Author’s Note: What, JOJO? You’re saying this kind of MMO doesn’t exist? Think of it this way. It’s because it’s an imaginary setting that it doesn’t matter what I do with the plot.
Translator’s Note: I’ve noted some Japanese yen to US dollar conversions in parenthesis. Tell me whether it helps or is in the way of your reading experience.
100 yen = little less than 1 USD
A golem’s fist swings through the air.
I had steeled myself for any attack, but their sluggish movements are slowly putting me to sleep. So slow—too slow. What is that supposed to be? Some kind of anime protagonist punch overflowing with hopes, dreams, and the power of friendship?
I could run to the grocery, buy an apple, eat it, come back, and still make it back in time to parry the blow.
What’s with these half-assed movements? Am I being underestimated?
“These are some stiff golems, yeah?”
Voicing my discontent, I jumped lightly over the golem. Then, with a tenth of my full power, I thrust my heel down at the head. The stone statue crumpled like a flimsy sheet of paper, completely losing any resemblance to its original shape.
…fra—fragile. Too fragile.
A cardboard box would have won in a competition of durability.
…is it just me, or is the ground a bit too brittle?
“Owner. There’s no need to hold back, you know? Could you make their movements more natural?”
“……eh? Ah, eh…? Im—impossible… the—the golem was defeated in an instant? What just happened?”
“…perhaps, were you not paying attention just now?”
Once again, I took the golem’s speed and strength into consideration.
However, the owner’s bewildered face tells a different story.
Ah, I see. It’s just me. It wasn’t because the golems were too slow or too fragile, but because I was too fast and too strong. My concentration on the battlefield was so intense that it distorted my own perception of time.
“I see… so that was the extents of their power.”
That golem was level 5. That means that the general novice adventurer is also level 5… and that in this world, it is a praiseworthy display of strength. On the contrary, I’m level 1000 and especially confident in terms of speed. As a result, their full speed appears as nothing but sluggish movements from my perspective.
The in-game mechanics also worked similarly. If the difference in agility was too large, the lower level player would never land a blow even if the opponent stood in place. It’s also a good expression of my fight with the golem.
“This won’t even serve for a warm up.”
I lightly smash apart two more golems with my feet.
They give away with almost no resistance—as if I was slicing butter. I gain no sense of accomplishment from these short exchanges of blows.
—ah, this… this isn’t even a fight anymore.
It’s just a throwaway match with a predetermined winner. It’s just a mock fight to flaunt the victor’s power, and the only thing gained is an empty sensation like crushing a bug under your heel.
Nevertheless, this is an evaluation, so I don’t have much of a choice but to continue.
Though I’m not too sure what he can evaluate from watching me rampage aimlessly, I proceeded to crush the remaining three golems.
I pulled off a leisurely kick at the final golem. Even then, the golem was unable to dodge and fell to the ground lifelessly.
Let me just take back what I said about this being my “first taste of battle” in advance. I have yet to experience “battle” in this body.
“To-too fast… too strong… wha—what in the world are…”
The bar owner trailed off in a shaky voice. His eyes were clouded in fear.
This is bad. It seems we have a misunderstanding. Though I would rather not draw too much attention as I am now… well, what’s done is done. I’ll try to bear this in mind next time.
“Ruphas-sama, you’re overdoing it! The very standards of fighting are far lower than what they were 200 years ago! You’ll give rise to fear if you don’t restrain yourself!”
Dina ran over and whispered heatedly.
So now I know that the fighting standards have fallen over time.
Shouldn’t you tell me that earlier?
“Ah, forgive me, Dina, It seems I might have lost my touch over the span of 200 years. I had misjudged my own capabilities.”
“Seriously, try to be a bit more careful next time, okay?”
It seems that even exerting a tenth of my power is excessive. Next time, a forehead flick should be enough to deal with this kind of opponent. Ah, but I can’t move my arms, so kicking is my only choice.
…I guess I’ll just have to move as slow as possible and kick as lightly as possible.
At any rate, how mysterious.
Normally, the world around me doesn’t move at the speed of a slow motion film. However, the moment I engaged in combat, the world around me slowed to a crawl. Basically, I was able to smoothly transition between a normal field of perception into one more suited for battle. I might have been saved by… Ruphas’ natural instincts.
“So, what do you think? I should think it was a flawless performance, though.”
“Ye—yeah… that’s right, you shouldn’t have trouble with any requests. The request board is inside the tavern, so feel free to choose one to your liking.”
Having received the owner’s approval, Dina and I returned to the bar to seek out the request board. However, after scanning over the available jobs, I found that all of them lacked a certain appeal. Frankly, I would prefer a task with a more generous reward over multiple smaller jobs. I want to get to Suvell as soon as I can. An escort request for a coach traveling from Yudaril to Suvell would be ideal. In that case, I would be able to earn some pocket money while heading over to Suvell. Although I alone could fly over in an instant, that would mean leaving Dina behind. With a carriage, I can easily bring Dina along with me… is what I initially thought, but—
“There’s nothing good here, huh?”
Though there was an escorting request, the carriage was headed for Levatin instead. To say nothing of the fact that Levatin is in the opposite direction of Suvell. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any requests that fell under my expectations.
“Ah, Ruphas-sama. What do you think of this one?”
I glanced at the thin sheet that Dina held up to me.
Reward: 100 eru for every cat found
Our household’s 12 pet cats have run off somewhere.
Please look for them!
“1200 eru at best just for searching for 12 cats! What a bargain!”
“Ah, well, it certainly is.”
1200 eru if the search goes well… it certainly is a bargain.
Eru is the currency of this world and if I’m not mistaken, 1 eru is the equivalent to around 200 Japanese yen (2 USD). Basically, that means completing this job earns us a total of 240,000 yen (2,400 USD). Either the client is quite the cat lover, or they’re wealthy nobles. In any case, they live a lavish lifestyle.
On a side note, although that was the in-game conversion rate, the opposite might hold true in reality. It’s obvious that between game currency and real money, the latter holds more value. In fact, you could obtain 10,000 eru worth of in-game equipment with 500 yen (5 USD). That would make real money more valuable by a long shot. The world is a cruel place.
“Let’s not. I’m not the best at searching. That is a job for a beastman.”
“The—then what about this one?”
Reward: 1500 eru
Orcs have built a nest near the village and have been doing as they please.
“Oh? That’s a fairly profitable request there. How strange for no one to accept it.”
I say in approval of the job request held up by Dina. I would have exterminated the orcs even if there was no cash reward. These creatures have a 3 percent drop rate for [orc meat], an HP status enhancing item, after all.
Orcs—otherwise known as “pork chops”.
When this was still a game, they existed solely so players could farm easy experience. Truly an existence worthy of their nickname.
Especially for level capped players who hoped to catch hold of HP-up’s, orc extermination was a daily routine. There were also players who camped at orc spawning locations. For these reasons, they became rare monsters. The average orc’s lifespan was reduced to a measly couple of seconds.
That’s why it was impossible for them to lead a raid on a human village. They were butchered and looted the second they were born, let alone gathering to form a group. Orcs were mobs so pitiful that you start to sympathize with lines of code. For those orcs to move, gather, and attack people… this is a deeply moving moment for me.
“It’s because there’s no profit.”
“What? Orc hunting is the embodiment of profit.”
“That might hold true for Ruphas-sama, but the times have changed. Nowadays, a single orc can match the strength of an experienced warrior. The extermination of a nest would be a job for the knight order. And even then, there are plenty of casualties. No one is willing to put their life on the line for a meager 1500 eru.”
“So the times change… back then, adventurers would line up to accept such a request. Not to mention quest rewards would never sink so low. I remember a similar request that paid 15,000 eru.”
The differences between game and reality drew a sigh from my lips.
Orc hunting is nothing but a valueless burden on the denizens of this world. However, players from the game would be living the dream to receive a reward for killing orcs. It’s like being told, “On top of receiving an all-you-can-eat coupon for prime grade steak, we’ll pay you 30,000 yen (300 USD) for every additional slice you can stomach.” You can’t help but think it’s too good to be true.
“Basically… it’s completely fine if I obliterate their nest, right?”
“Alright. Then let’s accept this request. This will be our ticket to secure food and money before we embark on our journey.”
“Yaaaay, this time the orcs are going to go extinct for sure. Though it was my idea, I think I’m feeling a bit sorry for them now,”
This is a chance to earn money, obtain meat, and raise my HP stat simultaneously. If I let such an opportunity flee from my grasp, then I’m unqualified as a competitive player. With the written request in hand, I told the bar owner of my plans and left the tavern behind.
“By the way, Dina.”
“Yes, what is it?”
The village specified in the request is located half a day away on foot. While heading our way towards the destination, I decided to pass time by raising my doubts with Dina. There’s a wide variety of differences between this world and my knowledge of the game. 200 years is by no means a short period of time after all.
“You told me that the standards of combat have dropped from 200 years ago. I’d like to hear about that in a bit more detail.”
200 years ago—when this was a game, I was undoubtedly the strongest player. Listed at the top of all player rankings, I’m confident that there wasn’t a single opponent that could overpower me. However, in no way did that mean I was unrivaled in strength. Believe it or not, there was no lack of players that could challenge my authority.
The game had 8 million active players in total… and around 20 percent of them achieved level capped characters, which is the bottom line for being a competitive player. Naturally, it’ll take a bit of effort to reach, but it’s definitely not something a little perseverance can’t accomplish. Then again, this alone isn’t enough to be recognized as a top-ranking player. The real challenge comes after: efficiently collecting status enhancing items after becoming unable to level. Then, only a small portion of the retards who ruin their health playing the game are listed as top-ranking players.
Now that I think of it… the usage of status enhancing items doesn’t seem to be a common practice in this world. That would mean your growth would come to a halt at the level cap. But even then, that’s no reason for standards to drop this far.
The next few words that came out of Dina’s mouth blew my mind.
“Uuum, let’s see… the country you mentioned earlier, Levatin, is also widely known as the “Nation of Swords” and… there’s a sword saint famed as the greatest swordsman on the planet… he should be somewhere around level 120.”
I doubted my own ears.
Wait a moment, 120?
The greatest swordsman on the planet is level 120!? What’s with this absurdly low number? I’m surprised he can call himself a sword saint. He sounds like a cocky beginner who decided to honor himself with a “second name” because he happened to reach level 100. At least reach level 1000 before making a fool out of yourself.
“You must be joking. There’s a limit to how low it can be, you know?”
“You see, Ruphas-sama. The strange ones were the people from that generation. Please think about it. You only have one life. The kind of monsters able to reach level 1000 without losing their lives usually don’t exist. Not to mention that the only way to get there is by fighting day after day like a madman. To train without rest—it’s barely enough to call it an act of madness… It was the heroes of that age who were actually crazy.”
I feel disoriented. But I understand.
Indeed, level 1000 was only achievable because it was a game.
You could simply resurrect after death. There were no consequences.
It was possible because it was a game… but can we really say the same for reality?
To be hunting monsters all day, everyday, and live through that nightmare for over a year. How many people on the planet can achieve such a feat? How many of those individuals still retain their sanity?
With that in mind, even level 120 is an incredible accomplishment. The level of a lunatic on the verge of obsession.
I was the one who was irregular.
“I see… Indeed, it is considerably different from the world I knew.”
I am a lunatic and a monster in this world.
Staring straight into the eyes of reality, an empty feeling enveloped my chest.