually a halfelf though.
"No, I'm a halfelf."
"Hee..., I see I see. You're the cutest girl I've ever seen, so I thought you might be an elf, but I see."
Are elven looks that superior?
"I-is that so. Uhm, thank you very much. For saving me just now."
I'd been on the verge of death. No kidding.
"I told you, don't sweat it. We have to help each other in trouble, right? From the looks of it you're alone; don't you have a companion?"
Uncle answered me with a smile and worriedly looked around since I was alone.
I hadn't had a bad feeling about him in since the beginning, but now he seemed like a genuinely good guy.
Hmm, what should I do.
Mixing in a bit of the truth, I told him my situation.
"Actually, I left home. Uhm, I cannot ever go back, and without anywhere to go, either, I was wondering what to do... probably."
I only omitted some details.
And whether I can ever go back or not needs some verification in the future.
Uncle listened to my story quietly.
"Missy, you said you're a halfelf, right... Elven villages are harsh in that respect. Must have been tough on you."
Uncle was moved to tears a bit.
And hey, elves are horrible, aren't they?!
Really elitist, huh.
"Ahh, nono, how should I put this."
But arbitrarily making the elves the bad guys didn't sit well with me either.
"It's fine, it's finy, Missy. Everyone's got a thing or two they don't want to remember!"
Yepyep, Uncle nodded.
What should I do, this person is a bottomless fountain of goodness.
"Still, I see. But it's no good if a missy like you has nowhere to go. Humans aren't all bad guys, either, but it must be tough to live on your own for a girl as ignorant of the world as you are, Missy."
Ignorant of the world, huh.
Is that how I look to you?
Well, I can't fight and I was alone outside of town.
And at least in this world it's true that I don't know left from right.
I got anxious after all.
Seeing my uneasy expression, Uncle gave me one, big nod.
"I'm Nicholl, an adventurer living in this town. I live with my wife and daughter, but if you like, why don't you stay with us, Missy? This must be some kind of fate. I can't just let you to the dogs like this."
Is this what they call a godsend?
Ignorant of the world as Uncle had called me and exhausted to boot, I nodded without hesitation.
It's too much trust in someone I just met, but he did save my life.
And more than anything, I really have no way to survive in this world, so I have to rely on someone.
"Uhm, it may cause you trouble, but please help me."
"Hahaha, that's no trouble. With someone like you at home, Missy, it'll be cheerful, and my daughter'll be happy for someone her age."
Uncle told me with a wry smile that she'd always been noisy about wanting a little sister.
"I... My name is Alice. Nicholl-san, really, thank you!!!"
When I smiled in relief from the bottom of my heart, Uncle got a bit agitated and flustered.
"O-Ouu! Let's go, Mis... Alice-chan!"
Like that, I took my first step living in another world.
The town nearby is apparently called Rinnal.
It's a town flourishing due to the local specialty, a fruit called Rinnal, and has been named thus.
But what's a Rinnal?
And what language am I talking in in the first place?
By the way, after you introduce yourself and consent, you can apparently see each other's Status.
Not everything though.
Uncle's Status is as follows:
Uncle, isn't level 38 really strong?
I can't see information like Skills or Magic.
It's probably valuable information so you don't show it for just a self-introduction.
Let's remember that.
"Unc———Nicholl-san, you're strong, aren't you? Level 38 is amazing."
On the other hand, after seeing my Status, Uncle made a meek face again.
"Throwing a girl like this out is messed up."
What part of my Status is he talking about when he says "a girl like this"?
My age? My level?
After that, we entered while I noncommittally let Uncle's consolation wash past me.
There were some guard-looking people at the gate, but apparently everyone can enter.
They didn't say anything in particular to me.
They did stare though.
Hey, don't ogle a girl too much.
All the way to Uncle's house, I was exposed to the stares.
The beauty I have poured all my effort into gathers too much attention.
This is tough.
"Honey, I'm home!"
Uncle opened the door and entered, and I followed him in.
The moment I entered the house, my eyes met with the wife-ish person sitting at the living room table.
She looked at me, looked at Uncle, and looked at me again.
——Then her face turned demonic.
I reflexively screamed.
"...dear, just what's the meaning of this? You're not going to tell me you secretly saved up money and bought a slave, are you!!"
You can buy slaves here? Hee, this really is another world.
"I-I didn't! Calm down! I ran into this girl when she was in trouble outside town and protected her!!"
Level 38 Uncle was shedding cold sweat as he explained.
Just now, level 38 seemed really weak.
I don't really have anything against him.
But now I do want to test if my attacks are weak or not.
Prod, I hit Uncle in the gut.
For his age, I think he has tight abs.
By the way, as prod-dy as the hit was, I unmistakably hit him with my full power.
I looked up at Uncle, but it didn't look like the attack had done anything.
So it's no good after all.
Or is it?
Suddenly Uncle paled.
But when I looked around, I found a demon.
Ahh, so that's how it is?
"Hee? So why did this girl resist you with all she has just now?"
Unable to reply anything to the demon's question, Uncle could only shiver like a newborn, little deer.
"Uhm, so is he strong or weak now..."
No, it's not like I had anything against him.
After that, various heroic tales were shared, and when the misunderstanding was finally solved, Aunty was worried for me from the bottom of her heart.
She's a good person.
It seems she's called Adele.
I asked her to show me her Status.
Tailor means she makes clothes, right?
Which reminds me, when I came in, Aunty was been sewing at the table.
"Alice-chan, if you have any troubles, don't hesitate and tell us, ok? Feel free to think of this house as your home from now on."
"Ehm... I'm somewhat really sorry. I want to bother you as little as possible."
What's with the people in this world?
Are you saying that I was too sulky back in reality?
Or is this couple just special?
No, this couple must be special, right?
Isn't my greatest fortune bar none since coming to this world that I met this couple?
"Such a reserved girl, aren't you."
Modesty is a virtue, you know?
Uncle is knocked out on the sofa so I'm chatting with Aunty now.
"Uhm, I want to become an adventurer."
To earn money.
"Hmm... certainly, you are a Mage, although still an apprentice, Alice-chan. That should become your greatest strength when it comes to being an adventurer."
Mmmmm, Aunty was murmuring.
"Uhm, is there a problem?"
"Well, becoming an adventurer is open to anyone. For registration at the guild, just pay 1000 Rook and you're good."
Hee, so the currency in this world is called Rook.
"But I'm worried if a girl like you wants to do such a dangerous job, Alice-chan."
Well, I think there all kinds of good professions, like Aunty here being a Tailor.
I'm finally in another world. How could I not adventure!?
Would that be allowed?
No, it wouldn't!
Well, I can't win against a puppy, though.
But the current situation is ultimately just that, current.
"...I, for a long time I've lived shut in a small place. I've longed for the outside world. I wanted to see so much, experience so much. Adventuring is my dream!"
It's not a lie, technically.
Small place = my one room apartment.
And I did long for my daydreams.
Alright, I didn't lie at all!
A tear rolled down Aunty's cheek.
"I understand. If you're that determined, I'm not going to stop you! But at least in the beginning, form a party with our daughter and keep to nearby places. That girl may be a bit mischievous, but her skills are excellent."
Come to think of it, Uncle mentioned he has a daughter.
Aunty has started putting on a bit weight due to her age, but you can still see how pretty she was, and Uncle is eye candy for being in his middle ages.
Their daughter might be something to look forward to.
...nope, even if I look forward to it, nothing's going to happen, alright!!
Just who had to go and attempt playing a girl!
"Thank you very much. That would help me a lot."
"Sure, sure. Okay, I'm going to prepare an early dinner today, so eat something and take a good rest. My daughter will stay out late anyway."
She offered, so I took her up on it.
Dinner consisted of a pie made with the local specialty, rinnals.
I say rinnals, but they're apples! Apples!
So why are they called rinnals!?
By the way, it may be a fantasy world, but they have baths!
Baths made with cypress wood.
Well, I say cypress though I don't know what wood it's actually made of, but it's the best!
So I received a change of clothes from Aunty and entered the bathroom.
I looked down my body.
First of all, when I did that as a man, there were no bulging breasts.
But, while moderate, now they definitely held dreams!
I'm no sex offender.
This is my body. Ultimately, this is my body!
And to get into the bath, I have to undress.
"What am I saying, of course I have to, come on..."
Ahaha, I laughed.
My voice was so lovely.
I steeled myself, took off all my clothes and got into the bath.
...while making sure to look as little as possible at myself.
"I'm no chicken, I'm no chicken, blubblub."
I talked into the bath water.
Eh? But I did wash my body before getting in?
Washing yourself before getting into the tub is good manners after all.
Yep, while looking as little as possible, I washed myself relying on sensation alone.
With a somewhat slimy liquid.
Well, it is some kind of soap or body lotion, I think.
Not something used for weird fetishes or so, right?
If it is, I'm going to stab Uncle in the gut some day.
I made that decision and just when I'd stood up to get out, the bathroom door was vigorously opened.
My thoughts stopped.
When people relax and something unexpected happens to them, they cannot react right away.
"Hee, you're Alice?"
An utterly stark-naked girl was standing in the door.
By the time I had caught my bearings again, the enemy had already invaded.
Without reserve she got into the bathtub I was standing in stock still.
"Wash yourself before you get in the tub!"
Nono, is that really what I want to point out here?
I was considerably confused.
"Ehhh, that's such a bother. You're such a sheltered girl, Alice," she complained, but did reluctantly listen to me.
She was surprisingly docile.
Hmhmm, she happily hummed while washing herself.
Nono, what should I be doing in this situation?
Can I just remain a scarecrow?
I succinctly nodded.
"I'm the daughter of the house. Name's Shion. Nice to meet you, Alice."
"Haa... it's a pleasure to meet you. ...that's a cool name you have."
Well, I really did think so.
"Right? My stupid pops entrusted his dreams of adventure to me~. Come on, is that really how you name a girl?"
Say what she might, Shion-san isn't as unhappy over it as she would make me believe, either.
Like Uncle and Aunty, she has chestnut-colored hair.
It's cut short, but she has a pretty face and doesn't look particularly boyish.
Her breast are huge!!
What the hell.
Just how much dream did she cram in there?
Did she spend bonus points?
"Hey, Alice, don't be standing there and wash my back, ok?"
"Why do I...," I set on, but obediently did as she asked.
I'm a freeloader.
That must not be forgotten.
"Haa~. Still, Alice, I'm amazed how beautiful you are. Are all elves like that? I've never seen silver hair," Shion-san voiced her impressions as she took a long, hard look at me after we got out of the tub.
For some reason I don't understand, I felt strangely embarrassed and hid my body by hugging myself.
And let me make this clear: This was not a ploy to show off my body!
I was fundamentally embarrassed!
"Ehm... I wonder?"
I've never seen an elf in my life.
As for myself, it's all due to my character creation, the hand of god so to speak.
"You're so sheltered~," Shion-san smiled broadly as I bashfully moved closer.
While putting on an indifferent front, I sat down behind her.
I took a wet towel and washed her back with gentle rubs.
Shion-san first yelped and, surprised, I followed suit.
"That tickles, Alice. Put more strength behind it!"
I thought she was about to report me.
Even at the best of times, this situation is dizzying.
I really wish she wouldn't surprise me any more.
"But if I scrub too hard, it's bad for your skin. It would be a waste, you're so pretty, Shion-san."
Was this the place for such a line?
Am I really into my role here?
"D-don't be stupid! Uhh... you're so cheeky, Alice!"
Shion-san looks so cute when she puffs up her cheeks!
Thanks to that, my racing heart slowed just a bit, too.
Disperse, worldy desires!
Did my current self just have worldy desires?
"... I don't! I mean, I'm a girl..."
I'm super-down now.
Shion-san got worried about me as I started murmuring behind her.
The next day.
Without wasting a moment, I headed out to adventure with Shion-san. First we stopped in the town to get me equipment.
By the way, Shion-san's Status is as follows:
Is it the wisdom of age? Uncle's level is higher.
Well, he certainly has the abs to match.
Anyway, as a Swordsman, Shion-san fights on the frontline.
Although from the looks of her light armor, she's not a tank.
"Alice, you're a mage, aren't you? Then you can just get your armor from mom."
"Eh? So Tailors really make those?"
"Yeah. By the way, Pops told me to teach you the ropes because of how little you know of the world."
Uncle, good job!
His gentleness is really touching.
"Basically, if you go to any weapons or armor store, you can find mass-produced goods. But to get some of good quality or a one-off item, you have to directly rely on a Smith or Tailor."
That's such a nice term.
Personal! Personal is good!
"And, since I'm a Swordsman, I often rely on a Smith for my weapons and armor, but for someone like you, Alice, you get your armor from a Tailor. If it's too heavy, you can't equip it, right? Metal-made stuff or the like."
When they call me that feeble, it hurts the male heart that I have left.
Along the way to the weapon store, I looked all around me.
In the garden of some private house, I found some firewood and an axe to chop it.
"Just wait and see, Shion-san."
"Hey... you are dynamic for the strangest things, Alice."
Seeming to have caught on to what I had found and what I was about to do, she followed me with a sigh.
After getting into the garden, I laid my hands on the axe.
Just from me picking up the axe, Shion-san gave me worried looks!
I hate my Strength 0!!
But I'm still a former man!
This sensation is deeply carved into my being, I don't forget it so easily!
I'm not some town chick.
Right, back at home I've chopped wood!
With my arms trembling like a leaf I lifted the axe.
I lowered my hips and took a stance to easily apply my strength.
I tightened my body.
Imagining one rod going through my body, I focused on my trunk.
Right, you don't just swing your arms!
Without using your whole body, you can't split the log!
I finished the preparations and took aim.
Mustering all my strength, I raised the axe above my head and, using the strength of my whole body, swung it at my target.
It penetrated for about 10cm.
It went 10cm?
It did, right?
10cm... just what effect did my strength make?
Isn't this just from the weight of the falling axe alone?
I gently put the axe back and met Shion-san's eyes.
"What do you think?"
"Yeah... I knew this was gonna happen."
Tehe, so she knew.
After being recognized as feeble and having my male pride shattered into pieces like that, I quietly followed Shion-san to the weapons store.
The house and garden earlier belonged to an acquaintance of Shion-san's so it was settled with an explanation.
"A rod, right. Anything else is impossible."
"Yes, I think you're right."
I've become an obedient Alice.
Let's admit it, I have no strength.
But you'll learn sooner rather than later!
I have the world's greatest firepower!
"First of all, your first equipment will be a present from me. You're like a little sister to me after all."
In this other world, I got an Onee-chan!
Accompanied by Shion-san, I looked through the equipment in the shop's corner with the rods.
Rod: 100 Rook
Flame Rod: 1000 Rook
Ice Rod: 1000 Rook
Lightning Rod: 1000 Rook
That's the selection of rods the weapon store in this town has.
As Shion-san said, they're mass-produced and lack both a particular quality or inscription.
"Okay, this Rod, then."
"Whyyy are you that reserved? Make it an elemental rod! You're flimsy so you at least need a proper weapon!"
Shion told me off and put the Rod back onto the shelf.
Is she going to be alright?
I don't have a clear grasp of the price level yet, but 1000 Rook seems expensive...
"Don't be so reserved, Alice. Forget that I said you're like a little sister to me, you are my little sister. At least be a little bit selfish!"
Shion-san smiled at me. That smile really reminds of her dad.
Crap, that struck home.
The tears I had held back were coming through.
"Uhh... some dust got in my eye..."
"What are getting all shy for, idiot~."
Shion-san petted my head.
I resisted, but she just went on and tuzzled my hair.
After messing around for a while, I looked straight at Shion-san and said my thanks.
As well as that word.
"Thank you, Onee-chan!"
For some reason that made Shion-san all agitated and flustered.
I've seen that reaction before, but where...
As for the equipment, in the end I had her buy me a Lightning Rod.
And then we went home once and I got a Leather Robe (with Inscription) from Aunty.
Amazingly, it's high quality!
I equipped everything and finally we went out to adventure.
Currently my equipment is as follows:
Weapon: Lightning Rod
Armor: Leather Robe (high quality)(Inscription: Adele)
Alright, this time I'm sure I can win even against a puppy!
... I hope.
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.
The Ruins in the Forest
Level 3 Woodrobin
After I took my first life, Shion-san and I headed towards the ruins while fighting monsters.
Inside the forest, the encounter rate was quite high.
I've already lost count.
Shion-san lightly attacked to draw aggro and I was to finish off the monsters.
Drawing aggro means becoming the enemy's target of attack, but, well, if you think about it as the enemy basically going after the most threatening target, it's not too far off.
I mean, currently I cannot really fight.
And this opponent called Woodrobin?
It shoots freaking arrows!
It's a monster, so why does it carry weapons!?
Using branch arms it grew from its stump, this stump held bow and arrows of self-made(?) wood.
Frankly speaking, it's more scary than anything.
In my world, projectile weaponry is the strongest, you know?
Don't bring swords to gun fights.
My Onee-chan made absolutely no issue out of the projectile weapons.
Even now she was lightly twisting her upper body, dodging the arrows.
Shion-san answered my question why she could do that so easily with:
"Eh? If you see their posture, you just have to see through where they're aiming and dodge, right?"
I have no idea what she's talking about.
For example, let's assume that in my world, someone from the mafia or the yakuza aims a gun at you.
It's a gun, so of course it can only shoot straight.
Well, I don't know about people like that guy with the thick eyebrows shooting in G-lines, but still.
Anyway, once you know where the gun is aimed, you only have to sidestep the bullet the moment the trigger is pulled.
That's her claim.
"Agility 5, huh."
I feel like I've caught a glimpse of something tremendous.
"Alice, don't space out!"
In a rush, I circled behind the stump and attacked it with the Lightning Rod.
In about one out of five hits, the lightning strike happens.
This time, I got the lightning strike on the first hit and successfully defeated the stump.
In all likelihood, I think a Lightning Rod of a better quality will cause lightning strikes with a higher probability.
Weapons are important.
For drop items, there was a medicinal plant, so I picked it up.
Then I diligently, warily turned around.
"Hoh~? You think I'd stab you in the back? Is that it what it says? Your attitude?"
Shion-san smoothly laid a hand on her Eastern Sword (high quality) and smiled darkly at me.
"C-come on! I'm just putting your teachings about adventuring to practice, right?"
Well, let's not mess around too much.
Even the best of friends need proper respect.
"Oh, well. It's time to go home for the day."
"Eh? But we haven't gone to the ruins yet?"
Seeing as we had just entered the forest with them, the ruins themselves were nowhere to be seen.
"It's fine. Besides, no reason to hurry, is there?"
"I can still go on."
"No, you can't."
"Why? The sun's not going down, either."
Shion-san looked at me and sighed greatly.
"Anyone would agree with me if they so much as looked at you."
Actually, after my crying fit, Shion-san tried to stop our outing and we only got this far because I had obstinately refused.
That made rejecting her concerns now all the harder.
Like this, Shion-san's and my first day of adventuring came to an end.
The enemies we encountered on the meadow on the way back were wordlessly cut down by Shion-san.
I came home, had dinner, took a bath and huddled on the bed in the room (my own one!) that Aunty had prepared for me.
To put it clearly, I was down.
I still couldn't forget the sensation in my hand.
"If only I could use magic, I wouldn't get this sensation..."
No, that's not quite right.
Without this sensation, it would feel like a game where pushing one button sends out missiles and ends the war.
I'm sure what I'm feeling right now is important.
As harsh as it is for someone from modern Japan like me.
At that point, I noticed I hadn't checked the fruits of the day's efforts.
I looked at my Status.
Class: Apprentice Mage
It went up that much?
I didn't notice at all.
Magic: Can choose initial magic
Magic: Can choose initial magic
I reflexively did a double-take.
I... can use magic?
While reigning in my impatience, I selected the entry called Magic Settings.
Looks like I have to choose one of the three.
I see. Interesting!
If I'm right, then Mages in this world are specialized.
So, which do I pick?
But while I ask myself that, actually I've already made my decision.
That's the one.
Because I like it.
Got a problem?
Anyhow, with this I've set my initial magic and can use Thunder now.
"I wanna try it out..."
I think I'm a very self-centered person.
A fire was lit inside my heart that was down until a moment ago.
At times like this, I'm the type that can't stay still.
I changed from my house clothes into my equipment and sneakily left my room.
Light leaked out of Shion-san's room.
I quietly moved past it.
Uncle was in the living room.
"Mm? Alice-chan? ... what's with that getup?
Uncle was clearly suspicious of my outfit.
...nggg, so you're getting in my way, Uncle?
Like I'll let you!
"Please be silent and let me pass."
"Well, I can't do that, can I? I think as you are now, you shouldn't go outside. Besides, the sun's gone down."
Hey, now's not the time for disputes like this!
If Shion-san finds me, it's all over!
I'm just no match for her!
"...please let me pass."
"Please let me pass, Dad. In silence, right now."
"Otherwise, I'll never think of you as Dad ever again."
Uncle was weirdly stiff about it, but he opened the way.
After getting out of the house, it had really gotten pitch dark.
There are kind of street lights, but regretfully not that many.
By the way, the illumination used in street lights and homes are not lamps, but special, magic crystals.
Anyhow, there are too few of them so they can't banish the darkness.
It's completely different from modern Japan.
Well, on the other hand the stars and the moons (moons?) seem all the brighter for it.
"I can already cross the meadow... wonder if I can get to the ruins?"
I do think this is foolhardy.
Have I just made a normal decision, or have I not?
Only the people around me can answer that.
But I stealthily left the town.
I left the town, arbitrarily shook off the enemies I encountered on the meadow and reached the forest.
My night vision is surprisingly good.
Even with moonlight alone, it's rather bright... is the feeling I get.
No, I can see too well.
I'm seeing too well here.
Otherwise, the difference to the night vision I've had so far is too big.
Well, I'm only a halfelf though.
But like this, I can also guarantee my vision even inside the forest.
Nobody should catch me unprepared and I'm also not going to flail around, no idea what I'm doing.
—————is what I thought at some point.
"Uhhhm, where am I?"
Shortly after entering the forest.
I lost my way.
I've taken the forest too lightly.
Being able to see, not being able to see, nothing of that matters.
Don't underestimate nature.
In the first place, I only heard that the ruins are in the forest, so how did I hope to actually find them?
If you act on an impulse, nothing good's gonna come of it.
In the first place, if you can see but lose your way, what's to stop you from going in circles in the same place?
From what I've heard, if you get lost in a deep forest, you can't walk straight for even twenty meters.
Knowledge for when you're lost, number 1.
Method: Left Hand Rule.
If you stick with your left hand to the trees on the left side of the path and move forward, you'll eventually get out of the forest.
"But I refuse!"
I mean, what if I try to touch a tree in this darkness and my hand hits a hairy caterpillar or so?
Method: Trémaux's Algorithm
Mark the ways you've gone, exploring all possibilities until you're out.
I can make marks in the ground with my rod.
"I don't have the endurance for it!"
Damn my Endurance 1!
But this is a problem.
I don't run into many enemies, but it's a problem.
Oh, the urban legend that monsters grow more active at night is probably a lie.
They're sleeping. Look, the Woodrobin over there.
Now, let sleeping dogs lie, yes.
I randomly walked through the pitch dark, silent forest.
I've grown up in the boonies, so this darkness doesn't freak me out.
Furthermore, I have this night vision.
It's not that scary.
But I wonder how far I've walked.
By the time another fear, Shion-san's gonna kill me come sunrise, started going through my head, I finally saw them.
In a place so open I thought I'd left the forest for a moment stood a worn-down structure.
... by the way, my first objective was coming to the ruins, was it?
At first I walked around the ruins in something like a sightseeing mood.
I like ruins.
Be it ancient Japanese burial mounds, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, I'd wanted to make a tour around the world to all those relics of history.
So I think I'll use this other world and tour ruins as much as I like.
"Hmm? So it's not that big..."
When I tried it, going around it once took about five minutes.
Five minutes by foot.
Because my pace was slow-ish while taking a closer look, its out circumference is probably around 250 meters.
Roughly the same as the 200 meters track around a sports field?
I'd intended to make sure of the scale before going in, but at this size, I'm not going to get lost, am I?
I can do this... I think.
If it gets dangerous, I can just fall back immediately.
Can I really say 'Nahhh, better not' after coming all this way?
"Hehee, unfortunately, I'm no coward!"
Pushed by my baseless confidence, I came to the magic circle at what I assume to be the ruins' front side.
I wonder, do they use magic crystals for magic circles?
The one before me is shining faintly.
Is this the entrance?
Since I haven't seen something like a physical entrance into the inside of the ruins, thinking so is natural.
For another world.
I'm sure I'm going to be teleported into the ruins from here.
...yeah, I'm going to be alright, aren't I?
It's not a trap, is it?
I'm not going to burn in the flames of hell the moment I step into the magic circle?
After getting so far, I'd lost a bit of my nerve, but I nevertheless softly stepped into the circle.
It only gently shone.
Phew, it didn't suddenly flare up bright enough to destroy my eyes.
And while I thought that, I stopped being able to see the scenery outside the circle.
I was surrounded by a wall of fleeting, white light, but after a few seconds it died down.
The scenery outside... has completely changed.
I'm inside now.
Is the wall itself out of magic crystal? It's shining in a light green.
Be that as it may, I'm clearly inside the ruins.
I left the magic circle and checked my surroundings.
There didn't seem to be anything but the magic circle in the room.
I was interested where the corridor led that was visible through the room's one exit.
I carefully stuck my head through the doorway and checked the corridor in both directions.
Right, dead end.
Left, Mister Bear.
Let's check this once more.
Right... the corridor ends right there.
Left... Mister Bear, even closer than before.
Level 10 Ruin Bear
The Enemy Status popped up inside my head.
"Waaaiii! Level 10!?"
I had already drawn aggro and Mister Bear was charging down the narrow corridor.
What kind of horror movie is this!
A disaster movie is nothing in comparison!
I can't think any human would think of fighting that Mister Bear if it came charging at them while slinging drool left and right.
No objections allowed!
So, time for a tactical retreat.
I hurried back into the room and quickly got onto the magic circle.
———but nothing happened.
"I really didn't want such jokes right NOOOOOOW!!!!"
What's with this piece-of-junk magic circle, did it break!?
What's going on here!?
... don't tell me!
Entrance and exit are not the same!?
To get out of here, I have to find the exit magic circle, is that it!?
Mister Bear quietly planted himself in the exit.
Now I had no way to leave or fall back, my last stand was complete.
For an instant I considered playing dead.
But if I do that, I might very well really die, so let's not try.
While shedding cold sweat, I grasped my Lightning Rod.
If I hit the bear with this thing's lightning strike, even it shouldn't come out unscathed.
I'd slip past that front paw and hit him.
I can do it, I can do it.
I just need to tell myself that.
Probably, one hit will result in instant death.
Even if it's only knowledge from modern Japan, but I've heard that, for example, an Asian black bear can pulverize a horse's or cow's neck with one hit from its front paws.
Or that some famous martial artist, when asked if he could defeat a bear, had laughed and declared that it was impossible for humans to do.
I dare say he was right!
Sweat ran down my cheek.
The bear planted himself before its prey.
I-is this the imposing, bipedal stance bears are famous for?
Being treated to it in person, no way to deal with bears came to mind, nothing at all.
Anyhow, I need to take the initiative!
Right, I'm going to read the opponent's attack like Shion-san.
I stopped even breathing and waited for that moment.
The bear's center of balance shifted... I think.
In the next moment, its forepaws came rushing down at me.
Since I had sensed the preparatory movements, I evaded by a hair's breadth by letting myself fall down before stepping up to the bear.
I smashed Lightning Rod into bear belly.
A flash came from the rod's magic crystal.
The lightning strike succeeded!!
Being so close to the bear was scary, so I immediately backed away.
I backed away and prayingly looked at the bear.
Mister Bear, going strong!
There seems to be some damage, but it's nothing fatal.
It's looking at me with some wariness.
———to be honest: I'm on the verge of despair.
By chance, my first attacked triggered the lightning strike, but to trigger another one, I need an average of five more hits.
That's probably impossible.
Slipping past its attack five times and attacking... is probably impossible.
Why did I come to this place in the first place again?
What had I gotten excited for and come to the ruins alone?
Even if I said I could use magic, that's no reason to come in here before testing it.
I've certainly been a bit too excited.
"... use it?"
Could I even use it?
Although I was too cornered to rely on it?
However, originally my goal has not been coming to the ruins, but to test my magic.
Alright, I'm going to show it here and now.
Or rather, I've got no other choice.
The time for crying has passed.
Do it if you don't want to die!
In my head, I imagined my Status and the use of magic.
I understood the necessary information.
Thunder: 10s cast time, 10s cooldown
Well, at the moment the cooldown doesn't matter.
If it takes ten seconds to cast, one shot is all I have.
I willed, and waited.
Along with the beginning of the cast time, my body got hot.
The bear began signs of attacking again.
It slowly but steadily closed the distance.
Without any rash movements, I matched its advance and fell back until I couldn't anymore.
My back touched the wall.
The bear moved even closer.
I didn't want to enter its space until the last possible second.
Along the wall, I fled into a corner.
The corner furthest away from the door.
I genuinely had nowhere left to run.
Slowly the bear came closer to end it.
Then it could reach.
It was in range.
The bear's center of gravity lowered.
Maybe it was due to the mana, but my body was lightly glowing.
The bear threw himself on me.
I somehow let myself fall on my backside and let the charge pass over my head.
I hadn't aimed for it, but the corner was too small for the bear to bring its arms to use well.
That's why the bear came biting at me with its boasted fangs.
I thrust the Lightning Rod into its snout and somehow or other kept it in check.
However, our strength was too different.
It tore the rod from my hands with its brutal strength alone.
With this, I was completely checkmated.
With a bite, it could take my head right off.
I thrust both my hands at the bear.
———I could do this!
"Split the heavens and become a ray of light, to strike my enemies——— Thunder!!!"
Radiant lightning pierced the bear's body.
Threads of lightning discharging streamers into the floor, electrifying it.
Like time had stopped, the bear and I remained still.
I had felt the spell connect.
Slowly, the bear's eyes turned inside out and drool dripped from its mouth.
And still, the bear loomed over me.
Is it impossible?
Is it impossible with my level 4 magic?
I even shouted that super-embarrassing chant as it came to mind! This is too much!
My eyes turned teary, and I closed them
When the bear didn't bite me no matter how much time passed, I squinted my eyes open, but it was nowhere to be seen.
Instead, a drop item had fallen down.
"And what should I do with this?"
I picked up the Bear Ears, puzzled.
They were rather fluffy.
... hmm, am I gonna make it to the exit?
After fighting my way through the life-and-death struggle with the bear, I first of all decided to make a few experiments with my lifeline, magic.
So now I'm still in the same room, sitting on the floor and thinking carefully.
Knowing yourself is important.
First, there's simply the power.
You can say that the results allow me to have quite high hopes in that regard.
The magic of level 4 me has felled the level 10 bear in one strike.
Well, I also hit the bear with a lightning strike from the Lightning Rod, so another test is required to see if one strike really is enough though.
One strike, or not.
If I am to fight alone, that difference is huge.
I can't think that the Lightning Rod's lightning strikes are more powerful than my Thunder, so I can defeat bears with two strikes at most, but there's a trap in the cast time and the cooldown.
Thunder: 10s cast time, 10s cooldown.
If acting in a party, those time windows shouldn't cause problems.
Of course, that assumes the party has someone holding up the frontline.
"Without a tank, the backline can't shine...?"
The firepower is plenty though.
So, does a Mage require a party after all?
For argument's sake, let's assume I hadn't put my leftover Attribute points into Agility, but had gone for Endurance 2 and Protection 3.
Would I have survived my run-in with the bear?
Endurance 2 is average.
Protection 3 is good.
And since I can't change Mind 5, Agility would be 0.
With that setup, I cannot expect to slip past the earlier paw attacks like I had.
So would I have taken the attack and survive?
"An attack from those paws that pulverize horse and cow necks?
That's probably impossible.
The level difference was too big, too.
So, should I have gone full-out with Protection 5?
That would've changed nothing, either.
Normally thinking, you can do nothing with Endurance 0.
For a Mage going solo, the way I spent my Attribute points isn't wrong.
Endurance 2, Protection 5, Mind 3 is an option, too, but decreasing its greatest charm, the firepower, goes against my thoughts a little.
A Mage equipping a shield and standing on the frontline.
Well, there are probably a few of those in this world.
Let's try shooting it at a nearby wall for a test.
Actually, I've already tried it before. I don't particularly need to target a monster to use magic.
I can probably use it against humans, too, of course.
During the 10s cast time, I can actually feel my body generate the mana required to shoot the magic.
It doesn't mean that I actually need to say a 10 second long chant.
Lightning raced towards the wall.
And apparently I don't have to say the chant at the end, either.
However, the lightning feels darker than when I did say it.
I need to test it in practice later, but I can probably think of it having less power, too.
And then there is the cooldown.
Maybe my body is lacking the mana after using the magic, but at least I feel languid.
The cooldown time feels like the time it takes for my body to restore the mana inside it from the air surrounding me.
Why? Because even now lightly glowing particles gather around my body and I start slowly feeling better.
The time that takes? Ten seconds.
———so, can I cast another spell before that time is up?
I once more willed the magic to activate.
The light particles that had still been gathering around my body stopped that and switched to magic activation.
The cooldown was stopped and my sensation changed to that of mana being generated from within my body.
I dropped against the wall again.
———the moment the spell activated, a dizzying feeling of exhaustion assaulted me.
This seems like the side effect from not accommodating the cooldown, in other words the time it takes for my body to naturally recover its mana.
Let me focus on recovering for a while and steady my breath.
So this is how it feels to run out of gas.
But if this is it, I can ignore the cooldown when push comes to shove.
There's no need to push myself too much, but knowing it never hurts.
Most importantly, if I'm solo I can only use this as a finisher.
If I can't win with it yet make myself stagger this much, it's over.
Applying it to this place I'm in right now, it's effective against the bears if I can't defeat them with one hit.
I'll still have to work a means to overcome the 10s casting time no matter what though.
Then there is the amount of mana I can store in my body, doesn't it change a lot with level and Attributes?
Apprentice Mage Level 5
I leveled up earlier, so I'm level 5 now.
Some time I'll need to try out how much I can ignore the cooldown without running out of gas.
Magic: Thunder (Proficiency 1)
This Proficiency entry is fairly intriguing.
Shooting the wall like I've been doing is not counted.
It likely increases by defeating enemies and the like.
I have various ideas on it, but only time will tell what it exactly does.
And with that, I've finished the verifications I can do myself, I guess?
What's going to happen once I learn Double Cast and Cast Time Reduction?
There are so many things I still don't understand.
"... a mentor would be nice..."
I really want one.
I really want many things.
But, well, now's not the time for that.
How am I going to get back?
That's the question.
I can fight against bear-class enemies while buying time for ten seconds.
"Hmmm... it seems really short, yet long..."
That's around the time a world athlete takes to run 100m.
Thinking about it like that, it seems like the blink of an eye.
Now, what should I do...
———and while I was thinking that, the entrance magic circle started shining.
Eh, someone's coming?
In the middle of the night?
Wait, so did I.
Just sitting around and blanking out felt dangerous, so I moved into the corner of the room and readied the Lightning Rod.
From the light appeared———
How did you know I'm here?
That's what I was mainly confused about.
Hearing my voice, Shion-san turned around.
Shion-san murmured something.
Then she came towards me with long steps.
That was quite a magnificent sound.
I've been slapped.
Rather than hurt, everything went pure white.
And while I was dumbfounded, Shion-san checked my body here and there.
"Arms, legs, all there..."
She finished her check and grabbed me by the collar.
My legs lifted off the ground.
"——Does it hurt? Good. That's nothing to the pain you caused Pops and Mom."
———I couldn't say anything.
"Just how selfishly have you lived so far!? Were you some caged bird? Or some Miss Happy-go-lucky? Hm!?"
Shion-san's words, hurt.
She choked me to the limit, and when I thought I'd suffocate, she shoved me against the wall.
My legs couldn't muster any strength and I sank to the floor right there.
"——*cough*! Hah, ha"
I lowered my eyes as I got my breathing under control.
Scared, I couldn't look up at Shion-san.
My body was trembling.
This is scarier than facing the bear.
Now, I should rather say the kind of fear is different.
Fighting with monsters feels like a game.
——Confronting people, that's real.
Shion-san grabbed my trembling shoulders once more.
"—— but you know... the fact that you idiot are safe... I'm really so glad. Stupid Alice."
And just like that, she pulled me in and closed me into her arms.
"So glad... I'm really..."
She was crying.
Ahh... I see.
This, this is no game, and I'm not alone either.
I've done something stupid.
"I'm really... sorry..."
"Really now, stupid!"
Voom, she hit her forehead against mine.
Shion-san was a crying mess.
"... can I... still... call you Onee-chan?"
That earned me another headbutt.
"Stupid... no matter how stupid you are, you cannot cut family ties that easily, you stupid Alice!"
"Haha... you're calling me stupid too much."
"I'm not doing it enough, stupid."
Shion-san hugged me once more with all her strength.
The sensation was so incredibly warm. I hugged her back.
Ah. Interacting with people, facing people...
It's so scary...
...and it makes you so happy.
I really was an idiot, I get that now.
And from the bottom of my heart, I'm grateful.
"... thank you, Onee-chan."
I wanted to convey the words from noon once more, coming from the heart this time.