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Herrings and Gutting Kizuna†Exceed

After getting my fishing rod, I headed off towards the blue section of the map.
Whaddya know? It’s water. Well, technically, the sea.
I feel a little weird fishing on the sandy shores, so I found a nice bridge to cast my line from.

—10 minutes later

No bites yet.
The rod’s description says that fish would be more likely to bite if there were bait on the hook, but it’ll work even without. Unfortunately, I’ve caught squat.
But since I’m in a game, I get to daydream while staring off into the blue skies.
The smell of the sea is flawlessly realistic. But more importantly, the calm winds and warm temperature makes this a perfect day for fishing.
In any other game, the clouds in the sky don’t usually move. Even if they do, they move linearly. Here, though, it seems like everything is affected by the physics engine. The clouds scatter, the grow bigger, and they float with the currents.

“Hello, there. You have a bite.”
“Oh? No kidding.”

My fishing rods gently tugs and shakes.
I pull it straight up.
It didn’t even take much strength to simply lift it out of the water.

—Herring obtained.

The herring went into my inventory.
This Shoddy Rod really can get bites without any bait. That’s a game for ya.

“Thanks for lett—oh, you’re gone. Must’ve been in a hurry or something.”

I wanted to say thanks for letting me know, but unfortunately, I was too late.
Maybe they were just passing by.
In any case, I cast my line into the water again.

“A herring, eh? I think there’s a bit of herring in the cuisine of Kyoto, if I recall correctly.”

The general store had pots and pans in stock.
Maybe I can cook up the fish with a cooking skill.
If there’s herring, there might be sardines and mackerel too.
And if I get better at this, I may even be able to catch me a tuna or seabream.
I wonder what kind of tuna they have. Albacore? Bluefin? Or perhaps there’s even a whole bunch of different varieties. You know how picky we Japanese are on tuna.
While I was deep in thought, the rod began to tug again.

—Herring obtained.

Another herring?
I don’t really mind, but all this herring makes me hungry for one.
Maybe I’ll ask Mom to cook some tonight.

… well, I’m staying over at the event hall today, but maybe tomorrow in the real time.

I wonder how much time I have left in the game. I’m sure I have at least another day or two of in-game time.
But herring… there’s herring roe, dried herring, herring soba, salted herring, smoked herring.
Oh, there’s even surströmming.

I’ve seen it on TV before, but I haven’t tasted the real deal.
I heard it smells a lot, so I don’t think I’d try it on my own volition.
It’d be nice to learn the cooking skill.
But what’s wrong with me? All I can think about in this game is herring.
I had a lot of time to think, but in the end, I still didn’t have an answer.

“I got more bites than I expected.”

Two more hours have past.
I put the whole herring thing aside and ended up catching quite a bit of fish.
Seven herrings, three sardines, and a horse mackerel.
I don’t mean to mix game with reality, but it wouldn’t be a bad haul if this were real life.
And they’re all edible, too.

“They even vary in size too, huh?”

I only caught the one mackerel, so I don’t have anything to compare it with, but the seven herrings are all different size and shapes.
Some are long, some are plump.
There’s gotta be rarity, quality, or some sort of standard even for herring, right?
It’s gotta be the same as stuff like, say, copper. I think they were selling some at the general store.
The stuff out of a mine would likely be graded on how pure it is.
The purer the ore is, the better it is for arms and armor, I think. Maybe.
Anyway, I’ve got me a gutting knife.
Maybe I can try gutting the fish.
I reach for the sheathe that’s hanging on my hip, draw the knife, and point it at the herring.

“How do I do this again?”

Honestly, I’ve never prepped a fish before, so I’ll just take a stab at it.
I think I’ve gotta get the scales off first.
I use the tip of my Novice Gutting Knife to scrape the herring.
A few scales fling off the skin of the fish.

—Small Fish Scale ×10 obtained.

Oh, that’s a handy knife. I like it already.
I think I can even do the meat and bones at this rate.


I got too excited and put a bit too much power into it. I sunk the Novice Gutting Knife into the belly of the herring with all my strength. As I did that, the flesh, the bones—everything vanished without a trace.
I’m inside a video game after all.
It was so similar to real life up to now, this is actually a little exciting now.
Anyway, I gut all of the fish caught today.

In the end, my spoils were 27 Small Fish Scales, 8 Small Fish Bones, 4 Trimmed Herrings, 1 Herring Head, 1 Trimmed Horse Mackerel, 1 Trimmed Sardine.
For some reason, the amount I caught doesn’t exactly match up with the meat I got, but oh well.
The number of items is nearly four times of the fish.
And I’ll have you know that it takes a lot of concentration to cut and trim fish. You mess up a little and the whole thing disappears. It took me nearly 30 minutes to carefully trim the 11 fish.
Well, if I acquire the skill, I’ll probably get a buff to it.
Speaking of skills, it doesn’t seem like I’ve gained much. I open up my status screen.

Name/ Kizuna†Exceed
Race/ Spirit
Energy/ 1,300
Mana/ 65
Serin/ 0

Oh, what’s this? My Energy has increased without me doing anything.
I wonder why. Ah, it’s probably due to that Energy Production skill. This one, right?

Skills/ Energy Production I, Mana Production I

Energy Production I → Energy Production II
Generates 100 Energy per hour → Generates 200 Energy per hour
Costs 10 Mana to upgrade

Mana Production I → Mana Production II
Generates 5 Mana per hour → Generates 10 Mana per hour
Consumes 0 Energy per hour → Consumes 150 Energy per hour
Costs 25 Mana to upgrade

Then, I suddenly remember…

“Agh, I’ve wasted three hours already!”

I upgrade both skills to rank II. My Energy drops to 1,150 and my Mana to 30. It seems like it consumed my Energy as soon as I level the skill up.
But the more I think about it, the better the fact that my Energy and Mana increases by the hour seems.
Perhaps it’d be quicker to level for normal races by hunting? Hmm.

Whatever. I’m a Spirit; no other choice for me.
I take a look at my skills section again and noticed that there’s Fishing Mastery I written in greyed out characters. I guess it wasn’t a waste of my time after all. Oh, and it doesn’t seem like I get a Mastery for gutting and trimming the fish.
I examine Fishing Mastery I and read its description.

Fishing Mastery I
All actions with a fishing rod receives a 10% buff.
Consumes 100 Energy per hour
Costs 30 Mana to acquire
Unlock requirement: Obtain 10 items or more with a fishing rod.
Upgrade requirement: Obtain 100 or more items with a fishing rod.

I barely just unlocked that skill. But if I acquire it, my Energy per hour drops down to -50.
That won’t do.
If I screw up just a little bit, it’s possible that I’ll drop dead.
I’ll acquire the skill after I upgrade my Energy Production again. And with that, I cast my line in the water again.


The moment I casted the line, an incredible force pulled on it.

“Oh, no! Eep!”

Since it came out of nowhere and I was holding on tight to the rod, my body—this body of a girl—was pulled along.
Perhaps it was a simple matter of a lack of STR, or Energy in the case of Spirits, but when I tried planting myself down, I ended up falling off the bridge.

There was a big splash and then the blub blub of bubbles as I fell into the sea.
In that instant, I saw a large fish, but it disappeared almost immediately.
Damn! If only I had taken Fishing Mastery!
That fish that got away was big… well, big enough that I couldn’t fight it.
Maybe it’s because I’m in a game, but I’m able to hold my breath underwater for longer than I normally can. I take a good look at my small Kizuna†Exceed body and get back up on the bridge.


My clothes are wet. I guess that’s a given.
Anyway, I looked at my items screen and then my status screen and found out that I lost 30 Energy because of fall damage, I think.

“But more important, it took away my rod…”

I think it’s normal for me to be taken aback. I never would’ve thought that I’d lose my starting money, five potions, and my Shoddy Rod in that little time.

“Hahaha… you sure have got a lot of nerve…”

That’s it.

I’mma catch you and eat you.

: // // /ch002/ /next/

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