“I wanna confirm this first—can you fight, Rin? I don’t think you’ll ever be fighting with us, but I wanna know in case.”
“Err… I’ve never been in a fight, let alone a small scuffle, so I think I’m the last person you ever want in a battle… Sorry…”
“…I had a feeling… Then, let me see…” Ville nodded and his face said that he truly did expect that kind of answer from me.
The bonesetter at my workplace was my senior who taught me how to massage, but as a joke, they also taught me when we had breaks during our practices how to throw people and defend myself. Although I wasn’t sure if my skills were viable in a fight… At most, I could probably hope to get a draw in a cat fight… In the first place, unlike a bonesetter who is required to know judo, an acupuncturist and moxibutionist only requires book smarts! I had to memorize all meridian acupuncture points: 12 positive meridians, 8 extraordinary meridians, and all 361 points…
…By the way, there’s no such thing as Hidden Points! People don’t scream and cry out if you stab them with a needle!
Furthermore, Draguls like Ville apparently excelled at both physical and magic attacks. With a sword as his main weapon and magic as support, it was Ville’s role in the party to cut and blast away enemies. And to use such superior physical abilities and magic, Draguls needed boatloads of energy to maintain their strength. That sounds like some huge fuel consumption issues. Ah, but I think I get why Ville’s stomach was constantly rumbling… In this day and age where everyone was screaming about fuel efficiency, I wonder if he had a hard time…
“Only if you’d like it, I can give you some simple combat training… or something closer to self-defense skills. What do you say?” Ville said.
“I’ll take you up on your offer for you to teach me. The inside of the city should be safe, but there’s never a guarantee… I want to be able to protect myself.”
“I got it. Leave that to me.”
While I would be with the rest of the party inside dungeons, I should be prepared if I were to ever get into some kind of scuffle when we’re not together. At the bare minimum, I should at least be able to run away with my life in case something were to happen. In anime and stuff, people say stuff like “Your safety is your responsibility,” but it’s exactly like that.
Besides, even if I’m told I don’t need to fight in the dungeons, I still want to be able to protect myself so the rest of the party wouldn’t need to worry about me and can focus solely on fighting. Well, in the worst case scenario, I could probably train myself enough to make a quick getaway with Campy.
Muscles are organs that you can train non-stop! The harder you train, the better they become! And while I’m at it, I’ll also work on my body’s automatic responses that come from the cerebellum!
…Yes, I know, I know. I always tell all my clients that you need to work hard and move your body…
“But I’m a bit relieved to know that you’re aware of the importance of self-defense, Rin. Your skill sounds efficient based on what you told me, but no matter how strong a skill may be, it’s not an all-powerful ability.”
“…Yeah. I had a feeling about that…”
“That’s why you have to meticulously use your skill until you know it like the back of your hand. What it can do. What it can’t do. How it can help. How it can’t help. Hoping things will work out when the time comes is wishful thinking.”
Mhm. That’s… so painfully true! But thinking rationally about it, it’s exactly like that.
Survival Skill is indeed very efficient, but I had a feeling that it wasn’t all-powerful. It will certainly help me survive… but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I will survive because of it.
For example, if Survival Skill informed me that I’ll die if I don’t fight, could I defeat my opponent despite never having been in a real “fight” in my whole life? No matter how much I’d try, my opponent who had more experience in deadly fights would obviously have the upper hand…
In another example, if Survival Skill informed me that someone was dangerous and that I needed to run away, could I manage to safely get away even though I’ve hardly done any sports in my lifetime? If the issue was with my stamina, I could get away with Campy as a last resort. But what if the fight dealt with political strife or huge conspiracies and I needed information and knowledge to overcome it? That case would be hard to escape from. I doubted I could escape my current predicament with my lack of knowledge about this world. At best, I could remove all obstacles and lock myself somewhere safe.
…Right. No matter how efficient Survival Skill may be, it didn’t matter if I flubbed up as its user. After all, I had to be the one to consolidate, deduce, and decide my course of action from all the information given to me by it!
And Campy was a motorized house. It couldn’t be used everywhere. The minimum requirement is that I must be outdoors. I also need sufficient space available around me before I can deploy it, and driving it requires a road wide enough to accommodate it…
In conclusion, I need to brush up on both my skills and body. The intention might be different, but I will polish my skills… which isn’t much different from what I was doing in my original world anyway.
“At any rate… If I brought you along, I’m sure Aria wouldn’t let you go,” Ville said.
“Aria? Do you mean that female thread-user you mentioned before?”
“Yeah. I’m a big eater, but Aria also eats a lot. Besides, she’s been wanting females to join.”
Aria, whom Ville was describing, was a member of his party. She was a female with a bodacious hourglass figure who skillfully manipulated threads to fight. But wait, there’s more! She’s also an Arachnea and a beautiful, married young lady… or so was my current mental image of her. I called her an Arachnea, but her appearance was identical to that of a human with no visual spider characteristics.
By the way, her husband was also a party member: a magic alchemist named Ed. He was head-over-heels for his wife Aria and often openly flirted with her.
All normies should explode. No mercy given.
“…Ah, but it’s not just Aria… Ed and Xenon also eat a lot…”
“Aah… I’ll do my best to make your meals. It’s fine. I’m used to making plenty.”
Xenon was a male elf priest. When you hear elf and priest, you’d imagine a delicate-looking, nature-loving, fruit-and-vegetable eating person, but from what Ville told me, Xenon was contrary to his looks. He was a wild fellow who would enjoy chomping down on grilled ribs, holding the bone on either side. …Conversely, this makes me want to watch him, an elf holding meat like that and devouring it!
…But how much does Ville’s party eat? Nevertheless, I’m sure I can handle it! If we run out of ingredients, we can just hunt for stuff. My years of cooking for my big family of eight back home will come in handy!
…My only concern is Engel’s coefficient…
“By the way, where do you guys usually budget your food expenses?” I asked.
“We set aside a fixed amount for food and medical supplies from the quest rewards and sale of monster drops… The rest is split among members for their personal use.”
“Oh, I see… You compile all your profits together to pay for food and supplies as a group.”
“Um, so, Rin, about your personal cut… It’ll be only 60% of the cut split among the five of us. Is that okay with you?”
“…I understand. It’s fine. I’m happy enough to get a portion of your profits.” I took some time thinking about the contents that Ville had apologetically told me before responding, but this seemed to make him relieved as I felt a small sigh of relief from him on my hand.
60% of one fifth the reward… After deducting the group expenses from the standard amount rewarded after completing a quest, the amount remaining—I’ll be referring to this as the principal reward money—will be divided among the 5 party members (me included). Then, I will give back 10% of my cut to each of the four party members.
I think it’s best to be cautious about matters concerning money. If the principal reward money increases but the number of people the money needs to be split between also increases, then the individual’s profit will decrease. With my inclusion in the party, it’ll be difficult to calculate a fixed salary as long as the amount of reward money and the principal reward money can fluctuate. Moreover, while Ville said they had been looking for an exclusive porter for some time, was it okay for him to decide on my all by himself? I’m not sure if the other party members would gladly accept me. I can understand not being fully paid during my probation period and I’ll be completely dependent on them for protection in the middle of their dangerous fights, so it seemed pretty fair in my opinion.
By the way, let’s use an example to explain Ville’s proposal. In this instance, the principal reward money will be 50,000 yen. Divided among 5 party members leaves each of us with 10,000 yen. Then I return 10% to each of the four other party members. So 10,000 yen - 4,000 yen will leave me with 6,000 yen. Calculating everything might be a bit annoying, but 10% of the principle reward money I used in the example is 5,000 yen, making my amount larger.
If I make the principle reward money “n” (where n can be any number greater than 1), then it would look like this: n/5 - (n/5 x 0.4) > 0.1n.
Is it okay if my potion (n/5 - (n/5 x 0.4)) is that much? But I need to live. And to do that, I need money.
…Well, if I had to say what was on my mind, then I want to go back to Japan right now. I want to, but I don’t know how to. So given that I don’t even know if a way even exists, I need to stay in this world until I do. I need to prepare for the worst. Though I don’t know what it means to prepare for the worst.
“Um, Rin, if you don’t mind, want to explore the area for a bit? It’ll be easier to understand how to use your skill if you put it into action.”
“Huh? Oh, are you sure?”
“Yeah. I personally want to check your stamina and how much you can do. That way, it’ll be easier to strategize the next time we head to a dungeon.”
“Ooh, a strategic plan. In that case, my stamina and athletic abilities would certainly play a part.”
I super get that. When coming up with a training regimen, you should take your current level into consideration and work on the smaller achievable steps to reach your goal. Regimens that ignore your current circumstances will only set you back. It’s important to be aware of your current state.
And the opportunity to know my current condition, to learn about my skill, is right now.
“I know I’m troubling you a lot with this, but I'll do my best, Mr. Ville!”
“Okay, then let’s go and find something we can harvest in that forest over there.”
After putting away the cooking utensils I brought out and the camping equipment I lent Ville back inside Campy, I stuffed water, candy, and towels into a single strap bag I use whenever going out. Fantasy world, here we go!
“Oh, right! Wait a bit,” Ville said.
“Is something the matter?” I asked.
“I don’t recall any news of strong monsters appearing here back when I came here a long time ago, but put this on in case. It’s a leather cloak made from a black deer. It’s a bit stuffy, but it’ll be enough to protect you.”
When we stopped, Ville took the cloak he had been wearing and wrapped it around me…
How could he do something like this so casually?! He’s a complete gentleman! Badump! My heart done skipped a beat! While my mind was in chaos, my thoughts suddenly developed an accent.
Though, even though he called it a leather cloak, it was rather soft. Was this some really good material? And while it reached Ville’s knees when he wore it, it was around my feet after he wrapped it around me.
Guh! I’m not short! I’m not a shortie! I’m well over 150 cm, I’ll have you know! Silence, my inferiority complex!
“Now let’s go, Rin. Don’t worry and go at your own pace.”
I wanted to scream, “Stop! I’m already dead!” after being blinded by this oni’s smile. He was caring, handsome, and a super good guy, but my heart can’t stand being so close to him! Handsome guys are scary!
Author’s Note: It’s difficult to measure how much someone likes you. Go too hard, and they’ll be taken aback. Go too little, and they won’t notice. …Oh, what to do…
Translator's Corner (i.e., where I explain stuff):
- Hidden Points: From Fist of the North Star
- Engel’s coefficient: Also known as Engel’s Law. It describes the relationship between income and the amount people spend on food.