Happy (late) Lunar New Year!
Now for some news, apparently “novel aggregate” sites are a thing, which I for one had no idea about. Personally I think that’s fine and all since the one I saw gave ‘some’ credit to the original TL, but I think it is sort of unfair that they also include the LN photos that I post (some of which I pay for personally).
So for now on I will add in the LN photos a few days after the original post. That said, I will still post the photos in the Light Novel Illustrations page on the ToC the day of, so those of you who want to see it early can see it there. I will also mark in the chapter where the pictures with a (*picture goes here*) and a description. Volume 2 Illustrations can be found Here.
Sorry for the inconvenience, but I want to at least somewhat restrict the release of “paid” content.
Anyways, sorry for the wall of text. Happy New Year and Enjoy.
Side Note: In chapter 27, I incorrectly translated a sentence that said that “Dark Element” is an ingredient. The correct translation is that a “Dark Element” is a Boss Mob on the same level as the High Dragon Drake, not an ingredient.
Volume 4: Aran, On The Job!
Chapter 29: On the Way to the Shore
In the Eastern region of the Veroon Grand Duchy, was the port city of Gran Horts that faced the Sharuno River.
Many beginners and accomplished players would travel from Crescendo to Gran Horts via ocean liner, so it was a city bustling with liveliness, being only second to Vernewt.
Coupled with warm temperatures that made it felt like the Mediterranean Sea, the stone paved road that ran along the shoreline was lined with fashionable wood-frame houses and sidewalk cafes. There were many high level players who would come to visit and leisurely spend their time here, simply wandering around aimlessly.
The cafes at Gran Holts were operated by NPCs. Boosting your status for a set period of time was the「Chai Latte」, and reducing your stamina consumption was the「Pancetta and Mascarpone Sandwich」, these were well renowned products in this city and they captured the hearts of the player base. In the game you could enjoy the taste and fragrance, this was due to the fact that UnChain was able to stimulate the 5 senses depending on what was being displayed in-game. Apparently there were players who were connoisseurs of foods from around the world, and they would post their gourmet reports to their SNS and blogs every day.
Incidentally, even if you ate food in the game it would obviously not fill your stomach in real life.
「Aran-chan~, It’s been sooo loong~!」
As Aran waited for Igarashi at the Gran Horts cafe「Brandan」, a sound reached his ear. A voice with a sort of stickiness that might coil around you came flying his way.
「…… Oh, Nobu-san」
Waving his hand as he came rushing over, was a man wearing a brazenly shocking pink shirt──
He was DICE’s stylist: Nobu.
Nobu had shortly trimmed hair and deep chiseled looks. Although his stern looking avatar was no doubt that of a man’s, his gestures and speaking pattern were garnished with female tendencies.
Franking speaking, even in the real world, he was a so-called “effeminate” type of stylist.
「Oh come now, hasn’t it been like a real long time? How’ve you been?」(Nobu)
「Our last photo shoot was about 1 month ago huh. I’ve been doing well, at least good enough for DICE to no cut off their sponsorship」
「Ya know for me, I don’t really come here often, but I watched Aran-chan’s stream ya know」
「Really? Thank you very much」
According to Nobu, he just happened to be logging in for work related reasons when Aran was fighting the High Dragon Drake, so he was able to watch the live broadcast.
Nobu was DICE’s stylist, but he was not their exclusive one. Since he has contracts with other apparel makers he often gets called to do photo shoots in Dragon’s Krone.
「Anyways, today you’re going do so a shoot with Clo-chii, that right? Do you two know each other?」(Nobu)
「……’Clo-chii’…… Do you mean Cloche? We are not acquaintances, but I think we know of each other’s existence」
「Hmm~. Well, the both of you are celebrities after all. Still, to have to two of you at the photo shoot together, I’m like totally excited」
Ufufu, Nobu wore a mischievous smile as he giggled.
Apparently Nobu-san is extremely fond of cute things.
Cloche is a female after all, so I guess she might fall under the cute category as well, but I don’t think that Aran’s avatar can really be described as “cute”.
「That aside, have you met Cloche before, Nobu-san?」
「I’ve been invited by Tinker Bell to do photo shoots before ya know? How should I say, she was like a “gentlemanly” woman」
「Gentlemanly, is it. I guess it’s true that she gives off that kind of feeling from her streams」
I have browsed through Cloche’s videos many times.
She was a female player with a high level of technique and a “cool” tone of voice, and from society’s point of view she was a highly evaluated player that even rivals me. Despite the fact that I think it’s ridiculous when people say that she’s on the same level as me, I admit that there is a sort of ‘beauty’ in her play style.
All said and done, even I am drawn to her streams time and time again.
「That girl, her tone is a bit cold-hearted, but she pays attention to the little details, so I think she’ll make a good wife in the future. That ‘gap’ might be a point that captures the hearts of men after all」(Nobu)
「I see. Since Nobu-san has such a high level of feminine appeal, if you say it then it really sounds persuasive」
「You’re kidding~, For real~? Oh my god, You’re such the smooth talker Aran-chan~!」
Nobu repeatedly slapped Aran on the shoulder as he said that, but since PK is prohibited in Gran Horts, Aran didn’t feel a shred of pain.
「……In any case, Igarashi-san hasn’t come yet huh」(Aran)
「That’s right huh. Normally he’d be the first one here」(Nobu)
The arranged time for the meet up was 12:00 in real time. Although there was still 5 minutes left, there were no signs of Igarashi or the rest of Tinker Bell’s staff at the cafe.
Since he was in charge of the overall management of the photo shoot, it was an established fact that Igarashi would always be the first one to arrive at the meeting place. In order to confirm the time-schedule, as well as contacting Dragon’s Krone’s administrators for information about sudden weather changes at the film location, there were a number of behind the scenes work that he needed to get done.
Igarashi was a man who was always punctual, and there’s no way that Tinker Bell’s cameraman and their entire staff would also arrive late.
Perhaps, did something happen?
「Now that ya mention it, not in this world but in the real one, one time the lighting crew arrived late you see. When that happened Iga-chan (Igarashi) was super scary」(Nobu)
「i-is that so」(Aran)
Nobu idly said those words, but Aran could only blink his eyes in surprise.
That is pretty unexpected…… But, I sort of understand how it might’ve looked.
How should I say, Igarashi-san is normally a gentle character, but if you step on a landmine then you might awaken his rage. He kind of gives of that type of aura.
「Usually he seems sorta ‘dull’, but when he’s on the film set he get’s all tight-knit all of a sudden, dont’cha thing? At that time he was even more tense and stuff」(Nobu)
「…… That happened many years ago, that story」
Then, a menacing voice abruptly shot out from behind.
Standing behind Aran and Nobu, was a man wearing his usual black suit. It was Igarashi.
「Iga-chan, Oh hai~」(Nobu)
「Igarashi-san, it is rather unusual for you to arrive barely in time」(Aran)
「Yes, I’m sorry. A small problem has occurred」(Igarashi)
「…… Eh? A problem?」(Aran)
Anxiety showed on Igarashi’s face as he apologized, and for some reason Aran felt and uneasy feeling.
Most likely, it has something to due with why the Tinker Bell staff hasn’t arrived yet.
「The truth is, it appears that the Tinker Bell staff has made a mistake about the meeting place. They have already started heading to the film location, but, perhaps they were too impatient, they arrived onshore along the way」(Igarashi)
「Eh? Did they get off the boat?」(Aran)
Once you get on-board a boat, it was impossible to get off until it anchored at another port location.
If the Tinker Bell staff arrived onshore, then that would mean, that they got off at a port before arriving at the location.
「Seriously now, Iga-chan, maybe you scared the operations manager from their side too much? Something like『Quit screwing around!』 or something」(Nobu)
「n-no, I never said that」(Igarashi)
Nobu’s comment caused Igarashi to falter.
He said it. Most likely.
And because he was in such a panic, the operations manager for Tinker Bell made a mistake and got off at the wrong location, or something like that.
The only clue we have is that the ocean liner from Gran Horts to the Plage Archipelago was headed to the 「Sun Fostan Resort」.
…… Was there a place where you could go onshore when you were traveling to Sun Fostan?
「And so, where did they get off?」(Aran)
「That is…… Apparently they are at a place called “Murau”……」(Igarashi)
「……ッ!? By Murau, you mean the Murau Limestone Caverns!?」(Aran)
Aran accidentally raised his voice.
The Murau Limestone Caverns was a relatively higher level Dungeon when compared to rest of the Plage Archipelago area. The iconic Mob of the Plage Archipelago area, the half-mermaid 「Sahuagin」, lived in that dungeon.
Sahuagin could be considered the ocean equivalent of Lizardmen, but they were a vicious Mob that have earned the nickname of「Sea Devil」. According to their setting in Dragon’s Krone, Sahuagin are descendants of elf blood, so they possess powerful magics.
In other words, in addition to their powerful physical attacks, they could also cast fearsome magic. They were a terrifying Mob.
「I am not too familiar with it, but that is probably the place. They intended to wait for us at the entrance, but they were attacked by Mobs, and retreated further into the dungeon」(Igarashi)
「Uwaa~…… Wonder why then even got off at such a place. Won’t it be faster for them to get wiped out once and sent to their Home House instead? Dont’cha think」(Nobu)
Nobu spoke while mixing in a sigh.
That might be true, if we’re talking about items that were required for photo shoot, then at the least it would only include the outfits that Tinker Bell had prepared.
Even if they were to lose everything in the dungeon, they would only have to prepare an extra set of outfits.
「No, we can’t do that. Because they are carrying with them『Merchandise that Tinker Bell hasn’t announced yet』. If they were to lose them at the Murau Caverns, then it would cause a great deal of trouble if someone else got their hands on them」(Igarashi)
「Eeeh~? But if so then why’d they hafta go to such a dangerous place?」(Nobu)
「…… But, there’s still Cloche over with them right?」(Aran)
Even if the Murau Limestone Caverns are a high level dungeon, Cloche should be able to defeat the Sahuagin as they make their way to the exit.
If they can make it out of the dungeon then they should be able to use Fast Travel. I’m sure they can pull through somehow.
「No, well, that is」(Igarashi)
Not giving a clear response, Igarashi turned his gaze to behind him.
As if being guided along, Aran and Nobu followed his gaze and looked in that direction.
From Aran’s mouth spilled a sound that was not a complete word.
Standing at the entrance of Cafe Blandan. Over there stood a lone Player.
Wearing a black robe adorned with scarlet embroidery, it was a woman with the same silver hair as Aran.
And the characteristic that made her stand apart, was her pure white skin that contrasted against the black robe── and her cat-like eyes.
A strange allure mixed in with her aura of danger. Standing there was an elegant demon-race woman── it was Cloche.
「Oh my, Clo-chii」(Nobu)
「Long time no see, Nobu-san」(Cloche)
With a seemingly empty look in her eyes, Cloche softly replied to Nobu and bowed her head.
However, being the polar opposite of the calm Nobu, Aran was at his wit’s end the moment he saw her.
「Hold on a second, Igarashi-san. If she is here than that means…… the Tinker Bell staff are at the Murau Caverns without her?」(Aran)
「…… They thought that we would be meeting there after all. Unfortunately that is the case」
How could this happen.
Aran reflexively held his head in his hands.
Normally, the staff would be escorted to the film location by a number of players they trusted.
However, earlier Igarashi-san said「The film staff were attacked by Mobs and they retreated further inside」, so there’s the possibility that their escorts aren’t at a high enough level to defeat the Sahuagin.
In other words, it is only a matter of time before they get completely wiped out.
「So that’s how things are. Aran, I’m begging you」(Igarashi)
Having understood where the conversation was going, Aran wore a look on discontent.
In other words, we have to save the film staff that have run away into the Murau Limestone Caverns, and then head to the film location.
No matter how you look at it, it’s going to be a back-breaking job huh.
「Sorry, Aran. Due to a mistake on our side we have caused you a lot of trouble. If it is possible, I would like if you came along with me, and aid in their rescue」(Cloche)
“Please,” together with Igarashi, Cloche also lowered her head.
Quickly glancing over to his side, Aran saw Nobu shrugging his shoulders as if silently saying 「There’s no real choice here huh」.
「…… I get it. Let’s go then, to the Murau Caverns」(Aran)
Letting out a small sigh, Aran answered as such.
But still, despite the absolutely terrible situation we are in, there is still one bright side to it all.
At the very least, it doesn’t seem like Cloche sees me as her enemy.
Side Note: There’s so many characters that I ended up adding speaker quotes for almost everything.
As a reminder, you can navigate to the picture of Cloche through the ToC page at the bottom. It is under LN Illustrations Vol 2.
TL note: Sahuagin are half-fish half-man creatures that originate (?) from Dungeons & Dragons. Wikipedia link Here.