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    In the Land of Leadale

    Chapter 3


    Let's go Out



     

    Special thanks to the translation supporter: Asekhan


    「Are you sure you’re okay with such light clothes?」

    「Don’t worry, I’m quite strong even though I look like this」

    In front of the inn, a heated argument was going on with Marelle, who was worried about Quena’s safety as she tried to leave the village.

    This was because of her outfit; she didn’t even carry a tool bag other than her equipment. She was wondering how she could get out of this predicament, as she couldn’t say that she had a huge number of items in her item box in a different space.

    However, help came from an unexpected source.

    「Onee-chan, take this with you then…」

    「Eh, Lytte-chan?」

    She held out a leather water bag that she had been carrying to Quena. Quena took it with a big smile on her face, smitten by the sincere concern in her eyes.

    「Thank you for lending it to me, Lytte-chan. I’ll bring a souvenir for you later, so look forward to it」

    「Take care, Onee-chan」

    「Haah, Good grief… Listen, Quena. I’m going to get my husband fired up and have him make a delicious dinner for you. So be home by then」

    「Okay, Marelle-san」

    The mother and daughter saw off Quena, who waved cheerfully at the entrance of the village, and turned on their heels when they could no longer see her from the street.

    Yesterday, she had planned to look for the Silver Tower, but today she changed her mind and said she was going to collect some medicinal herbs, which sounds suspicious to her. She had heard from her daughter that she could use magic, so she guessed that she wouldn’t be in any danger of dying unless she encountered many monsters.

    Based on her specs, the lives of the monster in this vicinity were in far greater danger… But there was no way for her to know that.

    「I wonder will I be fine to go this far?」

    After confirming that she couldn’t see any villager’s houses, Quena, who had been on the normal road for a while, changed her course to the forest along the road. As if guided by something, she stepped into an open meadow in the forest. On the way, she heard a whispering voice that sounded too strange to be her imagination. Perhaps it was the natural ability of the High Elves to communicate with the trees and flowers.

    That was why it was hard for her to use crafting skills.

     

    ***

     

    She then shouted out the chant “Guardian Rings” as the keyword while holding up her hand,

    This keyword was the reason why she didn’t want to cast it in the village because it was a common spell for all rings that was devised by all the Skill Masters after putting their heads together. It was also at this point that she realized that the keyword also involved roleplay.

    【O guardians of this turbulent world! Save this corrupted world from chaos!】

    Then a silvery light fluttered around Quena.

    Several strips of light shot up from her feet, forming a cocoon of silver light around her. The rest of the strips intertwined intricately in the air above the cylinder, creating a magic circle that resembled a Mandala.

    The silver dust shone like a powdery snowflake, representing an ice field and creating an icy effect. This kind of effect was triggered because the user was Quena, and in the case of the owner of the Dragon Palace, he was surrounded by a majestic waterfall.

    「As usual, the effects are too elaborate for something that does not have much use…」

    A black space opened up in the center of the mandala above her head, and the entire magic circle spun around, gradually closing in on her. The cylindrical veil was swallowed up, and the place where Quena stood after a moment of darkness was a room surrounded by plain stone walls.

    She let out a big sigh while dropping her shoulders and pointed her ring at the stone wall in front of her.

    The stone wall opened to the left and right, making an awful creaking sound. At the end of the hallway was a smooth stone wall with no particular decoration.

    「Why does the interior look so plain? I’m having a hard time trying to understand the management’s design…」

    The door that had opened behind her closed again. After the door was closed, all that remained was a stone wall with no connection to the room that had once existed.

    To the right was the main stage of the trial that led here. The tower was about 500 meters high, but the stairs inside kept rotating and increasing indefinitely as people started to climb. The stairs would only stop when they have rotated for a specified amount of time and then invited the visitors to the top floor.

    To prevent people from climbing up with flight magic, all floors except the top floor were marked with magic nullification techniques, but the techniques on the stairs themselves would mercilessly transfer anyone who stops walking outside of the tower. This was the Silver Tower that Quena, the Skill Master, was in charge of. If they don’t make it to the top floor after 24 hours of continuous movement, they would be thrown out of the tower and have to start over.

    To the left was the large hall where the visitors were welcomed.

    Quena stepped onto a baroque-style veranda where the blue sky could be seen from above because it was built like a stage with no ceiling. But there was also a ceiling that was made up of a dense barrier to keep out the wind and rain. On the only remaining wall behind it was a mural carved out of bricks. An ugly sun was depicted in an uneven pattern. The eyes that were supposed to be engraved on the wall moved jerkily, and it also followed Quena’s movements with its eyes.

    『Uwooo! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it, Goshujin-sama? Where you have been for the past 200 years, leaving me in this place alone?』

    「…Haah―. What a foul-mouthed…」

    The guardian who manages the base in the game was supposed to be an NPC who only gave general answers, but… I didn’t expect it to be such a thug, or a Yankee, or a 180-degree turn into something else. I was so dumbfounded that I couldn’t even say a word.

    「Did anyone else make it through the trials while I was gone?」

    『I didn’t see any. I don’t have anything to do these days, and I’m so sick of this peace and quiet place』

    I wonder what would I do when I couldn’t even move, so this poor behavior was probably…

    『Aah~, well, about sixty years ago, a guy, Scalgo, came to see me. He said he wanted to get in contact with Goshujin-sama, but Goshujin ignored my calls at that time, huh oi?』

    「Aah― well―, I’ve been a little busy―」

    If a visitor arrived while she was away, the guardian was supposed to contact the base owner through the ring.

    It was only with this function that Quena was able to wander around outside. But she was also not sure what she has been doing for the last two hundred years, let alone sixty years ago, she has no idea what she has been doing.

    『…Oi?』

    「Eh, what?」

    『I said that Scalgo guy was here before. Do you hear me?』

    「I heard it… So, who was he?」

    『Haah!?』

    「Eh? Eeh? Huh?」

    If it had a torso, it would be looking up at the sky and covering its face. Letting out a huge sigh of dismay, the guardian muttered to no one in particular.

    『You’ve finally become senile huh, you old hag…?』

    「Ah? What was that?」

    At that word, she instantly pulled out a staff from her item box.

    It was a two-meter-long staff with three intricately intertwined dragons opening their mouths in three directions, each holding a red, blue, and gold jewel in its mouth.

    It was called the Arcal Staff, the Staff of the Supreme Jade. It was a nefarious armament that shot out fire, ice, snow, and lightning magic in a single action. However, it comes with a usage limit of once every twenty-four hours.

    『O-oi, Goshujin-sama? What are you going to do with that staff?』

    「I thought I’d give the foul-mouthed guardian a good beating. Do you want to freeze for another two hundred years?」

    『It was my bad, I’m sorry, Goshujin-sama!』

    It was an apology that showed no sign of sincerity, but Quena thought “Oh well” and put her staff away.

    In fact, this whole tower was supposed to be set to a special artifact, so it was not clear if the magic would have any effect here.

    「…Then, who is this Scalgo?」

    『Oioi, he’s not going to be happy knowing this, I pity him. He’s Goshujin-sama’s son how could you forget him, huh, oi?』

    「Eh…? Huh? Son!?」

    The guardian muttered “She’s no good huh” while Quena tilted her head for a while, but something seemed to tug at her strings, and she lost herself in thought, muttering, “Son, Scalgo, son, Scalgo”

    「A, Aaaaah!!」

    After ten minutes, she finally remembered and clapped her hands and shouted.

    「I see, it’s the foster system huh? I remembered it now」

    『…What was that?』

    The official name of the system was NPC Recruitment.

    But the players thought that it was a foster child system.

    This was an unprecedented call for a sub-character, which was made in response to the initial designer’s ridiculous request that he was “too lazy to think of NPC names”.

    There were only two characters that could be created at a time in Leadale, and most players use one of them as a storage character for important but rarely used items. If you have a base, you could use it as a warehouse, so it would often be forgotten.

    The idea was that the management would buy them out as NPCs in key positions.

    The perk was that if a character had a reasonable amount of usable skills, they could get a key position, and half of the income would flow to the creator.

    Many beginner players registered for this, asking, “How could I make money in the game?”. Since registering does not mean that you would lose your character slot, it was a safe design for both beginners and experts. You would be asked to set up some kind of connection between the provided character and the creator, though.

    Some of them were strange after all. Like the one who said, “My sister has one hundred and eight models,” or the one who declared, “All of them were my waifu”

    The sub-character that Quena provided, called Scalgo, was supposed to have been given to the church because he had learned a lot of healing magic through scroll creation. He was an Elf male, so he was probably still alive.

    At that time, the relationship that Quena had set up was that of parent and child. She had given him a degraded copy of the guardian’s ring, so he must have come here directly without going through the trials.

    「An unmarried 17-year-old women who has a child who is over 200-years-old, huh?…」

    『Huh? I don’t understand what you’re talking about』

    Well, maybe it was good to have a taste of this?

    Feeling a bit like that, Quena went to the edge of the stage, not caring about the guardian’s gaze that seemed to want to say something.

    She then placed the ring in the depression on the floor and rotated it ninety degrees, and with a click, a sarcophagus that could hold an adult rose. She then opened the lid of the base’s warehouse and checked inside.

    As she looked into it, it didn’t look like there was anything inside. 

    However, a window opened up in Quena’s vision that showed her item window on the right side and a large number of items in the warehouse on the left. Does it mean that this area was the same as in the game? She had a lot of questions, but she couldn’t figure it out by thinking about it, so she put it off for now.

    As she was carefully checking what to bring and what to leave behind, the guardian spoke to her, and she responded. She was thinking that it would be fun to have such a person as a friend.

    『Hey, Goshujin-sama. You’re not just here to get an item by any chance, are you?』

    「Hmm. My stocks of herbs are pretty low… Hmm, well, that’s my main reason for coming here. Also, do you know what’s going on these days?」

    『Aah, that Scalgo also said a lot of things before. He said that the Seven Kingdoms were united into Three Kingdoms』

    「Huh? Why are there so many of these weapons? Was it someone’s possession? I wonder what happened to the players?」

    『I haven’t heard of anything. Half of Goshujin’s friends were human after all. Many of them must have gone to their graves』

    「Well, that makes sense…」

    She then sorted through the items, and by the time she was done, the sun had risen to the middle of the sky.

    Quena closed the lid of the sarcophagus and pushed it to the floor. 

    She walked up to the guardian’s mural and put her hand on the wall, then she transferred about 90% of her MP to the guardian.

    World management and the quests that go along with it were the jobs of the game’s management, but the maintenance of the guardians themselves was left up to the skill masters in charge of the towers. Quena, who had once won the largest MP value award in the history of Leadale thanks to various buffs, had been filling up the magic tank for the guardians at every chance she got.

    That was probably why it was still working after two hundred years of her absence. But as of this moment, it was on the verge of depletion. She’d like to fill it up, but no matter how much her MP was being constantly recovered by her 【Passive Skill: MP Healing】, she’ll need to spend the night here to fill it up.

    As she was pondering what to do, the guardians proposed an idea to her.

    『Hey, Goshujin, may I ask a favor from you?』

    「Hmm? I never thought you could say something like that. What is it?. 」

    『Apparently, the other guardian towers have stopped functioning. If you have time, can you take a look at them?』

    「…Ah, They’re just like you, being left alone too, huh? All right, I’ll take a look at them when I get the chance」

    There was a way for guardian towers to communicate with each other, but if one of the guardians stopped functioning, that feature would be useless. The ring applies to all guardian towers, so at least she should be able to avoid traps. You need to dive to reach the ocean base though…

    She wondered if that would mean that she would have to regularly visit all thirteen towers. That was her immediate goal, but the truth was that Quena didn’t know the location of all the towers either.

    Since even the world map was unreliable, she needed to gather information in a populated area before she could put it into action.

    For now, she’ll point in a certain direction from the balcony and tell the guardian.

    「I’ll be in the village over there for a while. Call me if you need anything」

    『I understand. I’ll take care of it, goshujin-sama』

    As she signaled to the guardian in the center of the stage, a pale blue five-pointed star appeared at Quena’s feet that emitted a dazzling light.

    When she checked her surroundings again, she found herself already outside the forest where she could still see the Silver Tower. After looking up at the tower for a while, Quena then turned her heel and headed in the direction she had just pointed before.

    「Hmm―, Oh, darn it!… I forgot to leave something behind to use as a teleport target」

    At least according to the 【Distance Measurement】 spell she cast before she left, the straight line distance was more than forty kilometers. If she were on foot, she would have to go around the foot of the mountain a bit, so the distance would be a bit more than measured. Even if she walked normally, she was a little worried about whether she would make it in time for dinner at the inn.

     

    ***

     

    「Haah… Haah… Haah…」

    In the end, after much thought, Quena chose to run.

    It was a great way to show off her skills as a high-spec high elf specializing in magic. But it was quite disappointing that no one could see her doing it,

    She activated her active skill 【Running Speed Increase】 (Duration 1 minute), then 【Agility buff】 and 【Movement Speed Increase】 from her magic skills.

    That was how she spent the rest of the day running back to the village.

    Since she was moving through the forest, it was easier to move around than on the plains due to the support of the trees, and also because she was not used to running, the sky turned orange by the time she reached the vicinity of the village.

    She also imagined if guildmates who knew her well saw her in this state, they’ll say something like, 『Are you an idiot?』

    She also has the option to use flight magic, but because of her MP gauge, which was less than 10% now, it was unlikely that Quena would last more than five minutes if she used the flight magic.

    Anyway, all that was left to do was to walk along the road and it would only take a few minutes to reach the village.

    After quenching her thirst with a bag of water lent to her from Lytte. She then took a deep breath, stretched, and thought that she was ready to go home now.

    Gooaaah!

    ――the bark of a beast echoed through the forest.

    「Huh? Eh? From where!?」

    『It’s coming from the main road, Quena-sama』

    Thinking that she would be attacked, Key warned her as she was making a strange reaction. She blushed at the sight of her reaction, but then realized that someone might have been attacked so she then rushed out.

     

    ***

     

    The scene that unfolded in front of her as she cut through the forest was a hunter in a fur coat slumped over the road, looking like a Matagi. It was the villager who had been hit with a pan for saying something unnecessary to Marelle last night.

    (TLN: Matagi is a nick for traditional winter hunters in Tōhoku)

    There was a bear in front of him. The bear was about four meters tall, with a twisted horn extending from behind its ear to its mouth. The bear then swung both paws to attack the person.

    In the game, it was a monster called Horn Bear, which was hard for beginners, but novice players treated it as a pest. 

    The Horn Bear stiffened as soon as it saw Quena appearing from the side.

    This was due to Quena’s Active Skills, who had switched her focus to a combat stance.

    It was an automatic skill activation without the holder’s consciousness. It was 【Intimidation】 (Greatly reduce opponent’s evasion), 【Glare】(which slows down the opponent’s action), and 【Strong Person’s Smirk】 (which nullifies the opponent’s defense with a 22% chance).

    She had no intention of fighting back with her weapon and was only thinking that she had to save the villagers’ lives. She then kicked the Horned Bear in the stomach, not to knock him down, but to scare him away.

    Ghoaah!?

    The moment she slammed it, her [Weapon Skill: Charge] automatically activated. Even though she was a race that boasted the lowest strength, with the boost of her level, it easily blew the Horn Bear’s huge body to the ground.

    Then the blown-up bear was sent flying into the forest. Crack, crack, crack…! The sound of trees being reaped echoed through the air, and it disappeared into the dim darkness.

    Not only the hunter but even Quena, who had kicked it away, was covered in sweat.

    A moment of silence then surrounded them.

    Quena, who had recovered first, approached the hunter.

    「Are you okay? Do you have any injuries?」

    「A… Aah… Young miss… Aren’t you amazing…?」

    「A, aah, umm… Yeah! If it was me, ten or twenty bears wouldn’t be a match for me! Hahaha!」

    It was the truth and not an exaggeration, that they really could not even be considered as an enemy to her. The hunter-uncle then stood up and thanked Quena.

    「Thank you, young miss. I thought I was about to die back then. I wish I had something to thank you, but unfortunately, I don’t have anything with me right now」

    「It’s fine, after all, isn’t it natural to help someone in need?」

    「A, aah. You’re right…」

    「So instead of thanking me, Call me by Quena. I hope you’ll call me by that instead of young miss」

    「Aah, very well. My name is Rottle. Once again, thank you very much, Quena-chan」

    「Yes, I’m glad you’re okay」

    Feeling relieved, Quena peered into the darkness of the forest where the bear had disappeared.

    It was because as soon as the kick landed, she could see that the enemy’s HP went from yellow to red and become zero. In other words, it was instant death.

    「What should I do about that bear?」

    The description on the official website homepage must have said something like “Its meat was delicious”, and she thought it would be a good treat for the village because its horn and fur could also be used to make a piece of equipment, so she stepped into the forest with Rottle that hurriedly followed her from behind. 

    「Wait wait, what would happen if it was still alive? Fighting a bear in the forest is just like giving your life away」

    「It’ll be fine, it’s dead after all. Just give me a minute, okay?」

    Quena then cast a light spell on the silver coin and stepped deeper into the forest.

    The Horn Bear, which had reaped four trees, was foaming with blood and was dying. She grabbed the horn and lifted it to check it, but it was surprisingly light, so she dragged it back to the street.

    Rottle was amazed when he saw her slender figure effortlessly dragging a Horn Bear three times her size. By the time they reached the village, it was well after dark, and a worried Lytte cried out to Quena when she returned. There was even a scream at the sight of the Horn Bear, but since it was such a huge catch, a barbecue feast was hastily held in the village square.

    Of course, the hunter, Rottle, told the villagers about Quena’s heroic story. She blushed and shrunk into herself when the villagers praised her, and without even realizing it, she was made an official adventurer of the village.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     

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