School is starting back up so my weekends will be busier. I’ll try to keep the releases consistent though.
Anyways, Volume 4 START!
Author note: This time’s story is separate from the usual members; a story about Aran-kun.
Volume 4: Aran, On The Job!
Chapter 27: Collaboration
The “Crafting Room” built into Aran’s samurai style Home House, it was a place that would make streams of drool flow out of any production-main player’s mouth.
On the lacquerware shelves placed in this tatami room, there were, of course, comprehensive recipe books commonly sold on the market. But there were also Legendary Class ingredients and key-items dropped by the Boss Mob「Dark Element (Blood of Black Kin)」 that on the same level as the High Dragon Drake. Rarely sold recipe books like 【Secret Crafting Techniques for One-Hand Katanas】 and ones that can produce the highest grade of lightweight armors【Secret Book of Krista Armor Crafting】; a large collection spanning all genres of Recipe Books lines the shelves.
「…… Now then, today we have the【Secrets to Elemental Armor Creation】, however…」
The elegant bamboo blinds swayed as a soothing breeze blew through the 2nd story of the samurai abode.
Rather than a Crafting Room, it looked more like a tatami floored home office. There stood Aran, holding a recipe book in hand.
What was reflected in his view, was the all so familiar livestream interface.
Today’s livestream had a slight change of pace, Aran decided to broadcast himself crafting from a legendary class recipe book that he obtained some time ago.
「Oh, this is…… So it’s a recipe for crafting heavy armor huh」
『Really!? What is it, What is it!? What are you going to make!?』
『When you say heavy armor, do you mean for Knight and Fighter classes?』
Hearing Aran’s explanation the comment window began to flare up.
In Dragon’s Krone, defensive equipment were separated into「Heavy Type」 「Lightweight Type」 「Cloth Type」and a number of other categories. You weren’t restricted on which equipment you could use based on your class, but each equipment had its merits and demerits.
As the name implied, Heavy Type equipments were thick armors that covered your body.
Their main characteristic was extremely high defensive power. However, they gave a minus effect to your speed and dexterity, and they couldn’t be augmented with additional stats.
Lightweight Type equipment were primarily composed of armors crafted from light materials like scales and leather. Compared to Heavy armors their defense was lacking, but they didn’t minus your speed and dexterity. On the contrary, they could even be given extra effects like「Increased Dexterity」 and 「Reduced Stamina Consumption」.
Classes that rely on speed such as Thiefs and Monks, and also Samurai, these lightweight type armors are said to have a high affinity for them.
Cloth Type equipment had even less defensive power than lightweight types. Though their ability to prevent damage was said to be practically non-existent, Cloth equipment could have even more powerful enhancements than lightweight armor. There were a myriad of magic enhancements such as「Increased Intelligence」and「Fire Magic Damage Up」, so the magic classes of Wizard, Cleric, and Summoner preferred to use this equipment.
Incidentally, Cloth types came in plenty of designs. There were a lot of so-called「Fashion Equipment」, and many players would equip them so that they would be smartly dressed when going out to town.
In Dragon’s Krone, a player was free to choose both their Skill Build and their equipment type, which led to a wide range of different playstyles.
For instance, if you were a healing class Cleric and wanted to play Solo, then you could wrap yourself in the highest defense Heavy armor. If you did that then it would be possible to play solo by repeatedly hitting Mobs with a rod. Similarly, if you were a Fighter than you can nimbly dance around Mobs if you used status boosting lightweight armor. There were many possible playstyles that completely overturned a class’s typical image.
「If it’s an Elemental class armor then…, it’s an armor related to the Dark Element’s name huh. Oh, this is…… It’s the armor of that『Dark Knight: Black Moa』that I defeated some time ago. I have all the ingredients so for now let’s──」
And, as Aran was about to take out the necessary ingredients while holding the recipe book in one hand, Sonya’s soft voice brushed against his ear.
During his livestreams, Aran had told Sonya that he didn’t want to be disturbed unless it was a very pressing matter.
If he were to engage in too much pointless chit-chat then, in terms of content, the quality of the stream would fall. After all, it would affect the viewers who watched the broadcasts later when they were turned into archives.
Despite all that, Sonya called out to him.
In other words, it was for something considerably important.
Aran sent a quick glance to Sonya, and for a moment he couldn’t understand why she had called out to him.
But when he looked next to Sonya, he saw the shadow shaped like a Player.
It means that another player other than himself had come to visit.
Aran’s Home House, it was set so that only players that he allowed could enter.
And, there was only one Player that Aran gave that permission to.
「I’m sorry everyone. It appears a customer has arrived. I’ll stop the stream for now and, let’s see, I’ll restart the stream in 30 minutes」
It was a customer so important the Aran even suspended his livestream.
“Who exactly came?”, the comment window became noisy.
The Listeners began to shout lines of「Is it your girlfriend!?」「Go explode!」.
However, when the reflection of a man came into Aran’s view, the comment window became rowdy for a ‘different’ reason.
「Like hell that’s how it is. The person who came is my precious sponsor. It’s Igarashi-san from DICE」(Aran)
「…… Everybody, pardon me. Now then, Adeus!」(Igarashi)
The man standing next to Sonya stole Aran’s usual line, and lightly waved to the camera.
Unfitting for a fantasy world, he was dressed in a stylish black suit. A suave adult with grown-out hair, Igarashi.
He was from the apparel maker that sponsored Aran, the head chief of DICE’s advertisement department.
「Oh my, I’m sorry. I seem to have interrupted your stream」
「You don’t have to worry about that. But still, it is rather unusual for you to come unannounced」
Changing the stream status to ‘offline’, Aran led Igarashi to the first floor living room as he began asking questions.
If this was an ordinary meeting, then I should’ve received a message before he arrived.
Is there some sort of urgent business?
「Huh? You didn’t receive an email?」
「Uhmm…… I don’t think anything came. Isn’t that right, Sonya?」
「Indeed. Aside from the email that was received one month prior from Igarashi-sama regarding the sales of the【Blizzaria Series】, no other message have arrived」
Following the two from behind, Sonya immediately searched through the mail box and responded.
「…… Is that so, I apologize. It must’ve slipped my mind」
「You seem to be quite busy. Is it because of the event you mentioned?」
「Yea. This is off-the-record, but because of the site managers at the『TOKYO Summer Collection』, there seems to be some disputes between the sponsors and the management committee you see. There’s been a major time schedule change. And because of that I’ve been cooped up in the office as of late」
Igarashi let out a deep sigh.
The『TOKYO Summer Collection』was an annual fashion event during the summer. It included things like displaying new product lines and fashion shows.
The many apparel makers who sponsor Dragon’s Krone livestreamers would be participating, and of course this would include DICE.
Thinking back, the lead sponsor for this year had changed, so there was likely different opinions between them and the management.
「How should I say…… It seems quite troublesome」
「Well, we are only a participating corporation, so I don’t think we have it too bad. I’m sure the people who have it the worst are the management committee. I personally think it’s best to leave management to the professionals though. It seems like trying to get by with only political connections isn’t working out so well」
“That said, we’re apparently really swamped,” Igarashi spoke in an incredibly weary tone.
As the high-school that I am, the specifics are somewhat over my head.
「And so, Igarashi-san. Why did you come today?」
「…… Oh yes, sorry. I ended up whining before getting to the main subject. Truth is, today, I came here to talk about something related to your sponsorship」
「Hmm, and what might that be about」
「Just like always, we would like for you to be a model for some of our products」
「……? Yeah, of course that’s fine with me」
Aran tilted his head at Igarashi’s request.
Wearing DICE’s equipment in-game and modeling for a photo shoot, it is a job that he has done countless times in the past. It was part of Aran’s job since he was sponsored by DICE after all.
Incidentally, among the original designed equipment that DICE sold within the game, there were some clothing designs that DICE were sold in real life too.
When Aran was photographed as a model for those designs, it was said that many people would wear it if it was distributed.
「However, this time it will be slightly different. We will be collaborating with another brand that is also participating in the summer event」
「A Collaboration, is it」
In other words…… I will be having a photo shoot together with another player, is that what he’s trying to say?
「I see. It’s to enhance the popularity huh」
「Exactly right. You’ve never had a photo shoot with a player from a different brand after all. However, the brand we will be working with for this collab is a bit, you know」
「?? Who might they be?」
Igarashi was a bit hesitant to speak but Aran continued to press the question.
「Well you see…… It’s『Tinker Bell』」
Aran was blindsided when he hear that name and only stood in surprise.
Tinker Bell was an apparel maker that targeted women from the ages of 10 to 30. From subtle and soothing designs, to flashy and cute designs that catered to teens, they handled many different genres of clothing and were a major provider for females.
And, the livestreamer that Tinker Bell sponsored, Aran knew full well which Player it was.
「I’ve been told this isn’t part of some scheme. If we and Tinker Bell were to work together, I believe it will be beneficial to us」
「No, that might be true but…… But, well, it will be popular, that’s for sure」
Aran nodded his head in a slightly uneasy manner.
His hair swayed, rays of sun shining into the living room illuminated the beautiful silver strands.
Even if I knew about that Player, I had never once met them face to face.
The other side probably knows about Aran as well.
But, considering the current state of affairs, there is a possibility that they might have some feelings of hostility towards me.
If they did then it will be a bit…… No, it will be considerably troublesome.
Even if they knew each other, even while being conscious of each other, their two paths have never crossed──
The Player sponsored by Tinker Bell, was Cloche.
Ever since Aran had appeared on the scene, She is the female player who has always tasted the bitterness of being 2nd place in stream rankings.
Side note: In the LN, Cloche’s sponsor is named Twinkling instead of Tinker Bell, probably due to obvious copyright.
Also as a reminder, Cloche is French for “Bell”; tying in to her sponsor Tinker Bell.