Chapter 1: Takatsuki Makoto leaves for the Great Labyrinth
“Evade”! ”Evade”! ”Evade”!
A swarm of goblins, orcs, and ogres were pursuing me. They all got angry expressions on their faces.
Well, anyone would be pissed off if a molotov was thrown at their dwellings, yes.
So I keep running. I see Lucy standing in the distance.
My job is to attract the monsters within Lucy’s range.
“Earth magic: Boulder!” “Fire Magic: Elemental Grant!”
Lucy raised her staff. In the air, a huge, red-burning boulder appears in the sky.
The monsters noticed something strange, but it was too late.
“Meteor Drop! Just blow it all up!”
Lucy-san, you are so excited. By the way, there is no such thing as magic that makes a meteor to drop. It’s just a name Lucy came up with. Ah, I don’t have time to be carefree!
Booooooooooom! and the monsters were blown away by a large burning rock.
The earth and sand flew up and the blast cleaved everything away. All that was left was a huge crater.
“As powerful as ever. That Meteor Drop.”
“Good job, Makoto! You lured about fifty demons with you today. Wasn’t that a close call?”
“….haha, I am alright,” I laughed helplessly.
“Well, let’s get back to the guild! Today is another reward-packed day!”
“But, we have to put out the fire first.”
The aftermath of Lucy’s magic was spreading all over the place. I put out the forest fire.
These days, water magic is the only way to go in these situations.
Thanks to spirit magic, though, I don’t have to be near water source, which is a good thing.
It’s not that I learned spirit magic to put out the fire.
Lucy and I are having dinner side by side at our usual skewer stand.
“Boss, one more ale,”
“You’ve been drinking a lot lately. Makoto.”
“I’ve recently learned to appreciate ales.”
It’s still bitter, though.
Ale is about the feeling when it goes down your throat (or so someone said).
Haha, if you know how good ale tastes, you’re quite the adventurer.
“Hmmm, I’m not a fan of ale.”
Lucy is drinking a fruit cocktail. The menu used to not be available in this restaurant, but the boss made it for Lucy, a regular.
“Heey, Lucy-chan. Come have a drink with me.”
“Leave that mage apprentice. And form a party with starting tomorrow.”
“Your magic was awesome today!”
The adventurers around were talking to Lucy.
It’s hard to believe that she’s the same problematic girl who was shunned by every party not long ago.
Mages who can use powerful magic are in high demand in any party.
“I’m not going to party with anyone but Makoto!”
And Lucy won’t party with anyone but me in a disciplined manner.
Halfway through the ale, I felt a little cracking up.
“Oh, you’ve been drinking,” a middle-aged adventurer spoke to me.
“Lucas-san, thanks for the hard work”
Yesterday, they said they had killed a water dragon that was attacking fishermen in Lake Shimei.
I have yet to see a dragon since I came to the other world. But I’m sure they are strong.
I wonder if I will be able to fight a dragon one day? I guffawed at the glass and emptied it.
(…… bitter) I stare blankly at the empty glass.
“Hey, Makoto. You just broke the record for the fastest iron ranks in the Adventurer’s Guild of Makkaren, and you look so gloomy.”
Yeah. Me and Lucy are now Iron Rank. I’m a so-called “intermediate adventurer”.
“You know, that bastard Makoto, he’s just leeching off Lucy-chan’s magic, isn’t he?”
“He’s a mage apprentice, but he’s lucked out max.”
“Shh, if you say too much, he’ll hear you.”
I have ‘eavesdrop’ skill, so I can pick up the unnecessary voices.
Can’t you guys not talk behind my back more distantly?
“Hey! Makoto is amazing that’s why!! Don’t make fun of him!”
Lucy, who got good ears by default, got mad at the adventurer for talking behind our backs.
“Just let it go,”
“But ……,” Lucy said, looking unconvinced.
“Those guys have been stuck in the bronze ranks for about two years. I think they’re jealous of Makoto. It’s a shameful thing to be sneaking around and talking behind your back.”
Lucas-san also sympathized with me in a dumbfounded voice.
Marie-san hugged me.
“Your big sister here is glad you’ve been drinking with her lately.”
“I’m a weak drinker, so just a couple of drinks.”
I don’t get stronger at all, even though I drink. Even though Lucy is getting a little stronger. I wonder if the strength towards drinking has something to do with my status?
Or rather, I don’t like drinking that much. Still, I’ve been drinking lately because of …… mood issues.
“You look like you’re in some kind of trouble. You should talk to the Guild onee-san for help.”
Marie-san whispers in my ear with her arms around my neck.
“Hey, Marie! I am the one who listens to my party mates’ worries.”
“Well yes, but, you know, it’s easier to talk about these things with someone older, right?”
“I’m older than Makoto!”
“It’s only by a few months, right? Not the same age. By the way, isn’t it about time you had an intermediate dungeon?”
“AS-I-SAID! That’s something for the both of us to decide!”
“Boss ,more ale! Marie-san’s glass is emptying fast!”
“Me too, another one! Lucy is tensing up. Oh, come on, you’re going to get crushed.”
“Oh, you’re getting popular, Makoto.”
Lucas-san goes hahaha as he laughs out loud.
Lately, Lucy and Marie-san have been arguing with each other.
It’s not so much a quarrel, but more like Marie-san is teasing Lucy.
Well, at the end of the day, it doesn’t look like I’m being popular.
Thanks to this, the eyes of the male adventurers are piercing.
“Lucas-san, how can I become stronger?”
I blurted out my recent troubles.
“Hmm? I think you’re strong enough, though. You’ve defeated a gryphon, you’ve defeated a thousand-year-old chimera, and you’re the envy of the other bronze adventurers.”
They looked at me like, “What the hell is this guy talking about?”
“Jean defeated the Griffon and Nina-san defeated the Chimera.”
“But they wouldn’t have beaten it without you, would they? That’s what I’ve heard.”
“Hmmm, I’m not so sure about that. I’m sure Lucy’s fire power has a lot contribution than I do.”
Both, during the event of Griffon and Chimera, Lucy’s fire magic was the deciding factor.
“That’s what a party is all about, you know? There are different roles for support and attacker. Both are important.”
“Well, I understand, but ……”
I gulped down the ale.
“Boss, one more ……”
“Gotcha, but don’t drink too much.”
“This will be the last …… for today ……”
It’s true though, I am quite drunk. Head’s spinning. It’s not good, I don’t have enough self-control.
Lately, I’ve been doing nothing but decoying and cleaning up (putting out fires), leaving Lucy to do the attacking.
The last time I defeated a strong demon on my own, it was an ogre.
It’s also a bit of a trap, though.
“What’s your level right now, Makoto?”
“I’m 20 now.”
“You’ve been an adventurer for less than a year and are level 20 in Iron rank.”
“What are you complaining about?”
Lucas-san and the boss look at each other in dismay.
“It’s not so much a complaint,”
I open my “Soul Book”.
“Oh, your soul book, Makoto-kun?”
“Marie-san, it’s bad manners to peek in without permission.”
“I’m a guild employee, so it’s okay – hehehe.”
No good, she’s completely drunk.
“Hmmmm……, but this status at level 20? Heh, it’s too low, eh, eh, ehhhhhhh!”
“What’s the matter, Marie?” Lucas-san also looks into my soul book.
“H-Here! His proficiency in water magic!”
“Hmmm, where ……, 99 …… eh?”
“I’ve never seen a magic proficiency level of 99.”
Boss said in an admiring voice. The three of them looked at me like I was a pervert.
“I knew it, Makoto is really amazing!”
Somehow, Lucy was proud of me.
Lucy already knows that I’m at 99 proficiency. But you know what?
“This is the source of my trouble.”
“Why?” Marie-san tilts her head.
“It’s not that strong, even at 99.”
Yeah, that’s right. Even for me, with my low magic power, my proficiency level will increase as long as I practice.
The maximum proficiency level is 99, so that’s it.
In the end, it’s just that the accuracy and activation speed of the magic has increased a bit. The overall power remains low.
I’ve worked hard to raise it, but honestly, it was a disappointment.
I was hoping to get a 99 proficiency level can-do bonus.
“I-I see. Then what about spirit magic?”
“I am also at a loss there.”
I’ve borrowed a book on spirit magic from Marie-san, but I can’t do it at all.
I can’t “see the spirits” that the old man giant god told me about.
I’m not sure if I can really do it.
“Yo, Makoto! How are you doing?”
“Lucy, as usual, your clothes are too revealing.”
Someone called me.
“What, you got a problem with that? Emily”
It was Jean and Emily, who had gone on an earlier adventure together.
Behind them, I see an unfamiliar brawler looking guy and a mage girl.
They seem to be Jean and Emily’s new party members.
(…… This was a bit of a shock to me too.)
I was hoping that we would be able to go on occasional adventures together in the future.
But Jean and the others quickly formed a separate party.
It’s my fault that I didn’t call out to them.
“I thought we’d have a meal together. But it looks like the seats are all full today.”
Jean says disappointed. The boss’s skewer stall doesn’t have many seats.
Me, Lucy, Lucas-san and Marie-san are sitting there. There are a few other customers. So it’s full.
“Looks like you’ve been earning quite flashily lately,”
Jean puts a hand on my shoulder and laughs at me. Was he such a refreshing one?
The sarcastic swordsman who bothered me in the past is no more.
“The one who’s flashy is Lucy. I’m the one behind the scenes.”
“There is no such thing as ……, well, I have heard the rumors,
Emily was making a face on how to describe the situation.
She can read the air. She may have guessed that I was feeling down.
“Well, let’s both strive for the Silver rank!”
Jean smiled brightly and went away to another store.
The brawler and the mage woman bowed lightly.
They seem to be junior adventurers who had recently become adventurers and got along with Jean after he took care of them. A swordsman, a brawler, a mage and a priest. It’s a nice party.
Marie-san said, “Hmm, I thought Jean-kun wanted to be in a party with Makoto-kun.”. That’s what I thought, too.
“No. You know that I used to be in the party with Emily and we didn’t get along,” says Lucy. It’s true, Lucy is an ex-Jean’s party and a defector.
But I guess it would work now. Lucy’s magic has improved, and I see her and Emily go to lunch together often.
(It looks better than me and my party of two, though.)
I’ve fallen into negative thinking. This is not good.
“I will be going to bed for the night. Lucy, good night.”
“Huh? Umm, yeah. See you………”
“Tomorrow, we’ll take a day off. We’ ve been making a lot of money lately.”
“Yeah, right. Well, let’s go shopping together in the city…..”
“I’m going to show up at Fuji-yan’s tomorrow.”
“Okay, see you…..”
I trudged into the guild’s resting area.
‘You got rejected!”
“Shut up, Marie!”
“Alright, let’s have another drink!”
I thought I heard such a voice from behind me.
–The next day.
“I’m sorry, Takatsuki-sama. Master is absent today. ……”
When I went to Fujiwara Company’s store, I found that Fuji-yan was not there.
Nina, who took his place, looked crestfallen.
I am at fault for going there without an appointment.
“What time will Fuji-yan be back?
“About that, it seems to be a big transaction or something, so he won’t be back for a couple of days. ……”
“Is that so..”
That’s a shame. The only person I could spill out my complaint to was away. What could I do, maybe I should go hunting for goblins solo today? That’s what I was thinking about.
“By the way, Takatsuki-sama! Look at this.”
With a smile on her face, Nina-san shows me something shining on her chest.
“Yes! Thanks to the blessings of the gods of your acquaintance, I was able to attain the gold rank!”
“Congratulations on that ……”
That’s amazing. The gold badge is the highest rank that a branch of the guild can issue.
Platinum and higher ranks can only be certified at the guild’s headquarters in King’s Landing.
In other words, Nina-san has reached the highest level that can be given by Adventurer’s Guild in Makkaren.
“No, honestly, with my abilities, I thought the Silver rank was the end of the line. You never know what’s going to happen in life, huh-.”
“No, no, Nina-san’s fighting skills were amazing.”
That footwork would be the reason why her rank got up.
”Master was also very enthusiastic about starting a big business with the magic stone he got the other day, and it’s all thanks to Takatsuki-sama!”
Nina-san praises me with a big smile. But rather than feeling happy, I feel a little empty. Everyone is doing well. On the other hand, I’m …….
“…… then please say hello to Fuji-yan on my behalf.”
“Yes! Please Come again!”
The smiling Nina-san saw me off, and I left Fuji-yan’s store.
My plans for today are gone.
In the end, I didn’t feel like hunting goblins, so I spent the day training in the town square.
I was hoping Lucy would be there too, but she wasn’t.
At the end of my training, I offered my daily prayer to the Goddess.
Lying down, I check my “Soul Book”.
[Life span: 11 years.]
Slightly longer. It’s probably the result of daily monster hunting.
[Water Magic: Proficiency: 99]
And it stopped. There has been no change since I hit the top a month ago. I thought it might be over 100, but this seems to be the highest value.
As for the rest, there are low statuses with no substitute.
(I wonder what to do…)
Arriving in another world, I was thrilled at first.
Later, I was shocked to learn of my low status in the temple.
I trained for a year, but I couldn’t get that strong.
Still, I managed to be an adventurer, using the skills I had trained.
Recently, the reputation of those around me has been rising.
I don’t have any major problems with it. But.
(I wonder if it was like this…….)
It was fun, until a while ago.
The day I defeated my first monster.
The day I was given an uncool nickname for the first time.
The day I made my first companion.
The day I almost died for the first time and received the goddess’ blessing.
The day I was able to go on an adventure with my classmate.
It was all very exciting. I’m …………………… bored these days.
While I was thinking about it, a sudden feeling of sleepiness came over me.
—Part I end—
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