RotTS 11

Well, seeing as that SAOP is out, expect no output for quite some time from today onwards.

Meanwhile, enjoy the longest chapter so far. Now you know why it took so long. ^^ It ends on a somewhat happy note.

Part 11

"―― Come over here, Nezuo, Gutto! After all no matter how much Sake you drink you won't get drunk!"

The person shouting in that voice which seemed to contradict the contents of his words. Indeed, it was true that even if we drank many litres of wine in Aincrad our bodies wouldn't ingest any alcohol, but occasionally there would be people who got drunk. In fact, the high tension voice and commotion that slipped through the slightly open door was similar to groups of students that POP in the shopping distict for a drinking session after classes in the real world.

I strived to listen harder(literally pricked my ears harder-personal note), the reply "Y…… yes" could be heard in a quiet voice. The volume of the noise decreased for a short while, before cheers and applause resounded.

Based on this situation, it seems like around five of the blacksmith Nezuha's acquaintances had been waiting in this bar, and they seemed like close friends. Somehow the Lone Wolf(although not the image of the carnivorous kind) impression of the crafter class, was outside my expectations. I was curious about his comrades' character build(configuration-personal note), which was of course impossible to find out through their voices alone.

I risked myself even further, as I peeked in from the top of the swing door to glance momentarily at the inside of the wine shop. Blinking once like a camera taking a picture, I immediately pulled my head back out.

As I had expected, there was only one group of players within that confined enclosure. Pretending to be a customer while rushing into the shop would have attracted a large amount of attention. At the table furthest to the right, there were six people, including Nezuha who sat with his back facing the entrance. The other five people were clad in leather and metal armor for battle ――.

It was not strange that they were different. In an MMORPG, it was extremely common to have a mixture of craftsmen and combatants. Although you couldn't make a guild before clearing a certain quest on the third floor, there were plenty of players who had formed coalitions and groups…… or should I say that solo players like Asuna and me were now a minority.

If a blacksmith and a merchant were comrades, the maintenance of equipments and the sale of dropped items would be very easy,  and the producer's material and items could be got for a cheap price as a merit as well. Which is why, Nezuha having other comrades, and among those comrades were of the combat class, there was no feeling that they shouldn't be together…… However, there was an uncomfortable feeling in my chest that refused to go away.

While I was trying to determine the cause of it, Nezuha's comrade who was drinking from a large mug said something I was interested in.

"…… So, Nezuo, How was business today?"

"Ah…… Y,Yes. I sold twelve of the weapons that I made…… and there were reasonable amounts of requests for maintenance and strengthening."

"Oh, Isn't that a new record!"

"Did we get ingots again!"

The other two men shouted, and continued to applaud. It was indeed peaceful, «A group of good friends after a hard day's work.» kind of scene. Although I did not recognize any of the five people aside from Nezuha because they weren't in the forefront clearing groups, having a skillfull blacksmith as a friend might eventually be useful.

―― In the end, was it just my suspicion…….

I was somewhat ashamed of the mutterings in my chest. Even if Nezuha used some kind of trick to deliberately spec down or destroy certain players' weapons, it would a scheme set up with this group's consensus, and I thought that there was no rational reason for them to do such a thing.

Although they were painful memories, the «Knight» Diabel who had gathered and coordinated the raid against the boss on the first floor went to the trouble of going through two people in an attempt to buy my beloved «Anneal Blade +6». And his reason for that was to prevent me from taking the last attack on the boss, which was what I found out when Diabel was dying.

In hindsight, as I eventually managed to defeat and pierce the Kobold Lord, obtaining the unique item «Coat of Midnight», there was a rational reason behind Diabel trying to reduce my combat ability.

On the other hand, Nezuha's comrades weren't even in the frontline clearing groups. They were obviously not in the position to obtain the LA from the floor boss, and weakening and destroying Ryufi-shi and Asuna's swords was unlikely to provide any merits.

―― So, everything that happened was by chance…… Probably…….

I silently sighed as i talked to myself, and was about to remove my hand from the swing door which had been kept barely open. But just before I did that,

"…………However, THAT is at its limit……"

Was what I heard in Nezuha's fine voice, and I pressed myself against the door and stopped moving.

Inside the store though, the noisy men's voices immediately reduced in volume. after a short moment of silence, the first man seemed to have some sort of reply, and whispered it in an inaudible voice. My left hand naturally exerted some force, and the angle of the door increased to twenty degrees.

"――Though it is naive, it will definitely still work"

"That's right, Nezuo, there are no rumours at all yet"

As these words flew towards my ears, i held my breath. Discussing about the failed strenghthenings, made me lean in instinctively to concentrate on listening. At the encouragement(?) of the men, Nezuha finely replied.

"Any more than this, would be even more dangerous…… Besides, it's more than enough for the original……"

"We haven't been caught at all yet! You know how much that rug and blacksmithing tool set costs, right? we should earn that much, no, three times that at the very least……"

Original? Three times that……?

I couldn't understand the meaning of those words right away, yet I tilted my body further forward.

――Is what they are talking about related to the failure at strengthening? After all, Nezuha should have gone into the red to buy Ryufi-shi's end product, and didn't charge Asuna the usual fees. Based on all this, it wouldn't be likely that he made any profits…………

…………No. No, perhaps I somehow, misunderstood the basics………….

I thought up till that time. Inside the shop, a suspicious voice came.

"……Hm? Oi, somehow that door-"

I heard up to this point, before I returned the swing door to it's original position as smoothly as possible, and immediately jumped to the right. As I stuck to the nearby tree on the street and activated my «Hiding» skill, the bar door swung open as if repelled from inside.

The head that emerged, was that of the enthusiastic male leader who was beside Nezuha. His large physique looked rounded in his Banded Armor, at the top of his head lay a sharp bascinet, it was a humorous outfit, but somehow his eyes were sharp. His thick eyebrows furrowed together, staring down the scenery around the shop forcefully.

When those eyes reached the tree where I was hiding, the bottom of my view's hiding rate decreased to 60 percent. Although there was no physical dangers since I was in the area, at the moment i was trying to avoid alerting them. Because, in the end, somehow I managed to catch hold of «Nezuha and friends» scheme. Although it was very little headway ―― at the very least, I only got an idea of their purpose.

As long as the man's eyes continued to gaze at the trees by the street side, the hidden rate continued to decrease. At around 40 percent, he would probably feel odd about the contour of the tree trunk. While staring at the numbers, I slowly moved my body, trying to move to the opposite side of the trunk. Ensuring that the rate remained around 50, I, slowly, slowly escaped from their line of sight.

somehow, I managed to get to the back of the tree, at the same time, the leader gazed away from the trees, and the numbers suddenly rose back up to 70. A few seconds later, as soon as i heard the sound of the swing door closing, I dashed away from the bar, escaping all the way to a back alley a block away.


Leaning against the wall, i used the sleeves of my coat to wipe of the virtual cold sweat as I caught my breath. Thinking that Argo the rat-jou's job would be to sneak around like this daily, I don't think I'll change my job to an information seller.

That said, for the time being I was acting as a spy yet the mission was possible. Nezuha's main base of operations ―― would most likely be in the inn on the second floor of this bar ――, All his comrades's existence was exposed, and even better, I obtained only a fragment of information regarding the question of strengthening failure as well as the trick behind it.

Of course, my ears only conditionally caught a part of the series of conversation regarding the trick, but if that was so, it would mean that they had a definite benefit from intentionally failing to strengthen the weapons. Moreover, the +0 end product was bought back at double the market rate yet he still made profit.

If such a thing was possible…… were there people who made other requests to him, hiring him to reduce the combat strength of particular players……? No, that was unlikely. This operation was too devious, and in the first place it was too uncertain for the target to ask to Nezuha for strengthening. Since money is spent anyway, contacting the target directly like Diavel's method was more certain.

If that was the case, there was many other ways of doing it.

As my brain thought hard until smoke was likely to come out from my ears, the events minutes ago were replayed.

Nezuha received the Wind Fleuret from Asuna. Then he received the strengthening material, and while holding the sword in his left hand, put the materials with his right hand into the forge. The forge wa filled with an azure light, before the sword was unsheathed and its blade put onto the forge. When the light enveloped the blade, he moved it to the Anvil, and hit it with his hammer. After a few seconds, the sword gave off what sounded like a death scream, before being enveloped in a encircling shine ―― Cracking into pieces, vanishing.

I had witnessed that series of movements from the beginning to the end. I do not think that there was any space to perform any tricks. A possibility that the strengthening materials was stolen could be forced out, but the furnace filled with azure light was impossible to faked.


―― Wait. Hold on…… Although I was going to look at the full process, there was a moment…… where both Asuna and I, for a very short moment had unavoidably…….

In other words. This meant, the object that was stolen was not the strengthening material.


At that instant, a series of thoughts and steps flew at me, and landed on a certain point. I let out a low voice as I opened my main menu window with a strike, as I stared at the current time displayed in the corner.

The digital numbers were ―― 20:23.

―― There's still enough time!

Waving my right hand, I tried to send an instant message tab flying, but at the end of it I cleared the window. It was impossible to accurately convey my intentions through text. I can't help but to give my direct instructions in that place.

"I still can make it……!"

Once again, this time shouting aloud, I dashed out of the alley towards the north.

On the route that had taken me eight minutes while tailing, I covered it in three minutes by sprinting wholeheartedly, returning to the nostalgic eastern square of Urbus. However, I dashed from the north to the south without stopping, even dashing past the unusually designed streets and the surrounding stalls and houses. I also passed the bench where I saw Asuna's tears, and turned at a right angle after twenty meters. I ran into the inn she had checked in to, and ran up the stairs at the back three steps at a time

GJ to myself for having remembered the room number that i had heard just in case! While shouting, I rushed to the door with a 207 plate on it. Hitting without destroying it, I knocked. *Bang Bang Bang* However, as the «Door was Closed» , I still called out a few seconds after knocking for a while.

"Asuna, it's me! Open up!!"

Turning the knob without waiting for a reply, with the momentum I pushed the door open with I rolled inside, at the same time, I met the eyes of the person who just stood up from the plain bed. Her hazel eyes were opened wide, and as air began being inhaled through her lips, I BATAN! shut the door.

"――KYAAAAA!! "

That scream, did not even leak out a little because the door blocked it…… It was as if I was a criminal, or rather my actions were close to one, although I was doing everything for Asuna's sake.

Holding both fists in front of my chest, the fencer-sama continued screaming, with a white sleeveless shirt on top, and the bottom with a similar colored…… how to say it, soft and round shorts were what she was wearing. I would probably be judged safe because it was not underwear, I rudely entered and approached her to grab her narrow shoulders.

"Asuna, it's a transcendent emergency! there is no time, so just listen to what I say!"

At that point the scream finally stopped, and the rapier user's face, there seemed to be a hesitation of deciding between screaming louder or directly attacking me. I really didn't have the time, so I went straight to the point.

"First take out the window and change it into visible mode! quickly!"


"Come on, hurry up!"

With the fists that were still in front of my chest I grabbed Asuna's right hand, moved it to the correct position, and extended two fingers to manipulate in mid air. With a clear sound, a purple rectangle expanded out, but all I could see was a plain board. Now, I guided her to press a button which allowed other players to see the screen.

"But, that, How … … I, the door was properly, the lock…………"

She muttered as she was stunned, and I answered subconsciously.

"Asuna, you are still in a group with me as a party. The inn's door's default setting is «Guild and party members can unlock it»"

"W……Wha, You, this is the first……"

Standing beside the rapier user and quickly wrapping around, from a normal position, I stared at the main menu window which had visualized. Of course the configuration was similar to mine, but the skin has been customised using a floral pattern. Hardworking, huh, mine was still the default, I thought that for a moment, This is not the situation to think about that! and moved my line of sight.

To the right side of the window, a familiar equipment figure appeared. Since she was unarmed, most of them were empty. Passing by the items like the camisole and petticoat, I kept my eyes on the cell to the right side. The set item there ―― there was none. In other words Asuna, after passing the wind fleuret to Nezuha, did not equip any new weapons.

"Good, the first condition is cleared! And the time……"

Displayed by numbers at the bottom right side of the screen, despite me running quickly, it was already 20:28.

Asuna and I, finish hunting the Wind Wasp and reached Urbus at 19:00. We finished eating dinner around 19:30. From there we immediately went to the square, and requested Nezuha for strengthening…… In the worst case scenario, we only had one or two minutes left!

"This is bad, we need to speed up the operation! Click according to my instructions, first go to the storage tab!"

"Eh……ah, Y,Yes……"

Maybe her thoughts had not caught up to the unexpected situation yet, or maybe she was overwhelmed by my vigour, Asuna obediently moved her right index finger.

"Good, now go to the Setting button…… Search button…… to the Manipulate Storage button……"

The slender fingers continued to press the buttons following the flurry of instructions, continuing to move deeper down the menu level. After three or four levels, the desired button showed up.

"Th, That's it! «Completely All Items Objectize»! Go!!"

Pushed by my shout, the fingers pushed the small button. The confirmation Yes/No screen appeared, and in my loudest voice ――



At the same time the button was pressed, Asuna finally muttered something.

"N,nn…………? All…… Item……, That is, all of the items…… Turn into objects……?"

At that question, I gave a «Smile of a man who accomplished something» smile as a reply.

"Completely with the meaning of everything. All things, fully, the entire set."

At the next moment, all the rows of words depicting what was in Asuna's storage field disappeared.

Immediately after that ――.

*Garan goton dosun gachiyan charin bosatto subba sapa sari fuwa fuwa*, with various types of sounds, it rang out hard and heavy -> light and soft. That was, all the items that Asuna had in her storage as a player, the sound of it all materializing and accumulating on the floor of the inn.

"Na … … Na, Nana, Na……!?"

The owner of the objects bent backwards again and let out a sound of surprise, but obviously I was expecting this phenomenon ―― or rather, I had dashed from the bar in the southeast of Urbus here with all my might just for this. However, on the other hand, the amount of items that appeared was a more than I had expected …… by around two to three times as much.

The storage capacity was, determined by a player's strength(STR), a certain skill's proficiency, and various magic items for compensation. As her level was still low, of course there wasn't any chance to enhance the skill easily, but Asuna who as a fencer had the agility (AGI) as her priority having this many items stunned me for a moment. The reason became clear immediately.

Despite calling it capacity, the unit was measured by weight rather than volume. Armors and weapons made out of metal, liquid potions and obviously coins would soon overwhelm the storage, so light items like leather and cloth armors could be panned and scrolled to save space. So, the stash in Asuna's storage, were mostly cloth-based equipment of various sizes…… That is, clothes and undergarments.

AS expected, I felt somewhat embarrassed, as I looked at the mountain of items one and a half meters high. When the items that had appeared first dropped away, the metal equipment were those at the bottom, items like leather stuff, and clothes of various colours on top of that, and further on top, consisted mostly of a lot of white and pink underwear. In the first place, why on earth is there such a large stash. Aincrad did not have any biological waste matter, just wearing the outer armor for combat was fine, and one set of undergarments should have been enough. Personally, I had one for combat, one for daily use and one for sleeping, but even that was considered a lot for a male player.

―― and, that said.

I cannot afford to stop after coming here. If my guess is correct, and the window operation was completed in time, it should be there. Within that mountain.

"……Excuse me!"

Although I would have refused as a gentleman, I approached the mountain of items, and moved the first layer of fabric horizontally *insert sound effect here*. As soon as I did that, a trembling voice could be heard from behind.

"He,Hey…… You…… Could it be you want to die……? Do you want to be a murdered person……?"

"Of course not!!"

Answering with a straight face, my hands continued to move. As I finished moving the clothes, what emerged were the leather armor and leather pouches, and after digging out a small box, finally reached the metal layer, starting with a breastplate.

As I struggled to push them away, finally seeing that I reached the bottom of the small mountain, I caught sight of it. The heaviest of all the items that Asuna owned ―― however, on the other hand, light as a feather compared to similar items on my back, a Rapier.

Wind Fleuret +4 ――.

Picking up the green sheath with both hands, I pulled it out from beneath the mountain, stood up and turned around.

Asuna, whose eyes had a glint as if wondering how to kill me, at the moment I discovered something which should have been destroyed an hour ago, was opened wide. Her lips quivered, and in a really soft voice, a word slipped out.



  1. Finished reading, thanks! Looking forward to more :D

  2. I don't suppose this can go to Baka Tsuki?