Category Archives: Kunoichi

Karma – 07

Chapter 7 – Power-Leveling Part 1

Author: Happy New Year. Please continue your support.

… Incidentally, this is but a pseudo-title; to be precise, this chapter is about the preparations. No battles yet.


The next day, Nellie and I headed to the Guild. I wanted to find a neutralisation job that would be good for levelling Nellie.

Noticing our arrival, Quirley, the healer of Govack’s party, called out to us, “Ah, Shino-san, thank you for yesterday.”

“Greetings. Is your party also here looking for work?”

“Ah, no. Govack and Quinn are still asleep. I was… that is, in the battle yesterday, it was obvious that I was out of my league—there was nothing I could do to contribute… So I was thinking…”

“To look for a commision you could solo to level up with.”

“Yes. Uhm, how about you and Nellie?”

“We’re also here looking to take requests. Planning to raise Nellies level to 15.”

“Eh?”

“Though I’ve dissolved her slave contract, its still such a shame that her Guilds class still has slave attached to it. Right as she told me, I thought, oh, we only need change her class.”

“Dissolved? Ah, now that you mention it, I no longer see the collar of compliance… Isn’t that just fantastic Nellie-san?”

“It is,” replied Nellie from behind me, peeking out her face.

So she was still a little scared of strangers, probably due to something traumatic while she was still a slave.

“But, levelling up isn’t that easy, you know.”

“True. If we were doing it normally.”

“…”

Suddenly, Quirley-chan was in deep thought. But putting that aside, I wonder if there are any requests suitable for our purposes on the board.

“Uhm. And what would a not normal way be?”

“It may be a tad spartan but… Ah, this one should work.”

*karma*
Rank C – Monster Parts Collection Request
Because the number of magic beasts in the western forest are increasing, we would like to seize this opportunity to procure some ingredients.

Objective:

  • Sickles of Blade Mantis (5+ sets)
  • Horns of Horned Wolf (5+)

Reward:

  • 3 gold coins, additional rewards available depending on quality and quantity.

*karma*

“… Thats C-rank you know?”

“It is indeed.”

“And Nellie-chan is still a level 1 F-rank, right?”

“What of it?”

“Th-thats too rash! C-rank requests are like, the same difficulty as the scale vipers from yesterday! Even if you would be okay—”

“Its not a problem,” said Nellie.

“Nellie-chan?!”

“If Shino-sama says it’ll be fine, then it’ll be fine… And should Shino-sama command it, I would gladly take my life.”

“Wait, you’re not her slave anymore, right?”

“Yes, the slave contract no longer binds us. However,” she said with her cheeks flushed, “we’ve already passed that stage and even did that… Contract or not, from now to all eternity, my soul belongs to Shino-sama alone.”

“What? Just what do mean by ‘that?’ Why are you blushing?!”

How misleading. All I did was show her ears and tail a bit of attention until she had passed out.

“Well, anyway, I’ll be around to make sure Nellie can gain experience safely. A few preparations are in order though.”

“Uhm…” Gathering her resolve, Quirley-chan asked as she looked up at me through her lashes, “Would it be alright if I were to join in on this request as well?”

How to go about this? Protecting two would be difficult, so lets take a look at her stats first.

“Hmm, do you mind if I take a look at your stats? I won’t be able to show you mine though.”

“Yes, its not a problem.” Setting it to revealed, Quirley passed her card to me. It was a pastel pink.

*karma*
Name: Quirley Toretto
Sex: Female
Age: 15
Total Level: 13
Guild Rank: D
Class Level: Healer – 13

Stats
HP
MP
Str
Vit
Dex
Spd
Int
Mid
*karma*
255
263
10
10
11
9
15
16

*karma*
Titles
N/A

Special Skills
Healing Effectiveness +5%

Type Affinity
Light +5%

Blessings
God Healing Feitas1
*karma*

“I see. What kind of skills and spells do you have?”

“Ah, to see that, you just do it like this,” said Quirley as she swiped the cards screen sideways, revealing a new screen.

… So you could use it like a smartphone.

*karma*
Skill Slots – 2
Equipped Skills:

  • Elementary Healing
  • Increased Healing Cast Range

Acquired Spells:

  • Elementary Healing (Minor Heal, Cure Poison)
  • Intermediate Healing (Shield, Resist Sleep, Illuminate)
  • Increased Healing Cast Range

*karma*

“Nellie, how many skill slots does one normally have?”

“You start with one at level 1. You receive an extra slot every ten levels for a total of five slots at level 40. It is said that the small fraction of those who have reached level 50 have a total of six though.”

So for my time in Sengoku Online, I should have ten skill slots plus an extra two because of my accessories for a total of twelve. I really was just cheating wasn’t I.

Judging from Quirleys selection, it seemed possible to have groups of skills occupy a single slot. For example, she had a group called Elementary Healing that combined Minor Heal and Cure Poison, so just by scanning, one couldn’t say for certain if any one skill was better than another.

“… Being able to perform AoE2 recovery should come in really handy for us. Alright, lets head out together then.”

“Th-thank you very much!” Clasping both hands together, her eyes gleaming, Quirley looked up at me. If Nellie were a kitten, then Quirley would be a puppy… I could almost see the tail wagging energetically behind her.

“Well then for starters, lets get our equipment sorted out… Is there an armor shop nearby that both sells and makes its goods?”

“Yes, uhm, Portes armor shop would likely be the closest.”

We went to the counter to claim the request I had set my eyes on earlier and then followed Quirley to Portes armor shop.

*Karma*

“Welcome, what might you be interested in?” asked the storekeeper, Porte. A sturdy, yet short man that seemed full of youthful vigor.

“What armor type can you wear Nellie?”

“Common slave is a lower tier class, so we’re limited to cloth armor and light weapons.”

“Cloth armor huh… Nothing here really seems to be good for you.”

“Sorry about that,“ said the owner, starting to trail off, ”I mean, we specialize in metal goods, and…”

“Ahh, excuse me. I hadn’t meant anything by it.”

However, it still didn’t change the fact that the store didn’t really have anything that great for Nellie. I opened my inventory, searching for what cloth armor I had.

“Hmm, I guess this is all I have.”

I positioned my body to block Portes vision, making sure to pull it out in the shadows:

*karma*
Silken Shinobi Vest
Level Required: N/A
Defense: 35
Magic Defense: 10
HP +120
*karma*

Quirley eyes widened, catching me in the act, “Eh, where did you just…”

“Owner, is there something like a dressing room around here?”

“Yup, you’ll find the door at the end of the hall over there.”

“Thank you, we’ll be making use of it then.” I steered my two companions to the dressing room.

Perhaps to allow the space for one to swing a sword around, the sett-floored room was twice the size of what I’d have expected from a normal dressing room, typically half-a-tatami in size in Japans clothing stores.3

“Nellie, if you don’t mind my hand-me-downs, would you like to try this?” I said, handing over the vest I took out earlier.

“Isn’t this silk! I-I’m to take s-such fine, delicate cloth to battle?”

“I did say it was an old pair. Don’t worry about it.”

“Al-alright… I gratefully accept it if you say so,” she said and started changing.

Mhm, her body trembles ever so.

As she finished, her stark, unobstructed skin shone like a jewel.

Ah, what an oversight, I still hadn’t yet bought her underwear. Most definitely not on purpose, okay.

“Sorry, we’ll buy you underwear soon.”

“Oh no, no need to apologize… But this vest really is amazing… The texture is extremely pleasant on the skin yet still really sturdy and easy to move in.”

Look at her fiddling with its every nook and cranny with that face full of awe.

“Isn’t it just~ It has more defense than some of the lower quality leather armor after all… And thats not everything, ha-ha-hah. Take a look at your status window.”

“Hmm? Okay…” She gasped and said, ”My HP is up by 120!”

“Yup, it grants a health bonus. Even if the stray attack hits you here or there, it should be no problem.”

“Enchanted gear! Amazing, so this armor has magic,” said Quirley, sounding unexpectedly excited. “Wearing magical gear is like the dream of any adventurer. Like a milestone even… Nellie-chan, I’m so envious.”

“Well, while we’re partied, I could lend you a set of something as well.”

“Eh? You would be lending me one too?! So you have that much extra…” said Quirley. Her eyes opened, gleaning in expectation.

“One sec, I think I had something perfect for a healer around here somewhere…” Opening my inventory, I took out:

*karma*
Hallowing Shrine Maiden Dress of New Years
Level Required: 5
Defense: 40
Magic Defence: 15
Chanting Time Reduction (Recovery spells only)
*karma*

It was one of the more eccentric rewards obtained from completing a New Years event in Sengoku Online. No matter the class or the type of armor they wore, once worn, it had the secondary effect of also changing the wearers appearance to that of a shrine maiden.

“I-I thought so—you really are pulling items out of nowhere…”

“Mhm, well, its just that I have this item with me that lets me do that pretty much. Leaving it at that, why don’t you try this one on and take a look at your stats?”

“Uh, okay…” she said, as if with a question mark above her head.

Aww, that look of confusion. Mhm, her sleek skin was too a feast for the eyes.

“Red and white, its really cute,” she said. Looking over her card, she then exclaimed, “Wa—what the!” unconsciously raising her voice. “Un-under my special skills, theres a ‘Chanting Time Reduction (Recovery spells only)’ skill.”

“Yeah, it’ll now take you half as long to finish chanting recovery spells.”

“Ah, amazing! Its really amazing Shino-san! You can’t find magical armor with this kind of effect anywhere, at least not on the regular market channels.”

“Mhm, so keep it a secret, okay? It’ll be a headache if word gets out.”

“Y-yes!”

“Then, next is weapons. Right.”

We returned to Porte after the two were finished changing.

“Owner, sorry to bother you again, but would you allow me to use the furnace?”

“The furnace? What for?”

“Nothing much, I just wanted to make something custom for this girl.”

“… I didn’t think we were both in the same trade.”

“Well, it was a long time ago when I was.” I placed a silver coin to hold to in his hand. “If this will do, I’ll be finished soon.”

“Hmm, well, if its only an hour.”

“Thank you, you have my gratitude.” When I left him a cheerful smile, he turned a bright red… A surprisingly innocent guy.

Now, the real question lay at the heart of my immediate plan. Would Character Change work? I hadn’t tried it yet.

I approached the blacksmiths furnace but had Nellie and Quirley stand back. “I’m going to do something a tad strange… It’ll be dangerous, so keep your distance, okay?”

“Okay,” they replied.

Opening my skill menu, I selected Character Change. The character selection window appeared, and I choose my level 60 blacksmith.

In a flash, my hair shortened from a pony tail to a bob cut, and my ninja clothes were replaced with an apron, giving an appearance reminiscent of a worker. Hmm, it seems that my memories, feelings, and personality are all collectively saved and shared between my characters… thank goodness. Checking my status:
*karma*
Name: Shino Kagura
Sex: Female
Age: 21
Total Level: 60
Guild Rank: D
Class Level: Blacksmith – 60

Status
HP
MP
Str
Vit
Dex
Spd
Int
Mid
*karma*
2180
N/A
18
18
18
12
12
13

*karma*
Titles
‘Equilibrium of the Cosmos’
‘Artisan of Worlds Elite’’

Special Skills
Character Change
Mana Release
Mana Transfer

Type Affinity
Fire +50%
Earth +20%
Wind −10%

Blessings
Worlds Unnamed Overseer
*karma*

Mhm, it seems everything was in order. Then everything should proceed smoothly.

“S-Shino-sama,” Nellie stammered. So it shocked her after all.

“Your short haircut look is also wonderful…”

Thats the retort after seeing what just happened?! And of all things, you only mentioned her hair…”

Yeah, but well, you did that job for her just fine, Quirley.

“Well, I have a lot of peculiarities… Just think of it as I can also switch classes when I change clothes.”

“Wait, so that means that you can make weapons yourself, Shino-sama?”

“Indeed.”

What a mystified expression. Though she had seen my profile before, blacksmith as a subclass wasn’t written anywhere. Anyway, let me set the ‘Production’ skill set.

Fine Dexterity Increase, Keen Edge Chance Increase, Light Weapon Smithing, Bladed Weapon Smithing, Armor Smithing, Weight Limit Increase, Magical Trait Enchantment, Physical Trait Enchantment, Enchant Success Increase, Retemper.

Because Nellie was still only level 1, I was limited to the lowest end of the spectrum for what I could make that she could still use. I’ll just have to make up for it with skill.

“For materials only the best fine jewel steel4 and white charcoal,5 then a Kagutsuchis Flame for the heat source and activate Light Weapon Smithing,” I mumbled to myself as I took out each mat out of my inventory one at a time and threw them into the furnace.

Normally, these weren’t mats to be used on just any low-level weapon, but it was all for my lovely Nellie. Let me spoil you.

The steel turned to liquid in an instant. With the Hammer of the Wrathful God, I struck it once, twice, thrice. Then, the form of a defined blade had already taken shape.

“I don’t really know whats going on, but I feel like making blades is not normally this easy…”

“It is Shino-sama after all.”

I further increased its attack with RetemperOh, I managed to use Retemper thrice in total.

Now to add the finishing touches with some enhancements. “Nellie, you had an affinity for Light right?”

“Yes.”

“Then I’ll add in a diamond for its Light attribute.” I took a diamond, an unpolished one about three centimeters in diameter, grasping it with a tight fist, and it began to let off a faint glow.

“Eh, dia-, what? A diamond?! Sh-Shino-sama, surely this now is going much too far for the likes of someone like me.”

“Ha ha ha, its too late to stop me now.” Shaping that light into a weapon in my mind, the weapon slowly began soak up the luminance.

“And its done!”

The result was…

“A kitchen knife?”

“A… kitchen knife, by the looks of it.”

“Ha ha ha. Its not just any kitchen knife. Useable even as a weapon, it is none other than the one and only super-knife, ‘Shino Mk. 1’!”6

The word ‘Shino’ shone brightly on the tang of the knife.7 Mhm, another excellent piece of work even if I do say so myself. Pulling from my large stock of lacquer and pouring, I furnished the knife with a hilt and gave it to Nellie.

*karma*
Yaminagi’s Kitchen Knife – Shino Mk. 1
Required Level: N/A
Compatible Races: Beastkin
Attack Power: 65
Magic Power: 0
Enables use of Lightball

Special Effects:
Increases the attack power of skills that use magic by 15%
Increased effectiveness against Water-type monsters x1.5
*karma*

“Uh, Shino-sama, I’m feeling a really strong aura of magic from this knife.”

“Basically, in terms of just damage, its about hmm… on par with the greatsword Govack was using yesterday. Then imbuing some magic will add 15% additional damage. Oh, and theres an increased effectiveness against water monsters too. Also, you can use Lightball without having learned it beforehand.”

“…” They both were speechless.

“U-uh, not good enough? But if its to be useable by a level 1, this is about the best that I can really…”

“What on earth is this ridiculous feature set,” said Quirley dumbfounded. “Isn’t this just an artifact-class weapon.”

“Shino-sama, is, this… for me?”

Cradling the knife against her chest, those eyes started to well up.

“Yeah, well, I’m glad if you’re happy with it. Even though it came out as a kitchen knife…”

“…”

“Nellie?”

“I… I wi-will treasure it.”

“Mhm.”

“I will treasure it, thank you so very much, Shino-sama.”
That smile. I nearly hugged her as her eyes began to well up at corner of her eyes, but barely stopped myself when I realized I’d catch myself on the super-knife.


1 Likely not related, but Feitas is a brand of pain relief band-aid-like pads.

2 AoE means area of effect, used in contrast to single target.

3 A sett floor is several mostly rectangular and similar-sized stone put together to form a flat surface (think paving). It’s mostly only important that it’s stone. Additionally, tatami are typically 0.88m x 1.76m. Go do your maths.

4 Jewel steel or tamahagane is made from a specific type of iron sand. There’s two types of iron sand: acome and masa. The latter is the higher-quality one and is presumably the type referred to in the text though it’s not specified. White charcoal is one of the two types of types of charcoal, and it is also used for tea ceremony.

5 Kagutsuchi is a kami, or god, of fire and a patron of the blacksmiths in particular.

6 The actual word here is not knife but deba bouchou. A type of knife primary used to cut fish.

7 The tang is the part of the blade (or the metal component of a tool) that extends into the handle allowing it to connect or itself serves as the handle.


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Karma – 06

Chapter 6: Nellie Savan’s Point of View

TL: I’ll be redoing the older chapters over the next week Done

Author: My apologies, though I always felt that I had released this chapter somewhere before the power leveling arc, it never felt like the right time, so here it is. While it’s a bit rushed, the next one will be about power leveling as promised…


The forest was aflame.
My hometown, the Savan Forest.
I am Nellie, resident of the forest Beastkin village made and founded by my people. Nellie of the Savan Forest, so Nellie Savan.

It all happened one day. Suddenly, my village and the forest were aflame.
The cries and screams of my people rang out from all directions.
Returning from the forest with gathered fruits in hand, I was taken aghast at the the spectacle that unfolded before me; then, the voice of a rugged man came from behind.

“Still a brat… but she’ll suffice.”

Then, something hit my head with a thud, and the world turned black.

It was only later, stuffed into a cage atop a carriage, that I realized that it was the work of those humans, humans on the hunt for slaves.

“That beastkin slave, just what do you think’ll happen to her… There ain’t a soul who’d sleep with the bastard child of a human and a monster.”

“A pawn for war no doubt. Just slap a collar of compliance on her and she’ll come out a loyal and hefty slave that’ll rake in the cash in a flash.”

“Be it a guard or meat shield, demand for her in the capital will be high.”

“Mm… still, we did slaughter an entire village of those vicious beastkin. I’ll make sure we’re rewarded appropriately.”

Without so much as moving a muscle, I strained my ears to the back-and-forth between the men at the driver’s seat. Even in the human world, it seemed slave hunting was illegal, but to cover up their act, they made sure to kill everyone except those captured and set aside to be sold.

Once I learned that, I grasped every chance I could to escape, but due of the collar of compliance, it was all in vain.
“Collar of compliance.” It granted my owner the power to strangle me viciously at just a word and the magic to pinpoint my location.
Its effective range was so strangely large that I never succeeding in escaping even once.

Each time I tried, a new lash wound would appear on my body, and soon the meals they fed me degraded to less than what livestock got. By my third, they branded the words “Slave Whore,” “Pig Mutt,” and “Live Meat” on me.
The pain sheared my body into pieces and weakened my strength with each passing day, constantly sapping away my will to resist as time went on…
It wasn’t long before I began to jump at the sight of any stray scrap that fell to my master’s feet. Without hands, devoured whole—I had grown accustomed to this kind of life, the life of a slave.

Just like any other day, I was driving my master’s wagon through the forest… when, in the blink of an eye, I noticed my arm had been bitten off.
A looming monster that shouldn’t possibly be there. We had ran into a mob of scale vipers.

“Eeeeekkkk!!”

My voice which I hadn’t used in forever gave sound to screams of pain echoing throughout the forest.
But thanks to that, I then met my once-in-a-lifetime, one true master.

“Unreal… A human sliced a scale viper to pieces barehanded…?”

There, rushing out in our time of need, adorned with a glossy black ponytail, and clothed in a baggy black tunic and trousers, stood a dazzlingly gorgeous woman.
With neither weapon in hand nor anything that resembled armor against these scale vipers, she put on a performance that one could hardly believe was work of a human.
My gaze was captivated as each move weaved into the next into a dance of brilliance, and before long, perhaps due to all the blood loss, so too was my consciousness to the darkness.

A storm of change was washed over me upon when I next opened my eyes.
She, the one who had saved us, said that she yearned for me.
I was to be transferred to her ownership as her reward.

“Excellent. With that, we’ve concluded the transfer procedures. You can now use her in whatever way you please.”

“How could you say that? How could one think to do anything but fawn all over her. Such a bewitchingly fluffy tail! And these blissfully cushy ears! How could one not shower her in love!?”

What a strange person.
Labelled the bastard children of trysts with demons, Beastkin were abhorred by humans, or so I had thought…
For such a beastkin like myself… and moreover a single-armed one, she would even say she adored me.
Her praising my ears and tail, the pride of our kin, did kinda make me feel happy.

“Kagura Shino… though perhaps here it’s more accurate to introduce myself as Shino Kagura. Kunoichi. My level is a secret.”

It seemed that my new master’s name is Shino-sama. I had never heard of the Kunoichi class before, but from the earlier battle, her level must be quite high.
Moreover, she seemed to enjoy the act of surprising people.
Having a mere slave take magic pills so expensive they could even recover missing body parts!
My left arm was as good as new as a result. More like every trace from the branding had all but disappeared. Rather, my body felt better than ever.
Also, it felt like something crazy was happening to my MP.
Rather than anything the pills were doing… it seemed to be more due to that strange sense of bliss I felt as she wrapped her hands around me…

I must have been drunk strange on that bliss. If not, I would have never said something as embarrassing as, “Goshujin-sama, I vow to devote my entire life to you! Even if the slave contract is dissolved, this life and body belongs to you…”

Ahhhhh, just end me! I went so far as to kiss her boots!!
From there onwards, I used all my wiles, frantic to get on my new master’s good side.
The depths of my heart must surely have been corrupted, turned slave to the very core. My desperation after witnessing her absolute strength to gain her patronage surely must have been beyond agonizing to watch.
But now I can say I was worrying over nothing.
Her absurdity and soft-heartedness washed all those clouds away.

She paid 500 kuramu for a suite room to allow a slave such as myself into the baths. She even deigned to bathe in the same water and wash my hair for me… Surely something was amiss.
Then… at dinner:
Slaves are to eat scraps on the floor; this is how things work. But as I excused myself from a seat at the table, something unbelievable happened.

Hard square mats, a short-legged table, cushions, and a feast of dishes I had never before laid eyes to galore.
Everything my master—Shino-sama had pulled out of thin air!
She did say she was from another continent, but did they really know how to create things from nothing? Was this not the work of god…?

My doubts but lingered for a moment. Enticed by the delicious feast before me, my hand timidly drew ever closer and, before I knew it, was selfishly shoveling bite after bite down my throat, raw to my desire.

With our meal finished, Shino-sama broke the ice by saying she wanted to free me from slavery.

“I beg of you, please don’t throw me out!” I cried out, as if by reflex. Spouting nonsense like some kind of clingy woman, what on earth was I doing…

I was already a lost cause; Shino-sama, it seems that I already can’t do without you.
Rather than freedom and separating from her, I would choose slavery under her ownership: I was assured.

But it turned out to be just that Shino-sama could not stand the fact that I was a slave, not that she wished me gone. And even once freed from slavery, I would join her by her side as an attendant.

Thereafter, my public social ranking changed from slave to commoner. But when Shino-sama learned that my class registered under the guild was still basic slave, “We’ll have to have you class change to maid…” she said to herself and began cackling maniacally.  “At last, my long-awaited maid with cat ears!” Fussing over something that flew well over my head and yet somehow meant we were to craft a plan on how to raise my level.

It was nothing but surprises when it came to Shino-sama, but the biggest surprise of all today was when we exchanged guild cards.
When I changed my card to revealed to show her my current profile, the difference I saw compared to before was staggering.

*karma*
Name: Nellie Savan
Sex: Female
Age: 14
Total Level: 1
Guild Rank: F
Class Level: Basic Slave – 1

Status
HP
MP
Str
Vit
Dex
Spd
Int
Mid
*karma*
25
800
14
15
12
15
10
9

*karma*
Titles
‘Celestial Maiden of Mana’

Special Skills
Beastkin Body

Type Affinity
Shadow +10%
Light +10%

Blessings
Shino Kagura
*karma*

… What’s the meaning of this 800 MP. Though it was probably due to Shino-sama appearing under the blessings section.

Wait, give blessings… wouldn’t that mean Shino-sama is of that domain!?

“Mhm, aren’t you quite the catch! 800 MP, isn’t that really a lot?”

“A-about that, last I checked, I only had 10 MP… ‘Celestial Maiden of Mana’ title? Shadow affinity +10%… And, isn’t that your name under blessings!?”

“Ah, ahaha… I wonder why…”

Shino-sama, you aren’t very good at lying—your eyes are swimming.

But nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when she nonchalantly passed me her card.

*karma*
Name: Shino Kagura
Sex: Female
Age: 21
Total Level: 85
Guild Rank: D
Class Level: Kunoichi – 85

Stats
HP
MP
Str
Vit
Dex
Spd
Int
Mid
*karma*
2500
N/A
17
15
18
18
13
18

*karma*
Titles
‘Equilibrium of the Cosmos’
‘Kunoichi Master’

Special Skills
Character Change
Mana Release
Mana Transfer

Type Affinity
Shadow +50%
Fire +20%
Light −10%

Blessings
World’s Unnamed Overseer
*karma*

“Le-… Level 85…? I thought the limit was 50…  and your MP is N/A!? Under your status… You have three stats maxed at 18, and the rest are all above average… A-a 50% affinity, even heroes from legends didn’t have that!!”

She had not one but three special skills and incredible-sounding titles like the ‘Equilibrium of the Cosmos.’
… She really was some kind of spirit or god, wasn’t she.
As if sensing the suspicion in my gaze, Shino-sama decided to come clean to me.

Of our worlds coming into contact and her coming over to this world.
Of serving as the byway through which mana flows into this world as a result.
Of how she, in a hug born of pure affection, had unwittingly endowed me with her blessing.

Quite frankly, her story by now would have any normal person bearing large doubts regarding her sanity, but rather, it was exactly her tale that I found so persuasive after witnessing that power which defied all common sense with my very own eyes.
Quietly peeking a glance at her, I found the eyes of a child waiting to be scolded by her parents looking at me.
Truly unbecoming of an attendant, but I couldn’t help but think… How adorable.
Trying my best to lift the strange mood, “As expected of the one whom I serve.” Such arrogant words inadvertently left my mouth.

Yet, for some reason, my words had left her overcome with such emotion that she lowered me onto the bed.

I-i-it wasn’t as if I hated it! It wasn’t as if I was the opposite of a sought-after girl of age, but to think my first would be with another woman…

“Hamu…”

“Aun…!”

Ear? My ears?

I could hear my fur rustle as her hands ran through it…

“Hi-u”

My tail too?

A swishing sound began to mingle in with the sounds.

“Ah, ahh! Shino-sama… I-I’m… sensitive there…”

Not both at once!!

She just was, not, addressing the places that really needed it, yet I was already a mess long gone from just the tail and ears.

As expected of the one I named my master, she’s an expert at these matters too…Quite, the professional…
The thoughts flitted through my consciousness, and gently, it all dissolved to darkness.


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Karma – 05

Chapter 5 – Nellie and a Sleepover

Author: I have been trying to add more spaces between lines since the previous chapter.


“Please wait a moment!” the lady at the reception desk called out to me just as I was turning to head back, “I have yet to return your guild card.”

… I had completely completely forgot. All that was on my mind was the sweet nighttime I would be having with Nellie.

“Following the neutralization of the aforementioned scale vipers, you have secured enough points to proceed directly to D-rank. Congratulations.”

“Eh? I jumped two ranks in one go? That’s a thing?”

“Indeed. Normally, to defeat even a single scale viper would necessitate a party of C-rank or greater… a party such as Govack-sama’s for example. To have accomplished that single-handedly, and neutralizing five no less… On the contrary, it would be more difficult to keep you at F-rank.”

“Think about it this way,” Govack interjected, “if anyone were to hear that you were F-ranker, what would that mean for us? We’d just be an embarrassment and have looked like we tried to steal a rookie’s job no… Accepting your promotion in earnest would be for the best, don’t you think?”

Ah, I see… there’s certainly some weight to that. “Understood. I’ll accept it graciously.”

“Also, you can take requests one rank above or two ranks below your current rank, Shino-dono. Since you’re rank D currently, you may accept requests from ranks C to F.”

“Thank you for letting me know.”

The receptionist is glaring at you, Govack. Stealing her job.

“Well, I’ll leave any questions if I have any for tomorrow when I’m looking to take on any jobs… For now, I’d just like have a bath and take it easy.”

“Mm? A bath you say? An inn with a bathhouse… They’re all a tad self-important. But you could try the one around…”

Govack’s party headed to their lodgings under the Guild’s direct management. Parting with them, I headed to one of the so-called ‘self-important’ inns he recommended with a Nellie in tow.

“What do you mean we can’t enter the bathhouse?” I pressed the employee who clearly had moved to block the entrance upon laying eyes on Nellie.

“Uhh, that is to say… some customers may worry about the cleanliness of the facility should they learn that they’re together with slave.”

“Hou… You trying to imply that my Nellie is dirty?”

“N-n-no, it’s just… ”

Frankly, nevermind disease, feeding her some panacea had even eradicated all trace of age, putting the state of her clothes aside. To not even be able to appreciate such perfection?

“Uh, uhm, Shino-sama, if it’s just me, then I do not mind…”

“I’ll have none of it. Even if I have to do it myself by my very own hands, I’ll have you sparkling from your nails to the tips of your fur!”

“I-If, if that’s the case… how about a compromise?”

“Hmm?”

“The price may be on the higher end, but perhaps consider a suite… Rather than the public baths, they come with a bathtub comes attached.”

A bath for just the two of us. In a place no one can interrupt us.

“Well there’s no helping it then. I’ll take the it.”

There was no reason to hesitate.

“Funfu~n♪” I hummed as I brushed Nellie’s hair. “Despite not being fed properly, your hair is still so glossy… And done. Ahh, so lovely.”

At the end of a dreamy bathtime, we sat in front of the bronze mirror1 in the dressing room, and I began playing with Nellie’s hair.
It seemed Nellie was the type to look thinner with in clothes on. As unassumingly short as as she seemed… other places were certainly bursting full of life, somehow hidden subtly yet seemingly about to overflow.

A single night for 500 kuramu, and I’d already got my money’s worth!

“Tha-thank you very much. But! Shino-sama, you are the one who is beautiful…”

I giggled and said, “Thank you.” Those definitely weren’t words of flatter from a servant, Nellie.

For the first time since coming into this world, I had yet to see myself in a mirror. Despite there still being traces of my former self, I seemed to have taken quite the turn towards beauty.
This was likely another example of “Kagura Shino,” my in-game character having influence on the real me.

“They should be just about done preparing our meal. Shall we head over to eat?”

“Yes.”

This was to be my first proper meal since arriving in this world. I was really looking forward to it.

“What is the meaning of this?”

They definitely screamed expensive. Extravagant dish after dish of impossible quantities that lined the table… were all my portion.
Nellie’s portion lay on a tray beneath the table: half-eaten bread, soup, and grilled fish.
Clearly leftover scraps. And not even a spoon or fork in sight… Was she meant to eat with her bare hands?

But above all else, was Nellie suppose to sit on this cold hard floor?

“I can’t believe it,” said Nellie, seemingly deeply moved by this reception. “White bread… and even fish.“

Just what kind terrible conditions had she been living in thus far.

“Nellie, you needn’t sit on the cold floor. Let’s eat together at the table, okay?”

“I-I’m not worthy… For a slave to eat at the same table as her master, I couldn’t possibly.”

“Hmm, really now… No matter what?”

“Y-yes.”

“… Then in that case.”

I opened my inventory and selected tatami mat.2 It was one of the in-game items that allowed the player to customize their personal residence should they own one.

“Choose target location, place six mats… also add a tea table, place one… zabutons3

for sitting too, place two.” And in a flash, the simple but familiar six-tatami floor room covered stone-cold floor.

“Eh? Where… Where did all of this come from?”

“Mmm, I’ll tell you after the meal alright?”

I browsed through my inventory again and then took out some food. Sengoku Online had all the local specialties found throughout Japan registered as items so there was a wealth of options.

“Tsukimi udon, hegi soba, bamboo-leaf-wrapped dango, red bean mochi, okesa persimmons, hamaguri sakamushi, oyaki, houtou, chan chan yaki, nankou ume rice balls, and chicken mizutaki.”4 Taking one out after another, I arranged them on the tea table.

“… They’re all dishes I’ve never seen before. Are these from your country, Shino-sama…?”

“That’s right. Now, let’s eat together.”

“Eh, b-but-”

“Where I live, we sit on the floor on these tatami mats all the time. During meals too of course.”

After some fussing, Nellie finally began eating. Extremely timidly at first but steadily, she grew faster and faster… By the end of it, she was wolfing down the food, tears pouring.

It’s alright, Nellie, eat for as long as you like.

About an hour later, having finished eating, I decided to tell Nellie about our plans, “Our most highest-priority goal is… to buy land and to free you from slavery.”

“Shi… Shino-sama! H-have I overstep my bounds!? I… beg of you, p-please don’t throw me out.”

Aww, Nellie-san, don’t look up at me with those teary eyes. I, won’t be stop myself.

“Dummy, of course I won’t… It’s just that I can’t stand hearing the word ‘slave’ together with my Nellie. And besides, just who was it that declared with such passion, ‘Even if I’m no longer a slave, I still belong to Shino-sama’?”

“Ah, ahh…”

Her face flushed red. A silent Nellie, so adorable.

“So land… we’ll need some to build a house. As long as we have land, we can leave it to the Foundation system to take care of the actual construction.”

In Sengoku Online, the Foundation system was used to construct the player’s personal residence.
Though it required the player to have appropriate social rank in addition to a large sum of money, I of course had both.
Once we had found a suitably open and convenient location, all I had to do was select it in the system and we’d have a finished house in an instant.

“Hmm… If I wanted enough land for a noble’s mansion within the city, how much do you think it would cost?”

“I struggle to even imagine it… but If I were to guess, I think even 100,000 kuramu would be insufficient.”

“I see. Then 300,000 kuramu it is for some leeway… Let’s see, about… thirty gold to aim for.”

Since one C-rank monster was worth fifty silver, it wasn’t too out of reach.

“Then next would be freeing you from slavery, but how to do it? If I, as the master, tell you that you’re free to do go now, do you stop being a slave?”

“To dissolve my public social rank of slave, that would work. Similar to what you did earlier in the morning, touch this collar of compliance and declare me released under the name of God of Contracts, Promys-sama.”

“I see, I see. So something like, ‘God of Contracts, Promys, I implore thee. I, Shino Kagura, kunoichi and master of the slave Nellie, release her and desire no compensation.’ ”

Oho, her collar is glimmering. I had just blabbered stuff that seemed appropriate, but it looked like it was actually working…

“As of now, my public social rank has changed from a slave to a commoner… I cannot express my thanks enough, Shino-sama… But…”

“Hmm? What is it?”

“Even if I’m no longer a slave, I, still want to serve you. This time of my own volition… if not as ‘slave’, would you take me in as an ‘attendant’?”

“If, that’s what you want Nellie…”

“Thank you so very much, Shino-sama…”

No. Thank you.
Thrown into alternative world, alone and weak—to already have someone care for me this deeply… What short of blessed could better describe me?

“Ah, about what you were saying earlier… What did you mean by your ‘public social rank?’ ”

“Uhm, in the Adventurer’s Guild, my class is still set to basic slave, and that hasn’t changed.”

“Ehh?”

“Well, it is not really that much of a drawback…”

“Unacceptable! We must take care of that too!”

“Even if you wish it so… a class change requires a class level of 15 or higher.”

“If you do change… what can you become?”

“If I recall correctly, I believe the options were maid or attendant—”

“Yes! That’s exactly it!”

At last, my long-awaited maid with cat ears!!

“Starting tomorrow, we’re off to earn some gold and speed level you… Operation ‘Power Leveling’ commence!”

“Y-yes!”

“By the way… would it be alright if I take a look at your status for reference? I’ll show you mine as well.”

“Yes, of course! Um… here you go.”

Out came a guild card as pure white as the very hair on her body:

*karma*
Name: Nellie Savan
Sex: Female
Age: 14
Total Level: 1
Guild Rank: F
Class Level: Basic Slave – 1

Status
HP
MP
Str
Vit
Dex
Spd
Int
Mid
*karma*
25
800
14
15
12
15
10
9

*karma*
Titles
‘Celestial Maiden of Mana’

Special Skills
Beastkin Body

Type Affinity
Shadow +10%
Light +10%

Blessings
Shino Kagura
*karma*

“Mhm, aren’t you quite the catch! 800 MP, isn’t that really a lot?”

“A-about that, last I checked, I only had 10 MP… ‘Celestial Maiden of Mana’ title? Shadow affinity +10%… And, isn’t that your name under blessings!?”

“Ah, ahaha… I wonder why…”

Whoops, it was because… I had hugged her that I had passed on a large amount of mana. And fooling her this late was already of the question… I guess I should disclose a bit.

“So here’s mine.” Setting everything to revealed, I handed my card to Nellie.

“Le-… Level 85…? I thought the limit was 50…  and your MP is N/A!? Under your status… You have three stats maxed at 18, and the rest are all above average… A-a 50% affinity, even heroes from legends didn’t have that!!”

I was left with no choice; I would have to explain coming from another world and serving as an mana intermediary for two worlds.
Even if it scares her away from me for good.

But after hearing everything, Nellie just smiled at me cheerily and said, “As expected of the one whom I serve.”

Before I realized it, I had shifted Nellie down onto the bed… and had plunged into those fluffy cat ears and mushy tail…

“Ah, ahh! Shino-sama… I-I’m… sensitive there…”

At some point, I noticed her breaths had turned to gasps and her voice had taken quite a turn to the seductive. But I decided to think about it later.


Author: Up next is about power leveling.

For online games, power levelling is when high-level players take low-level players to areas filled with higher level monsters to quickly raise their level. Probably

1 Bronze mirrors preceeded glass mirrors.

2 Tatami are mats traditionally made of rice straw and are used as flooring in traditional Japanese-style rooms.

3 Zabuton is a cushion that typically serves in place of a chair for sitting or kneeling usually on the floor.

4 Rip.
Tsukimi udon or moon-viewing udon is a soup udon that pouches an egg.
Hegi soba is seaweed flavored soba.
Dango is a kind of dumpling made from rice. Mochi is similar but more of rice cake.
Hamaguri is a type of clam. Sakamushi is a type preparation that involves steaming with sake.
Oyaki is a dumpling made from fermented buckwheat.
Houtou is an udon miso soup originating from the Yamanashi Prefecture.
Chan chan yaki is a grilled fish and vegetable dish from Hokkaido where chan chan is the onomatopoeia likely for the tongs and spatulas, etc.
Nankou ume or nankou bai are Japanese apricots mainly from Wakayama Prefecture in the south.
(Chicken) Mizutaki is a type of hotpot that is accompanied with a Ponzu sauce and comes from Kyushu.

 

 

 

 


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Karma – 04

Chapter 4 – Port Sazan and the Guild

Author: A lot of explanation.


After exiting the forest and heading south for an hour, Port Sazan finally came into view.

As we made our way there, Kosuinen started to grate on my nerves, constantly asking me about the item I had used to heal Nellie. I ended brushing him off saying that I had received them as a reward for saving the lives of some nobles and had used just used up the last of my stocks.

Although I had already spoken at length with Nellie and the three guards, finding out more about the world without giving myself away proved to be quite difficult. Eventually, I remembered I had learned Advanced Conversation and Advanced Seduction, and upon activation, conversation proceeded so smoothly that I wondered why I was even worried in the first place. Though to be fairs, these were skills only used to deceive NPCs of enemy nations back in the game.1

From our conversation, I learned that the three guards belonged to an organization called the “Adventurer’s Guild.” The Guild was responsible for dispatching adventurers to perform a kind of contract work. It mainly commissioned monster neutralisation, escorting, exploration, etc. The trio had taken on the request to accompany Kosuinen as guards.

Additionally, one’s class referred to the fundamental job knowledge and skill information that the guild would impart via magic to those who satisfied the necessary requirements. No wonder they thought “kunoichi” was a one of the rare hidden classes. Incidentally, the guild also had basic slave as a class, Nellie being such an example, because some were already paying out of pocket to buy slaves to use as meat shields for Guild work.

“Is that so?” said Quinn. ”So you arrived here from another continent?”

“Yes, so there was this magic research institution that was conducting an experiment on teleportation. And at the time, I happened to be escorting some big-shots by the area when I was unfortunately caught up in the explosion… The next thing I knew, I was in the middle of the forest.”

“That sounds… really rough,” Quinn said, offering her sympathies while making a pained expression. “Here I was thinking your items and your appearance didn’t seem around from these parts. So it was because you were from another continent… I’m a little shocked.”

Yeah, even I felt it was a lame justification, but thanks to having activated my conversations skills, she didn’t seem to doubt me in the slightest… Well, even if I had told them the truth that I was from a different world, they’d likely have an even harder time believing me.

“In that case Shino-dono,” Quinn continued, ”you should think about registering with the Guild in this town! If you plan on travelling, it would serve as a good replacement for an ID, and with your abilities, even reaching A-rank wouldn’t be far off.”

“Hmm, why not. I do need to secure our finances too.” Thinking about it, I didn’t have any money that could be used in this world since all of Sengoku Online’s currency was in kan.2

As our aimless chatter filled the air, we at some point arrived at Kosuinen’s end destination, Port Sazan.

*karma*

“Right, good work you all. Get out the commission completion certificate, and I’ll sign.”

Govack took out the paper, “Here you go.”

“Ah, yes,” writing on them, Kosuinen handed them back, ” this seems all good. Here you go.”

Looking it over, Govack’s face twisted, “Kosunien, sir, what’s the meaning of this ‘C’ evaluation? The cargo was unharmed?”

“Hmph, though you could say monsters’ appearance was more than we had budgeted for, I still lost my beastkin girl’s arm… She was still my property then. Of course I’d subtract off my evaluation.”

“… Tch, no helping it then.”

“Ha, be grateful that I didn’t mark the request incomplete. Hahahaha.” With an evil smile curled on his face (or so I was convinced), Kosuinen left us and headed towards the merchant district. Likely on the way to deliver his cargo.

“What an aggravating guy…” I spat out, glaring at the air in the direction he had left in. ”Just thinking a bastard like him was once Nellie-chan’s master ticks me off.”

Nellie quietly pulled at the sleeves of my tunic, “But Goshujin-sama… now I belong to you.” Like the very embodiment of a cat, Nellie nuzzled her neck against my back.

Ahh! Nellie,” I turned around immediately hugging her tightly with both arms,” you’re just too cute! But you know Nellie, could you call me not by Goshujin-sama, but by my name?”

“Uhm… uhh… Shino, sama?”

“Yes, yes, one more time.”

“Shino-sama…”

“Mhm, you’re so adorable.”

*karma*

*karma*

“Uhm… Shino-dono?” Govack’s voice brought me back to my senses. I had almost lost myself in a world of just Nellie and I.

“Pa-pardon me… I couldn’t help myself.”

“What are your plans now? If you’re planning on registering with the Guild, we could take you along yeah?”

“Ah, yes, if you could.“

Although it pained me to, I extracted myself off of Nellie’s cushy body, and, without letting it show on my face, followed after Govack’s group.

“Oh, so it’s like a proper place after all,” I said to myself, ”almost like a city hall.”

“Well, this is the second largest town next to the capital after all,“ said Govack responding to my offhand remarks with sincerity, ”not really sure what a ‘city hall’ is though. Come in this way.”

Following after his party, Nellie and I entered the guild. The inside was an area with several windowed counters, much like a government office, placed alongside a dining hall.

“New recruits should go to that counter, if I recall.”

As if hearing Govack’s words, the lady behind the counter replied, “Yes, this counter is fine.”

“Ah, not for me. This lady here would like to register.”

“Very well. Please fill out this form with your name, age, sex, and class you are applying for. Place of birth is optional.”

“Understood.” I took the paper form and began to fill it out. It seems the writing is the same as Japan’s. Thinking about it now, people could understand what I was saying, though perhaps it was to be expected of the world closest to my own.

“About that, the lady told me she’s from another continent, and her class is something called a kunoichi… Will that cause any problems?”

“A, kunoichi? Please wait a moment…

We have no records of a kunoichi class here. It would be a completely new class. We won’t be able to grant you any skills with magic, but if you still would like continue, we can register you and your new class.”

“Yeah, I’d fine with that.” I already had more skills than I would ever need anyway.

“Thank you very much. Should you provide us with information regarding your class’s skills, we will waive the registration fee.”

“Hmm, would I have to reveal all my skills?”

“Not at all, just one skill exclusive to the class would be sufficient. Or five non-class-exclusive skills.”

“Then that’s no problem, I’ll share the information. What do I need to do?”

“Thank you very much. Please place your hand on this divination stone,” taking out a pure white, mousepad-like stone, she continued, “and bring to mind the image up of the skill you would like to share.”

Deciding on a which kunoichi skill, I placed my right hand on it.

“The scan is now complete. The skill you offered is:

Shadow Bind, mana cost 0
Able to cast after a shuriken or similar weapon is lodged into a target’s shadow.
Once cast, it seals the target’s movements.
Relevant Attributes: Mid, Dex
Resistance Attributes: Mid
Base Success Rate: 80%

Is that corec— eeehhh!? Paralysis effect, 0 mana cost, and a success rate of 80%!? I-i-is it really alright!? Are you really okay divulging this ultimate-like skill to us!?”

“I don’t mind at all.”

“Unbelievable, what a crazy skill,” said Govack, wholly impressed.

But it wasn’t as if anyone over here were familiar with what ninjas3 could do, I myself had resistance to it, and it wasn’t even my strongest skill. And indeed, in Sengoku Online, it was a skill that didn’t see much use.

“Tha-thank you. Now then, I only need transcribe the information from your form onto your guild card… Just as before, please place your hand over here.”

Compared to the stone before, I put my hand on the much smaller… plaque the size of a smartphone she handed me.

“Please wait one minute… It is now ready.”

In that minute, the smartphone-sized plaque turned pitch black.

“Depending on your class, your card does change color, but such a dark black is really quite unusual… Please hold your card and imagine the words ‘open status’.”

“Alright.” Open status… hmm.

*karma*
Name: Shino Kagura
Sex: Female
Age: 21
Total Level: 85
Guild Rank: F
Class Level: Kunoichi 85

Status
HP
MP
Str
Vit
Dex
Spd
Int
Mid
*karma*
2500
N/A
17
15
18
18
13
18

*karma*
Titles
‘Equilibrium of the Cosmos’
‘Kunoichi Master’

Special Skills
Character Change
Mana Release
Mana Transfer

Type Affinity
Shadow +50%
Fire +20%
Light −10%

Blessings
World’s Unnamed Overseer
*karma*

Somehow, I get the feeling that it’d be unwise to show anyone else the contents of this card.

My MP is ‘N/A’!? And what’s with this ‘Equilibrium of the Cosmos’ title!? Though the Character Change skill is was probably there so I could make use of my alternative characters…

“Uh, uhm.”

“Yes?”

“When I want to use this as an ID, must I show everything?”

“Ah, no, you are able to hide everything but your name, class, guild rank, sex, and age. In that minimal state, it will still serve as an ID without any issues. Additionally, Guild staff are also unable to view hidden sections except under extenuating circumstances. We guarantee your privacy.”

Alright, I should be safe for the most part then.

“If everything looks in order, then I would like to continue explaining each section.”

“P-please do.”

“Ahem, in that case…
Name, sex, class level, and age all mean what you expect,
total level is calculated from the experience gained from all your classes,
your guild rank is your rating within the Guild,
ranks range from EX, S, A, B, C, D, E, to F highest to lowest,

because you just joined Shino-sama, you are an F-rank,
incidentally, C-ranks are veterans, B-ranks are the elite, A-ranks are the top elite, S-ranks are the equivalent heroes, and EX-ranks may as well be legends,

HP is your life force,
MP is your possed mana,
Str is physical strength,
Vit is vitality or robustness,
Dex is dexterity,
Spd is speed,
Int is intelligence,
Mid is willpower,

for all stats except HP and MP, the average for adults is between 8 and 12, and for humans, the max is 18 in each stat,
the higher your level, the more difficult it becomes to raise it,

titles are like second name given at the will of the gods,
special skills are specific to the individual or to the class, and will persist in effect without needing ever to equip them into your skill slots,
type affinity affects your attack power and damage received for the associated type,
positive affinity is of course more desirable, and those who possess any affinity of over +20% are quite rare,
and blessings refer to divine protection granted by gods or beings of equal stature.

That should be about everything to give a rough idea.”

“T-thank you for taking the time to explaining everything to me…” Amazing, she said everything in one breath without stopping.

“Should you wish to take on any requests, please proceed to the next counter to apply.”

“Okay, thank you.”

“Great, it’s seems you’ve registered. Next is this counter.” As if waiting for me to finish registering, Govack led me to the counter next door in charge of commissions.

“It’s already this late, so I’d like to leave looking for work for tomorrow.”

“Ah, that’s not it, Shindo-dono. Actually, the scale vipers you defeated are the target of an ongoing neutralization request, and if you bring what was designated as the kill proof, you can receive guild points and other rewards in exchange.”

“Is that so?”

“This is your share of five gems… The gems on the scale viper’s head serves as the proof for them. Try handing them in to the counter along with your card.”

“You took the time to gather my share as well?”

“Well, you did save our lives, so we had to do something in return, though it’s not much… We didn’t get much off this job, so please let us off at just that.”

“No need to worry, this is already plenty. Thank you.”

In contrast to his outer appearance, he was quite attentive to the small things. Much appreciated.

In short fashion, I went to the commissions counter to submit the five gems, “Can you process these?”

“Yes, these gems are… from scale vipers? And five of them! … Please wait a moment.”

The lady behind the counter disappeared deep inside and, after some rummaging, returned holding two bags.

“This small one contains two gold coins, and this large one contains 50 silver coins. One scale viper is 5,000 kram totaling to 25,000 kram.”

“Thank you very much,” I replied to the counter lady. Then I asked Govack next to me, ”By the way, about how much is this worth on this continent?”

“Let’s see, with 10 kram, one could buy a meal at quite an appetizing restaurant. With 100 kram or 1 silver coin, you could spend a night with two meals at a middle-grade inn.”

“… It’s quite the amount then.”

“It is. But adventurers have a lot of expenses between weapons, armor, and medical treatment… It’ll be gone before you know it if you’re not careful.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

But at least now I found a path to the life together with Nellie.

So many things happened today. I felt exhausted, especially mentally. Can this day just be over so I can find an inn to pass out in squeezing Nellie like the lovely mass of pillow she is.


Author: Shino-san is walking straight down the path of a degen at a terrifying pace (lol).

1 Non-Player Characters (NPCs) are citizens of the game world that do not have a player behind their actions. Typically not used to refer to monsters.

2 Kan, also known as kanme, is a unit of measurement for weight in the context of the real world. As of 1891, following the Japanese government’s efforts to standardize it, the kan is equivalent to exactly 3.75 kilograms or 1000 momme (the standard unit of measurement in the pearl industry).

3 For those forgetful, kunoichis are a gender-specific term for female ninjas.


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Karma – 03

Chapter 3 – First Battle


“What… What on earth is that?”

“We were almost out of the forest—what’s a C-rank monster doing so close to the city! Any normal serpent would have been fine, but a scale viper…”

“Hurry up and rescue me! I’m paying top coinage for the lot of you!”

“We’ll do as much as we can… but please be prepared to abandon cargo and flee in the worst case.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! There’s forty rainbow ipomoeas1 in there! Just how much do you think…”

*Karma*

By the time I had arrived at where I had heard the scream from… the battle was already at its peak. Backed up against the the two-horse wagon stood a slightly plump man hiding in its shadow… and a group of three with weapons drawn trying to protect him. Against them were serpents that measured what could easily be over two-meters tall. Five to six strong with outward shells that shone like armor.

I called out to the the plump man who was closest, “Hello~… Would you like some assistance?”

“Woah!? Where did you pop out from…“ He nodded immediately, ”Well, whatever. I’ll reward you so hurry up and dispose of them!”

Hmm, a reward huh? Duly noted.

Let me activate Stealth and see what I can do. Sneaking behind a large one, I activated Surprise Attack.

Oh, I hadn’t equipped my weapon yet. Ah whatever, they looked weak anyway.

I moved in for the attack and sank a blade-hand chop. Its head detached from its body with a satisfying snap, rolling to the ground. It seemed like my Surprise Attack had triggered Critical Strike too.

“Wha—”

“Where did you— Who are you even?!”

“You did that… barehanded? Were the necks of scale vipers sliceable barehanded?!”

Though Stealth had faded as soon as I had begun my attack, it didn’t seem like it would pose any problems for me against an enemy of this level. Though the four remaining vipers had simultaneously turned to their attention to me as if having recognized me as a threat (the last was being kept in check by the sheer size of the male guard), they weren’t able to lay even a single scratch on me. Master Evasion seemed to be doing work.

“Ah, just leave them to me. You guys go help the tall guy over there.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! One against four—huh, you haven’t even broken a sweat… Alright, I don’t know who are you are but thanks! Quirley, we’re back to Govack! Be ready with healing spells for us!”

“U-understood Quinn!”

So their names were Govack, Quinn, and Quirley. The towering muscle of a man wielding a greatsword must be Govack, the glamorous silver-haired lady in snug-fitting leather armor and wielding something like a shortsword must be Quinn, and girl with chestnut hair the one garbed in a vibrant green manteau with must be Quirley. As I ruminated over the matter, my body was automatically dodging the vipers’ every attack and responding with Master Counter landing critical hit after critical hit.

“Yaaaa!!! Take this! Rock Cleave!!!”

Gale Slash!!”

”Bless us with good fortune! Minor Heal!”

Around the same time I beheaded the last viper on my end, the trio also seemed to have finished dealing with their one.

“Huff, huff, serves, you, right!”

“Hah, hah… They did have the ‘Rough’, ‘Evasive’, and ‘Paralysis Poison’ attributes after all… Even out of C-class monsters, three-attribute ones are particularly difficult.”

“Thanks for backing me up guys. As for the rest of them… Wait, those corpses, don’t tell me you…?”

“Yeah, the one who saved us earlier. By herself, she took out four alone in a flash.”

“Woah, unbelievable. And they’re all practically one-hit kills.”

“What astonishing prowess… thanks traveller, you really saved us.”

Just hearing those words born of the heart of praise and gratitude, I couldn’t help but feel prickly and uncomfortable…I only happened to land a chance to cheat my way into getting this power. Really a grade far from the skills they had risked their lives to forge.

“You’ve really outdone yourselves you dogs! Now stop dawdling—we’re heading out. We need to reach town and make the delivery before the day is out.”

I see, so the chubby man was the merchant and the three who fought were his guards he hired.

“Ah, wait a moment please… The gem located on their foreheads serves as proof of their neutralization. We should at least take those before leaving… Quirley, go to our driver and tend to her wounds in the meantime.”

“Okay.”

Huh? So they had a fifth with them. I following after Quirley to the back of the wagon… and saw a petite girl collapsed by the wagon.

Ohh, cat ears and a tail. The devilishly cute— Wait, her arm was on the verge of falling from its socket. How painful.

“Hmph, leave her! Her arm is already in tatters. Even if we were to heal the wounds, she wouldn’t be able to drive the wagon with just one hand.”

“… She’s your slave,” said Govack.

“That’s exactly why! What use is she! I can’t even sell her to a brothel because no one would bed a beastkin… I had only hired her as a guard and to take care of chores and yet she’s already become useless in blink of an eye. Nothing but a wasted expense.”

“… You—”

“Stop it Govack. Master Kosuinen, could we at least us take her with us to town? If you think about it, abandoning her here would serve only to spread bad rumors.”

“Hmph, I guess it can’t be helped.”

Quinn was appealing to the sensibilities of that merchant, Kosuinen’s was it (lol). Good job!

But wasn’t there something I could do for her? At the rate things were going, even if we took her to town, her fate would be left to the streets, a death sentence for sure. What’s more, it seemed she was valued bottom of barrel even among slaves, and, with just one arm left, she likely hadn’t many prospects.

Wait, maybe there was something. I called up my inventory to look over what I still had from Sengoku Online. If I could make use of these

I readied myself and called out to Kosuinen (lol), “Uhm.”

“Huh, oh! It’s you again! What you showed back there was quite the spectacle. What a display of prowess! You have my thanks… What do you say, rather than those three fools, how does becoming my company’s personal guard sound?”

“Ahaha, my apologies, I’m a little busy with other things at the moment… But as I was saying.”

“Hmm? What is it?”

“You had mentioned a reward earlier if memory serves?”

“Huh? Ahh, did… I?” his face stiffened.

“You, had, mentioned, it, did, you, not?”

“Ahh, I-I did! But I’m currently still mid-delivery, so I don’t have any coins on hand.”

What stubborn fat-ass. “Worry not. I request not money, but her. Would you entrust the girl to me?”

“The… girl? The beastkin girl? Just her and nothing else?”

“Indeed, however in consideration of possible future disputes over ownership, I would like all formal produces for an official transfer be conducted. Would that be acceptable?”

“Ahh, if that’s all you want then… Nellie! Come here!”

Under Quirley-san’s healing, it seemed the bleeding had stopped for the cat-eared lass, Nellie-chan. Her white hair that drooped to her shoulders was dyed in blood. Just looking was hard to  bear.

“Now listen carefully, that lady there is saying that she’s going buy a useless deadbeat like you. Be grateful you even got this chance.”

Gulping, Nellie-chan nodded.

“Then let us begin the contract transfer procedures… Place your hand on the beastkin’s collar.”

“Like this?”

“That is sufficient. Now that I think about it, I didn’t get the chance to hear your name.”

I briefly thought about using an alias but said, “It’s Shino Kagura.” Considering that it was a formal ritual, I thought better of it and gave my real name instead.

“Alright then, let us begin.” Kosuinen also placed his hand on Nellie-chan’s collar, “God of Contracts, Promys, I pray to thee. I, Kosuinen, one of Secovytch’s merchants and owner of the slave Nellie, hereby transfer her ownership to Shino Kagura-dono for no required compensation. Shino Kagura-dono and slave Nellie, do you acknowledge?”

As if in response, a light began to permeate the room centered around Nellie’s collar and drew me in. Fascinating.

“I acknowledge,” said Nellie, shaking me from my stupor.

I see, so this is an “official transfer.” Then I too ought to reply, plus the two of them seemed to be waiting for it, “I, uh, acknowledge.”

“Excellent. With that, we’ve completed the transfer. You can now use her in whatever way you please.”

“How could you say that? How could one think to do anything but fawn all over her,” I said, my voice resounding clearly, still quietly gazing into the light as it settled. ”Such a bewitchingly fluffy tail! And these blissfully cushy ears! How could one not shower her in love?!”

“Well, uh… to each their own I guess… ” said Kosuinen, a little startled by my sudden outburst of love for the likes of a beastkin, a single-armed one no less.

“Shino-dono was it?” said the blond-haired man as he offered his hand. “Thank you so much for… for well everything. My name is Govack, level 18 warrior.”

Sturdy-looking and carrying a greatsword upon his back, a warrior… He probably was also extending his thanks for taking in Nellie. A good person unbecoming of his grim-looking face. Wait, he said level 18 right? So this world has a level system? First magic, now levelling, this really is an RPG world.

“My name is Quinn,” said the silvered-haired lady. “I’m a level 15 ranger. Allow me to also express my thanks Shino-san.” She saluted with her shortsword.

Glamorous with leather armor that fit her to a tee. Ahh, now that I wasn’t distracted, wasn’t she drop-dead gorgeous. This lady. Even as a woman, I could feel myself getting a little light-headed.

“While I don’t have any money, for now at least, let me offer you this as a token of my gratitude,” wrapping me in both arms, she kissed me on the ear.

Oh my god! This was too much for a village lass like me. If I were to go down this yuri route, just what else could be awaiting me!

She giggled and said, “You’re so cute when you’re embarrassed.”

Running to my side, the girl with chestnut hair looked up at me, her eyes full of respect, and said, “Uh, uhm, thank you very much. My name is Quirley. I’m a level 13 healer.”

The girl in a vibrant green manteau, Quirley. If Quinn-san were a luscious red rose, then she would be an immaculate white chrysanthemum. Though appealing in a completely different way, Quirley too was incredibly adorable.

If it weren’t for her ears, even Nellie would be incredibly attractive among humans. Were all girls in this world beauties by default? Then wouldn’t that basically rate my charm at weed level status in this world? How depressing.

“Uhh,” she said with a voice devoid of emotion, probably due to the shock of losing an arm, ”my name is Nellie. I’m a level 1 common slave. Pleased to meet you… Goushujin-sama.”

Just wait a little longer, don’t worry.

“Kagura Shino… though perhaps, it would be better to introduce myself as Shino Kagura over here. Kunoichi. My level is secret.” Not knowing what my Sengoku Online level would mean for this  world’s levelling system, I decided to leave it ambiguous.

“I understand. I imagine it can turn out to be quite the hassle to deal with the flood of job requests that come once they find out you’re high level. No offense at all. But kunoichi huh? I’ve never heard of it. Quinn, have you?”

“It’s a first for me too. But judging from the battle earlier, it seems to be a light-armor class that focuses on speed and use of skills yet is a tier above light-class warrior at the same time… perhaps it’s even a hidden class.”

… I didn’t quite follow. Tier above? Did she mean like an addable crafting profession? Perhaps the system worked the same way how RPG’s let you change professions.

“Y-yeah, something like,” I said, trying to pass it off. I’ll be sure to ask Nellie-chan about it later. Hastily changing the topic, “A-anyway, we should first focus on healing Nellie.”

“… My apologies,” Quirely said on the verge of tears, “this is the best I can do with my skills, anymore is…”

“It wasn’t my intent to blame you! Rather, I just so happen to have gotten my hands on a quality healing item, but I won’t know if it’s effective or not until she tries it…” Wait, why was everyone making such surprised expressions? Especially you Kosuinen.

“Y-you’re going to use something so expensive on a slave… A magical item that could restore lost body parts?!”

“Ah, well like I said, I’m not sure it’ll work without trying.” Whoops, was it abnormal to use healing items on slaves?

Looking through my inventory, I spotted some pills I had made while on my herbalist while replenishing my stock and took a few tablets out.

Panacea, cures all abnormal effects.
Analeptic, completely revitalizes one’s stamina.
All-recover, restore lost body parts (only one part per use).

Though town shops sold each for quite the price, I could make them for free ignoring the labor time costs thanks to my kunoichi’s gathering and herbalist’s production skills.

That self-proclaimed world’s overseer did mention they would try their best to recreate my Sengoku Online data, in which case… Moving my arm to make it seem as if I had pulled something from out my pouch, I placed one of each tablet into Nellie’s left hand and told her, “Please swallow this.”

“Ex, excuse me! One such as myself cannot possibly accept such expensive medicine!”

“… Nellie, aren’t you my slave?”

“Y-yes.”

“Then be quiet and swallow. I am not one to skimp on looking after that which is mine.”

“Al… right,” finally conceding as if having resigned herself, Nellie swallowed all three tablets.

The effect was immediate.

Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Nellie whole began to shine brightly, and, one by one, all of her bruises began to disappear.

“It burns! Goshujin-samaaaaaa.”

Everything was going to be fine, r-right? Though she probably was overreacting a little, perhaps she would calm down a little if I hugged her?

“Don’t worry Nellie, everything is going to be alright.” I hugged her and gently patted her back.

“Ahhhh…”

Once the light had faded, I looked over to see if Nellie had calmed down, The skin that regrew on right arm is looking glossy and wonderful.

“… Oh man,” said Govack, ”isn’t that amazing! For it to have such a dramatic effect, as expected of an elixir-level item.”

“… If you were to sell this,” said Quinn, ”you’d be rich in an instant. Nevermind common slaves, you could even buy a cream-of-the-crop sex slave.”

“Sob, I’m a familiar of a healer.”

I was surprised at the guard trio’s words. I’d never thought that healing items in this world would be that valuable. Although I could opening a business selling them and secure myself a lucrative income source if it came down to it, I think I’d rather pass except as a last resort… I wouldn’t want myself to stand out too much.

“Nellie, are you alright? Does anything feel out of place?”

“Yes, Goshujin, sama, there doesn’t, seem to be…” she said, staring blankly at her restored arm. “Goshujin-sama, it’s a bit strange. I can see the flow of mana even more clearly than before. And… I know I shouldn’t really possess that much mana, yet now it feels like I’m overflowing with it.”

Hmm? A side-effect of the item? I thought to myself when I heard the ding of a message received.

‘You are now an output gate for mana, even something innocent like a well-intentioned hug will bestow mana, magic in other words, to the other. Please proceed prudently.’

Geez, I thought you said we wouldn’t be in contact again… Oh—so what was happening to Nellie wasn’t because of using the item but because of me!

“Goshujin-sama…”

Those eyes are too full of temptation, Nellie-san.

“Goshujin-sama, I vow to devote my entire life to you! Even should this contract be revoked, this body is yours now and forever…” Bending to her knees, she kissed the top of my foot.

“Y-you don’t have to do such things… but well, I’m not too familiar around these parts since I’m not from this continent, so I’d be overjoyed if you would help me out.” I extended my hand to help her back to her feet.

“Of course! Goshujin-sama, please feel free to ask anything of me!”

—I’ll keep it secret that she had slipped straight into my heart with that pledge and set it on ablaze.


1 Ipoomeas are a type of flower. Morning glory is one of its more common names, but that also refers to several other similar flowers.


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Karma – 02

Chapter 2 – Within a Forest


“Ugh…”

The sensation of the ground and the stench of summer grass open shook me awake.

“… What?”

Scanning my surroundings, all I saw were trees. Grass. A vast sky.

“Huh?”

I couldn’t make heads or tails of what was going on.
Just a second ago, I was inside the ninja mansion playing Sengoku Online…
And now, I was outside… collapsed, in the middle of a forest?
My village was fairly rural, so further down towards to the mountains one could find many places quite this wild…

“Even I wouldn’t go outside still wearing my ninja outfit.”

Right, weren’t these clothes I was wearing during the show we held for sword battle? All of my outfit was exactly as I had left after having taken off the the headband and the hood.

“I haven’t been kidnapped, have I? But then again, they wouldn’t just leave me alone outside without tying me up… Ah! My phone!”

I had just realized something incredibly important: the phone that had just been in my hand was nowhere to be seen.

“Ugh, all my personal information… And if my Sengoku Online account gets stolen, that’ll be the end of me!”

I better hurry back home and first thing get that phone frozen, I thought, when I heard a ding.

“Eh?”

A familiar sound. The ding of receiving a message.

“Huh, am I hearing things? But my phone’s nowhere to be seen—” A ‘message received’ window popped up before my eyes.

It was without a doubt the front screen of my smartphone, semi-transparent, floating in the air.

“Wha…”

As I stood lost for words, the message on that screen opened itself.

‘Dear Kagura-sama:
Though this may come as quite the surprise, you are now in a different world from the Earth where you once lived. This is not Japan but Falyias, an alternative world as you might call it.’

“Not only is this transparency hard to read but the message lacks an ounce of concern for my wellbeing! And what’s with this cringe chuuni setting! Straight out of a notebook of delusional fantasies that even the most angsty nerd would keep locked away.”1

“Not only is this transparency hard to read but the message lacks an ounce of concern for my wellbeing! And what’s with this cringe chuuni setting! Straight out of a notebook of delusional fantasies that even the most angsty nerd would keep locked away.”

‘Even if you put it that way, this is your reality now, delusional as it may be.’

“Responses come in real-time?! A chat client?!” I no longer knew what was going on anymore.

‘For starters, as Falyias’s overseer, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies. This sequence of events was truly just an unfortunate coincidence, and the fault indirectly lies with this world’s side.’

“…And?”

Thinking things through, even if supposing one did have the technology to create this air-like window, it wouldn’t be anyone in out in a forest like this in the middle of nowhere. Something definitely was abnormal about the situation. If that was the case, then gathering information was top priority.

‘Originally this world, Falyias, existed on the same wavelength as yours on practically the same phase. But just as your world proceed down the path of science, Falyias proceeded down the path of magic.’

“I see I see.”

‘… But constant use of magic and sorcery by humans and monsters slowly began to exhaust the mana supply of the world… and we were but a hair’s breath from complete destruction.’

“Mana?”

‘The basis of magic and sorcery, a type of energy present throughout the world. You could even call it the force through which the world exists as the world in reality.’

“And if depleted, what would happen?”

‘The power for existence itself would be depleted. It would be as if the world called Falyias had never existed in the first place.’

“… And don’t tell me I’m to do something about it? Talk about cliché summoning…”

‘You are mistaken, everything has already been taken care of.’

“What?!” I yelled. If everything has been taken care of, then just send me back already. Why even explain?

‘To be exact, the fact that you are here in this world is the very proof that everything is proceeding far better than we could have imagined.’

Wait, that makes even less sense.

‘I wrote earlier that the two worlds exist on closely related phases… But precisely because of how close, as if being pulled in by a magnet, Falyias drew ever closer to the mana-abundant Earth.’

“But mana seems like something so out of fantasy. I wouldn’t have thought that Earth would have any.”

‘The structure of your world’s reality do not allow magic to manifest itself given the way that things shook out. With mana having no way to be used much less to show traces of its existence, it began to build as time flowed forward. So much so in fact as to have adverse effects on your world in much the same way as its deficiency has had on this one.’

“So you’re telling me to bring your dangerously barren world together with my dangerously abundant world… to do something about this mana situation?”

‘Should the worlds be left to the whims of the forces of attraction, forget salvation, it would be a one-way trip set straight for destruction… Thus, your world’s overseer and I decided to each designate a part of reality as a point of contact through which to allow mana to trickle over, however…’

“However?” I had a bad feeling about this.

‘… All the conditions for said point of contact aligned on you… Kagura-san, it has been decided that you are to be byway through which mana will flow from Earth to Falyias.’

“What the heck is this!!”

‘M-my humblest apologies.’

“Precisely, on, me… You mean I can’t return home?”

‘At the present time, it is impossible considering the current violence of the influx of mana through you… But in approximately a thousand years, it should be possible.’

“A thousand years?! Not even the smallest speck of dust of my dead body will remain!”

‘Ah, that’s right. You now have essentially eternal youth due to the influx of mana. Nevermind 1000 years, you may even live to be 10000.’

“……”

‘Well, uh, how about this! I’ve taken the data from the device your hand was in physical contact with when you came over… your smartphone, and have created a pretty faithful copy of your Sengoku Online profile. With that, I thought you’d be able to acclimatize smoothly to life over here!’

“Wait? My Sengoku Online profile?”

‘That’s right. As your character’s name was the same and appearance already similar, it was but a simple task. Take it as a freebie.’

“Even if you say that… Well, if it’s all it does is help me to acclimatize then sure… Besides, wouldn’t be an angsty teen’s chuuni fantasy without it.”

‘No doubts or lingering regrets?’

“Well… I no longer have family there anymore after all. If you say I can’t return, then I’ll just move on looking forward—”

“Eeeeeeeek!” came a sudden scream interrupting us. It was a female voice from the middle of the forest. Yup, definitely textbook chuuni.

“So I guess this is where I go save her…?”

‘I merely oversee. It is not my place to tell you what to do. But, given your stats, it should pose you no challenge.’

“Alright, alright, I get it. I’ll get on it. Wouldn’t want this leaving me with nightmares…”

‘Incidentally, your skills can be used in the same manner as before, so… good luck… I cannot interfere anymore, so I doubt that we will be in touch.’

“Hey! Wait-”

With a click, the message’s window closed. What an irresponsible bloke.

“Sigh… He mentioned I could use skills right… Lemme see, Edit Skills… Woah.”

My phone’s screen popped up again, this time displaying the skill menu from Sengoku Online.

“Let me go with the ‘Trash Mobs’ preset for now.”

All the skills I had entered into ‘Trash Mobs’ were still as I had left them.

Selecting it, “Ohh, my body feels light. Looks like the movement effects of Gust are working.”

Gust, Fleet-Footed, Master Evasion, Critical Strike, Triple Strike, Surprise Attack, Fire Breath, Master Counter, Stealth, Dual Wielding.

I could feel the notifications of each skill being set steadily roll into my head.

Though there was still much to think over, I put those aside for the moment and set my sights on clearing this upcoming event.


1 The actual phrasing here is just chuuni setting ignoring the last sentence. Chuunibyou is a term now is used to describe those that mistakenly believe themselves in possession of magical powers or special attributes. Second-year middle school syndrome.


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Karma – 01

Chapter 1 – Prologue

Author: My name is Aoeh
This will be the first time I’ve written a story this long.
The story may involve a bit of yuri, violence, and cruelty.
You have been warned.


“… Be thou Mutou Jinnai-dono?”

Under the midday sun, a woman dressed in a typical ninja uniform greeted the ronin-looking man walking on the highway by the outskirts of town, haired in a knot.

“A shinobi huh…2 An agent of the Eichigo3 family no doubt. It is indeed Mutou Jinnai speaking.“

“Quick on uptake, admirable. Then nothing more need be said… I shall be claiming that head.”

The woman bent forward ever so slightly, gripping her shortsword4 in reverse, and rushed at the ronin.

“As if I would hand it so easily!”

He drew out his katana into a slash to intercept the woman’s shortsword. As the blades clashed, not the high-pitched screech of grinding metal but—

A disappointingly faint click could be heard instead.

*Karma*

“And that concludes the sword battle performance for this afternoon’s segment.”

The announcement managed to make its way in as far as the female staff room in the ninja mansion where I taking my break. I nodded and said, “And with that, today’s work is over.”

After double-checking the closing hours, I took my hood and headband off and hung them on the hook inside my locker.

*Karma*

Normally, wearing these pitch-black ninja clothes from sunrise till sunset would be highly impractical. What’s more, catching whiff of the news that a shinobi was approaching a samurai in broad daylight for a duel would cause any real shinobi to writhe in their graves. But if it was for visitor event for a tourist attraction, then it’s a different story.

Our small village, or rather tourist attraction, was located in Niigata Prefecture somewhere between Joetsu and Itoigawa. This ghost town, whittled away by depopulation chip by chip and but a hair’s breadth away from complete desertion, decided to rebrand itself as a ninja village to attract the youth and tourists in an attempt to revitalize itself.

Though our main sell was of course seeing ninjas, it wasn’t as if we had made them up and had no history of actual ninjas. This area used to be under the domain of the daimyo Uesugi Kenshin. And legends have it that the Nokigiru, a group rumoured to serve under the daimyo Kenshin as a secret intelligence agency, once resided here.

Two years ago, I, Kagura Shino (now 21), had been searching for a job in Niigata city since graduating from high school when I received news that my hometown had reinvent itself as a ninja village. Rejecting any pending tentative job offers, I returned to my hometown.

Now one might wonder why a young lass full of future would jump at the opportunity to work at ninja village. But even in a nothing-to-do village like my hometown, as its one saving grace, I still looked back fondly on watching the rebroadcasts of the historical dramas like Mitou Koumon5 and Hissatsu Shigotonin6 with my grandfather.

And to me who, like grandfather, like granddaughter, had proceeded smoothly down the path set from youth to become a full-fledged historical drama nerd, this news and working here were godsend.

“Kagura-san, I’ll be heading back first~,” said Kai through the door, one of the part-timers who had acted out the sword battle earlier with me.

“Take care~”

I ought to have a word with him, coming all the way to the women’s changing room, where someone just might be changing, only to say goodbye, but I guess I couldn’t really blame him as there was severe lack of young women in the village. If someone of even my looks is getting attention, I probably should cut him some slack.

“Well, putting that aside…”

I took out my smartphone out of the locker and started up an app.

Sengoku’s Ambition Online

An online game set in fictional Japan at the time of Sengoku era, the Warring States period. Although the phone version was released only recently, I had transferred my account and characters from the PC version, which I had already sank a lot of time into, so my level was quite high.

Level 85 ninja, level 76 exorcist, level 60 blacksmith, and level 77 herbalist.

One was allowed up to four characters per account. All of my characters were well past the so-called “master level” of 50. Because I had my blacksmith, I never ran into issues when it came to gearing everyone out. Even in a one-on-one fight with a boss class like those of Nobunaga or Ieyasu, I was confident I could win. But in actuality, I would have had to deal with those annoying minions that come with bosses so genuinely doing such a thing wasn’t realistic.

“Well then, which one you lovelies should play as today~”

Regardless of the character, I had decided to name each using my real name Kagura Shino. Because it by itself already sounded somewhat old-fashioned, I thought it surprisingly fit the aesthetic of the world quite well.

“Kunoichi-chan it is!”7

As I touched my phone to tap the picture of my kunoichi—

Just like that, the phone began to suck in my finger.


1 Ronin, a type of samurai. In this case it is not modern use to refer to a salaryman in transitional unemployment or student that failed exams for the next tier of education, but is reference to master-less travelling samurai vagrants.

2 In the feudal era assassins were generally referred to as ninjas, whereas Shinobi were specifically those that practiced Ninjutsu, the way of the ninja.

3 Eichigo is also the old name of Niigata Prefecture, where the real world portion of this story is set.

4 The shortsword is actually a toutasu, a single- or double-edged dagger typically used by samurai.

5 Mito Koumon is a period drama that first aired in 1969–1975 for 1227 episodes and named after the titular protagonist. It is an alternate name for Tokugawa Mitsukuni andis also the name of several other films and series.

6 Hissatsu Shigotonin, which translates to roughly the ‘Perfect Assassin,’ is a period drama that aired from 1979–1981.

7 Kunoichi is a more modern term for female ninjas; ‘ninja’ itself is not gender specific. It is said to derive from breaking up the character for woman 女 into the three recognizable constituent strokes くノ一 (in the correct stroke order) which is read as ku-no-ichi.


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