Just a heads up, Midterms are coming up next week so translations have been somewhat slow. There probably won’t be another chapter next week, but we shall see.
Side Note: I added Cloche’s concept art to the Character’s Page. As a note about her speech pattern, she speaks very bluntly and a bit “matter of fact” -ish. Compared to that, Aran is more casual but speaks with polite tendencies.
Volume 4: Aran, On The Job!
Chapter 30: The Murau Limestone Caverns
No matter how you put it, I am no good with ships.
Departing from Gran Horts, was an ocean liner headed for Sun Fostan. Aran was pelted by the wind as he stood on the deck. As if trying to snap himself out of a daze, Aran continued to admire the beautiful scenery, but he could not help but let those words spill out in his heart.
The disturbance caused by the mismatched autonomic stimulation of the semicircular canals, or in other words「Seasickness」, it of course did not exist in this virtual world. However, the discomfort of “buoyancy” was thankfully recreated to be as real as possible.
Since it was not possible to Fast Travel to all the dungeons that were scattered throughout the world, Aran had made use of travel by ship a countless number of times. Yet, despite that, he still could not get used to this feeling of uneasiness.
Together with the sound of the wind, a woman’s voice was carried to Aran’s ear.
It was Cloche who went on board the ship with Aran and the others.
「Cloche? Is something wrong?」
「No, it’s nothing much, but I was just thinking that I never properly introduced myself yet」
Those words quietly escaped Cloche’s mouth.
Now that I think about it, we didn’t have the time to introduce ourselves, huh.
「I guess you’re right. Then let’s start over, the name’s Aran. Nice to meet you」
「My name is Cloche. I am terribly sorry for the trouble we have caused you this time 」
Aran was wondering whether or not he should offer a handshake at a time like this, but since it seems like Cloche wasn’t asking for one, their greeting ended with only a light nod.
In any case, I really am weak against demon-race female avatars.
They sort of seem domineering, or I guess you can say they have an air of dignity…… Whatever it is the atmosphere around them makes it hard to approach them. I’m sure that there’s some guys out there who like that sort of attitude, but I belong to the group who’s not good at dealing with them.
…… No, I guess I’m not good with females in general huh.
「I have been watching your streams. Congratulations on defeating the High Dragon Drake」(Cloche)
「Eh? Oh …… T-Thanks」
「You did an excellent job at dodging the【Dragon’s Breath】 even when you had no warning. If it were me then I might have taken a direct hit from that」
Without trying to seem humble, Cloche wore an expression that looked like she was saying how she truly felt.
Aran could not help but wear a wry smile.
「…… Did I perhaps say something strange?」
「No, my bad. It’s just that when you say that you watch my streams, I can’t help but think that it’s just lip service」
「Is it weird for me to watch your streams?」
Cloche lightly tilted her head as she asked.
「No, it’s not weird at all. The truth is that I watch your streams too」
「Eh. Is that so?」
「Not just your streams, but your Blog too」
「Uu…… that is somewhat embarrassing」
With her cheeks slightly ablush, Cloche shrugged her shoulders.
Just like Nobu-san said, despite the way she looks Cloche isn’t a cold-hearted person.
Even though she is only Ranked 2nd, that would still make her famous in her own right. Her technique was high level, and her Cool aura was strangely attractive.
Since we were going to have a photo shoot today we’re not using fake aliases, but, just like me, she probably has to use one whenever she goes somewhere in order to avoid causing a huge commotion. She is just that popular.
And despite everything, she doesn’t act all full of herself. She’s a woman who really has it all together.
「Cloche is…… a Wizard, right. What is your build?」
「I have a Lightning build」
「Lighting huh. In that case, it will be effective against the Sahuagin」
Lightning magic was particularly effective against ocean-dwelling creatures such as Sahuagin.
Compared to the other magic trees of【Fire Magic】【Water Magic】【Ice Magic】and【Earth Magic】, Lighting type magic had numerous area of effect spells. Because of that, it was extraordinarily effective against the Sahuagin who attack in groups.
「Yes. And I have also been to the Murau Caverns many times」(Cloche)
「How very reliable. Will it be alright to leave the leadership to you then?」
「Of course it will」
Cloche gave a firm nod.
For the most part the main theory was to have Wizards in the rear guard to provide support from behind, but for expert level Wizard like her, and because she is well acquainted with the terrain, it would be better to have her lead us through.
With that said, let’s entrust her with being our party’s main attacker, and it looks like I will be providing support by rotating around instead.
Well, it’s not like we’re going to bring Igarashi-san and Nobu-san along with us anyways, so we should have plenty of leeway before we meet up with the film staff.
The main problem, is that we have to protect the film staff until we reach the exit.
In the worst case scenario, if it is necessary then I can hold off the Sahuagin by myself and have Cloche lead the staff to safety.
「Have a look, Aran」
Cloche pointed her finger straight ahead.
The wind howled as it blew across the deck, the beautiful silver hair flowing from Cloche’s hood began to sway.
Before they knew it, the air was suddenly filled with the scent of a warm southern breeze.
「Plage Archipelago, huh」
What lie beyond her finger tip, spread out in the middle of the cobalt blue ocean, were a number of islands.
And, as if matching up with Cloche’s voice, the loud ringing of the ship’s bell reverberated in the area, signaling their arrival.
The ocean liner headed to Sun Fostan made its stop at a section of the Murau limestone caverns called the Murau Island Offing. In other words, it was right in the middle of the open sea.
At the time when you buy your cruise ticket, you can set the place where you are to disembark from the ship.
There were 5 places where you could disembark before you reach Sun Fostan. Among them was the Murau Island Offing what was relatively close to the Murau Limestone Caverns.
「Haa, to think I’d be hard at work rowing by hand. What a terrible “service” this is」
「……Or rather, wouldn’t it be better for Nobu-san and Igarashi-san to just wait for us at Sun Fostan?」
They were in a small boat that they had borrowed when they got off the ocean liner. As Nobu-san was voicing his complaints as he had to personally row the oars, Aran offered a different alternative.
If they are just going to wait for us at the entrance, then there should be no problem in them waiting at Sun Fostan where we plan to all meet up.
Better yet, this only increases our worries for no reason, so it would be better if they went to Sun Fostan instead.
「What are you saying, Aran-chan. There’s no way I can miss out on something so amusing」(Nobu)
「 “Amusing” you say…… Do you mean, rescuing the film staff?」
「That’s right. The Rank 1 Aran-chan and the Rank 2 Clo-chii playing together, this might not ever happen for a second time, right?」
Ufufu, Nobu wore a mischievous smile.
That’s true, Cloche and I partying up with each other will definitely never happen again in the future.
Most likely, if we were to livestream this then we’d definitely earn a killing from the number of listeners.
「…… Hold on a sec」
An bad premonition surfaced in Aran’s mind.
This uneasy feeling was emanating from Nobu…… No, not there, it was coming from the strangely quiet Igarashi who was at the far corner of the boat.
While they were on the ocean liner, Igarashi was all tense while worrying about today’s film schedule, but once they got on the small boat he had calmed down all of a sudden.
「Igarashi-san, are you perhaps…… recording all this?」
Igarashi was startled after having suddenly been called out.
「Ya wouldn’t be livestreaming would ya? Iga-chan」(Nobu)
「N-No, how could I be…… I am only recording」(Igarashi)
「Wait, so you are recording huh, Igarashi-san」(Aran)
「aah…… well, that is」
Igarashi accidentally let the truth slip out in response to Nobu.
While they were on the ocean liner, Igarashi had secretly purchased a broadcasting time slot and had begun recording video footage. If he were to stream this out live, then players would rush to the Murau Caverns in droves, so he planned to upload the footage from the archives to DICE’s personal channel after the fact.
「You see, if worst comes to worst then we might not be able to film anything, right? So if that were to happen, I was tasked with the mission to provide footage of you two playing together as compensation」
「…… I see. So that’s what you were discussing when we were on the ocean liner huh. With DICE headquarters that is」
Aran sent Igarashi a sharp and cold gaze.
If the photo shoot were to be delayed, then it would without a doubt have an effect on the fashion event’s side.
When pressed with how he was going to take responsibility for all this, he suggested an alternative plan of a video of the popular Cloche and me playing together, is how it went huh.
「Or rather, is Cloche all right with this? You are the exclusive model of your sponsors, Tinker Bell, so wouldn’t it be bad if you were involuntarily filmed like this?」
「I do not mind. Because it seems that Igarashi-san has already contacted Tinker Bell’s headquarters in advance」
「…… Eh? Seriously?」
Cloche replied indifferently, but Aran was at a loss for words.
He really gets to work quickly huh.
Still, it’s impressive that he got Tinker Bell to consent to this even though they are rival apparel makers to DICE.
……Well, regarding this incident, it was all due to the clumsiness of Tinker Bell’s operations manager, so they probably felt somewhat obliged to consent.
“Failures won’t leave us empty-handed”, as expected from the well-experienced head chief of DICE’s advertisement department.
「So that would mean, the two of you won’t be waiting at the entrance, but you will be going into the Murau Limestone Caverns along with us instead?」(Aran)
「I guess that’s how it goes~」(Nobu)
「Of course we will」(Igarashi)
Nobu and Igarashi immediately gave a “no ifs or buts” reply.
In response to the two people’s excessively selfish declaration, Aran had forgotten that they were his precious sponsors, and welled up with a slight aura of killing intent.
「Don’t worry, Aran. I will do my best to make sure they will not be in any danger」(Cloche)
「……No, that’s not exactly what I’m worried about here」
「I-Is that so. Sorry」
“I’m sorry, I spoke a bit out of line”, Aran lowered his head in apology to Cloche, who was rattled by his initial remark.
The two selfish people who had stupidity written all over them, and the calm yet slightly out of touch Cloche. How exactly will the future end up with these three.
However, Aran wore a delusional smile as he passed through these cruel and dark times.
Glistening in the light of the bright sun was a small island floating in the beautiful ocean. In the corner of his eye, Aran could see the entrance of an eerie cave coming into view.
The Murau Limestone Caverns.
With a *Go-gon* the small boat marooned itself on shore, and Aran and the gang set off.