This epawsode may contain language that might not be suitable for younger audiences. You have been warned-nya!
Just a thing to keep in mind, but this chapter was actually written after a certain poll was made by a certain brother of mine. I wonder how many people will recognize it? kukukuku….
Kiriko Epawsode 6: An Infuriating Interjection
The familiar sound of a notification rang out through my mind, awakening me from my slumber. As I opened my eyes slowly, the bright morning sun shone through the small window in the room, blinding me with its dazzling light. Groggily, I grabbed around the area near my pillow, searching for the phone that I had left next to it. Finding it, I brought the small device to my face, blearily unlocking it and looking at the notification again.
“…..why did my skill level suddenly go up-nya?”
Sitting up, I tilted my head in confusion, wondering what on earth I had done to cause the sudden rise in the level of my [Neko Transformation] skill. Yawning, I rubbed the back of my head as I stared at my phone’s screen. As I lowered my hand, it brushed lightly against the humble ears perched on top of my head.
I opened my mouth with realization, having suddenly found the reason for my skill’s mysterious increase in level. Muttering the cancellatory words to return to my human form, I sat on the bed for a while, thinking about the skill.
I was wondering why the growth in [Neko Transformation] didn’t seem to be as quick as my other skills, but I guess it’s time-based after all, huh. That said, considering that I was sleeping in my catgirl form the entire night, either it requires a lot of time to level up, or….
Or perhaps, it was also action-based. Thinking back on the last time the skill had leveled up, it had been right after I had fought against the many slimes in my catgirl form. Though I didn’t know exactly how long the battle had taken, it certainly had been significantly less than the amount of time I had been sleeping overnight. Which likely meant that the growth of the [Neko Transformation] skill not only depended on how long I was transformed into my catgirl form, but also the actions that I took while in that form. In this case, as I had simply been asleep and relatively inactive, it had taken the entire night for the skill to level up.
My skills will likely be pretty important for me to be able to survive in this world, so I should probably grind them as much as possible.
Nodding to myself, I resolved myself to fight in my catgirl form whenever possible. That is, whenever I wasn’t being watched by someone of this world. Seeing as the skill had leveled up from me being asleep while in the form, I also decided to sleep in this form from here on out. As my catgirl form also provided additional effects such as improved hearing, smell, and slightly increased agility, it would be useful in battle, as well as at night, in case I were to be ambushed in my sleep.
“Anyhow, I should get moving.”
Speaking to nobody in particular, I got up and stretched as I prepared to go out. Unlocking the door, I walked out of my room and headed out to the Guild’s main hall. The sight of numerous adventurers sitting around the many round tables throughout the hall greeted me, together with the scent of what smelled like freshly baked bread. My stomach grumbled as the scent enticed me, leading me towards the bar counter that sat on the left side of the receptionist counter.
“Good morning, Miss Kiriko.”
Behind the bar counter stood a familiar figure. As his sky blue eyes met my own, I nodded in greeting as I spoke.
“Morning, Darius. I didn’t know you worked at the bar too.”
Hearing my civil response, Darius smiled. His demeanor reminded me of how he had been when I had first met him. Friendly and amiable. A likeable receptionist. That is, until I had realized what he had tried to do when I had gone off on my first quest. My mouth puckered slightly with displeasure at the memory.
“Yeah, I’m on bar-duty on Flammenias, but I work at the reception on Pulunes.”
“Anyhow, you wanted some breakfast, right? Since it’s only your second day, the meal’s complimentary”
Though my head had tilted in confusion at the unfamiliar terms that Darius had spouted, he seemed to be oblivious as he turned to a small opening behind the counter.
“Meredith, one order of ‘Beginner’s Breakfast’!”
A female voice sounded out from the opening, which appeared to be connected to the Guild’s kitchen. The sound of crackling oil, followed by the smell of cooked food emerged from the small window. Not long after, a tray with what appeared to be slices of fried meat and eggs, as well as a loaf of bread and a salad placed next to it appeared on the small counter at the base of the window. Darius supplemented the tray with a wooden cup filled with a maroon-coloured liquid.
“Here you go, one complimentary ‘Beginner’s Breakfast’!”
Taking the tray, I murmured my thanks as I turned to find an open table. Before I could walk away, however, Darius called me out once more.
“By the way, what are your plans for today?”
Reacting to his call, I paused and tilted my head slightly to the side, in thought.
“I guess….I was planning on getting some new equipment with the money I earned yesterday. Then….I wanted to read up a bit on the monsters around here so I could be more prepared for my next quest.”
As I spoke, I gave Darius a subtle gaze. Seeing that, Darius gave a small twitch before making a slightly awkward smile.
“A-Ahh…if you’re looking for some general encyclopedias and such, the Guild library has some.”
I gave an interested expression, encouraging Darius to explain further. Catching onto this, Darius opened his mouth as he continued somewhat timidly.
“The Guild has a library that all adventurers have free access to. Naturally, since we’re a relatively small town, we won’t have as many books as one of the Guilds located in the capital, but it should be good enough for basic information on monsters that live around here.”
“Hou…I see. Thanks for the info.”
Giving Darius a quick smile, I began to walk away with my tray, eager to begin my breakfast and get started with my day. It didn’t take long for me to find an empty table near the wall, though some strange glances seemed to follow me as I walked past the tables filled with burly male adventurers.
Now that I think of it…I haven’t seen any female adventurers at all yet, huh…weird.
Sitting down, I contemplated the possible reasons for the lack of female adventurers in the Guild, but could only conclude that all the females were likely scared away by all the intimidatingly large lumps of muscle that populated the Guild.
Absentmindedly, I brought one of the pieces of ‘meat’ to my mouth.
Suddenly, a fruity taste, reminiscent of a mix of strawberries and apples spread across my tongue. The absurdly different taste contrasted with my expectations, causing me to choke with shock as I hacked and hastily grabbed the nearest beverage – the maroon-coloured liquid. As I gulped down the drink, I was once again startled by its unexpected taste. Despite the fact that the drink resembled tea, it had an amazingly sour taste. Coughing as I forced myself to swallow everything I had consumed, I poked at the eggs and bread, wondering if they too, would have an unexpected taste. However, contrary to my expectations, the remainder of the food tasted as they had back in my home world. I munched on the warm bread happily, savoring the flavor of the freshly baked bun.
Not long later, I soon cleared my plate of food and leaned back in my chair, stuffed. Although some of the dishes on the plate had tastes that contrasted greatly with their appearances, in all, the meal was quite delicious. Getting up, I brought my tray back to the counter, thanking Darius and the kitchen lady before asking for directions to the equipment and armoury shops.
“Welcome to the Crestia Clothing Store! Are you looking for something in particular?”
Upon walking into the clothing shop, a gaudy-looking man greeted me.
“Yeah. I’m an adventurer, and I’m looking for some more defensive equipment. Something durable, and preferably, nothing too expensive.”
Glancing at the man, I gave a quick reply. In response, the man gave a knowing smile. Clearly, he was fully aware that within this entire town, his store was the only one stocked with ‘equipment’ suitable for female adventurers. According to what I had heard from Darius, other than the Rosso nobles who had found themselves stranded near Au, nearly no females in the entire region normally became adventurers. As such, despite the decent number of equipment stores in Au, none of them were stocked with equipment specifically made for female bodies. The only store in the town that actually sold such goods was the clothing shop, with its large variety of ‘clothes’ made for ‘any of the needs a girl may have’ – or so I was told. It seemed that, while this store sold everyday clothes for the townsfolk, it also doubled as an ‘Armoury’ for travelling female adventurers.
“Our adventurer’s section is right this way.”
The man guided me to a small corner of the shop. Numerous cloaks hung on the wall, and a couple sets of armour were put out on display. However, the prices of said armour sets were exorbitant, and were naturally, outside of my price range. As I gazed around dazedly, the shopkeeper spoke up.
“Would you like me to make some recommendations to start you off?”
“Ah, yeah. That’d help a lot.”
Startled, I made a rather casual reply. After hearing my response, the man smiled as he nodded and began to pick out some clothes from a nearby shelf.
“Judging from your build, you seem to be a speed-type fighter so….ah! This would be perfect for you!”
The man grabbed a few pieces of clothing and thrust them into my arms. Before I could even let out a single peep, I was pushed into a change room. Blinking slowly, having yet to process what had just occurred, I looked down at the pile of cloth in my arms.
As I picked up the first article of clothing from the top of the pile, it unfolded to reveal a pleated skirt-like appearance. However, as I examined it, I found a sudden lack of clothing at the ‘front’ of the skirt, which was only held together by a single belt-piece that extended from one end of the the front to the other.
Thinking that perhaps I had been mistaken, and had simply happened to pick up a piece that was meant to go over my pants, I carefully examined the rest of the pile. All that remained were what appeared to be a string bikini top and bottom, as well as a pair of thigh-high stockings.
A small voice leaked out as my shoulders began to tremble violently.
“NANJYA KORYAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (TL: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!)
After hollering a tsukkomi towards the shopkeeper’s choice of clothes, I received a startling mental notification, which I promptly flipped off inwardly. Still trembling violently with anger, I whipped open the curtain of the change room, only to be greeted by the shocked face of said shopkeeper. Of course, it was only natural, considering the angry yell that I had let loose prior to confronting the man directly. Grabbing the clothes, I tossed them into the man’s arms as I glared in a contemptuous manner at him.
“Are you kidding me?”
The man’s mouth flapped open with shock as he replied with a startled expression.
“I said, are you kidding me?”
I continued to bore my gaze into the man’s eyes while letting off an intimidating aura.
“T-This is the most popular set of equipment for spee―”
“Have you ever tried fighting in your underwear before? Just what the hell do you think female adventurers are?!”
“U-Underwear?! I’ll have you know, this is―”
“THE EQUIPMENT OF A MORON! Disregarding how it looks, how the HELL do you think covering my TITS and ASS is going to protect me?!”
Clearly surprised at my suddenly vulgar language, the man began stuttering as though he had never heard of the words “tits” and “ass” before. Scoffing, I continued on my rampage.
“An adventurer’s equipment is meant to PROTECT their body! There’s no way in hell it can do that when everything is exposed! You might as well send them all out in their birthday suits to fight monsters!”
I clicked my tongue, having reduced the flashy-looking man into a gibbering idiot, who could only, apparently, continue to parrot any shocking words I spoke to him. Deciding that I should get things over with quickly, I shot another sharp gaze towards the parrot-man.
The man jumped, having been brought back to his senses by my suddenly calm tone.
“Do you have any proper equipment to offer, or am I going to have to―”
“Y-YES MA’AM! I do!”
Oddly, the shopkeeper went into a full salute as he cut me off. A strange sweat began to flow down his face as he hastily began to run about, grabbing multiple bundles of clothes before very politely handing them to me, his face the picture of fear.
Silently, I took the offered clothes and returned to the change room, closing its curtains behind me.
Why does it feel like….rather than being the ‘cute imouto-chara’ who is loved, I’ve become a person to be feared…..
I wondered to myself as I stared blankly at the clothes, recalling the many pe—or rather, more specifically, the many men I had frightened since coming to 【Paletia】. Finding that my character had deviated greatly from its online self in the short period of time I had been here, I absentmindedly changed my clothes.
WHO ARE YOU CALLING ‘IRRITABLE’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I let out a noiseless scream as I tsukkomied the notification I had randomly received at full force mentally. At this point in time, I could only feel that my Nyanko Guide was harassing me on purpose, considering all the nonsensical skills and titles it had bestowed upon me.
Having suddenly received an unexpected reply from my Nyanko Guide, which somehow seemed to mildly remind me of a certain, blue-haired brother of mine’s infuriating expression, I unleashed a mental scream of pure, unadulterated, rage. At the same time, I whipped open the curtain of the change room, my face still the picture of fury. Seeing that, the store owner’s face turned a shade of snow white, as he stuttered while asking in a frightened tone.
“D-D-Did something d-d-displease you, m-m-ma’am?!”
Still infuriated, I turned my angry gaze towards the innocent man. Then, realizing that I was directing my furious expression towards the poor individual, I relaxed my face as I gave a gentle smile.
“No, it’s nothing.”
Some colour appeared to return to the anxious man’s face as he went mute while staring at me with eyes filled with disbelief at my sudden change. In an attempt to regain his composure, he straightened his back as he asked,
“S-So, how do you like it?”
I tilted my head, not comprehending his question. Seemingly realizing this, the shopkeeper waved his right hand about, gesturing to the clothes I was currently dressed in.
“A-Ahh….yeah, it’s pretty nice.”
Awakening from my confused stupor, I gave a half-hearted reply while glancing down at my attire. The vision of a hot, summer day was evoked by the outfit, followed by the coolness of diving into the school’s pool. Indeed….what I was currently wearing….was a school swimsuit.
In my shock, I pivoted on my left leg while sending my right flying towards the anticipatory man. As he went flying, I saw the whites of his eyes appear in slow motion. The poor man slammed into the wall heavily, falling to the floor completely unconscious.