Chapter 004: We’re finally in the other world! (Two)
“Did you not get it!?”
Haruka and I crowded around Tomoya accusingly, causing him to look flustered.
This is bad. This is really bad. Especially if he’d already made some bad decisions!
“Tomoya! Tell us what skills you have, right now!”
Cowed by Haruka’s menacing look, Tomoya hurriedly read off his skills.
[Aptitude with Swords] [Sword Skill Lv.3] [Charge Lv.1]
[Roar Lv.1] [Evasion Lv.2] [Toughness Lv.4]
[Speed Lv.2] [Appraisal Lv.2] [Smithing Lv.1]
…Yes!! There were no land mine skills!
Haruka and I looked at each other and sighed in relief.
“You know, I really wanted to get that ‘EXP Gain’ skill, but I didn’t have enough points to do that and still create a cool kemono character, so I had no choice but to give it up.”
“Well, you made the right choice!” I hurriedly assured him.
“Yeah! I’m actually surprised you chose useful skills, knowing your eccentric nature and all!” Haruka huffed.
That was a close call! While ‘EXP Gain’ wasn’t deadly, it would have made life so much tougher for Tomoya!
“Huh, really? But won’t it help me level up much faster? Not that I think I’d engage in battle a lot,” Tomoya asked.
“But it’s a trap! It’s all a huge trap!”
And so, Haruka and I took turns explaining that many of the supplementary skills added to our lists were potential land mines. Soon, Tomoya’s face looked white as a sheet…
He yelled, looking for all the world like Munch’s Scream.
“Wait! What? So, if I’d made a mistake with my skill choices, my life would be over!!”
“That’s right. I wonder if those lowlifes who got ‘Skill Steal’ are already dead?” Haruka mused.
“Yeah, Instant Death is definitely possible for those guys. Especially if we have no way of knowing the average skill make-up or level of the people in this world, using that skill against an enemy can mean death.”
Besides, the skill is returned to the owner upon my death, plus they'll even gain a longer lifespan because of me using 'Skill Steal' on them.
Anyway, the ability to steal skills without any repercussions just gives me a bad feeling.
Well, I guess for people who are determined to steal someone else’s hard-earned skills, ‘Skill Steal’ might still be a great deal, despite its downsides…
“Scary! How horrible!! What an evil god!”
Tomoya still looked like the Scream.
Yep, I could totally empathize. I felt the same way when I first saw the new explanations after I’d selected ‘Help’.
“But I still think he(?) was actually nice? The advice provided in ‘Help’ was really convenient, and he kept reminding us that there was no way to cheat the system. So those who still decided to choose cheat-like skills are actually reaping what they sowed?”
“Nah, I don’t think so. I mean, offering that ‘EXP Gain’ skill is just plain bullying, since it gives zero merits,” Tomoya argued.
Well, I guess so.
The other skills all had some sort of merit attached, which ‘EXP Gain’ didn’t… Why was that?
Maybe its effect would be enhanced, when combined with some other skill?
It does happen in some games, where skills seem useless on their own, but when paired with other skills, they become extremely useful.
“Hmm, I don’t know, but he did tell us that hard work always pays off, so I didn’t expect things to be easy? Besides, he also said that what we desire is definitely within reach, which is quite good advice too.”
Haruka was right. The evil god did say those things, which was not exactly evil of him.
If we wanted a skill that made life easier, we would have to put in much more effort than anyone else… It sounded just like what a fair and just god would put mortals through.
And if we’d gotten those amazing skills, we won’t have enough points for much else, anyway.
“That said, the original skills that he offered… Were actually already pretty great. I mean, ‘Toughness’ seemed really important.”
“Yeah. Sci-fi stories always talk about civilizations being wiped out because they have no resistance to some illness,” Haruka agreed.
“What? Is ‘Toughness’ really that important?”
Oh, that’s right. Tomoya doesn’t have access to ‘Help’.
Even so, he’d invested and gotten the skill at a high level. He’s always been lucky like that.
I mean, he’d managed to avoid all the land mine skills without using ‘Help’.
“But it says there may be new, unknown viruses here in the explanation. That’s why I decided to choose it,” I explained.
“We may gain some resistance to that, but it doesn’t mean we can’t fall sick. Plus, we probably don’t have things like insurance here,” Haruka murmured softly.
She’s right. There probably aren’t systems like health or life insurance in this world.
If we don’t get to work quickly, there’s a high chance that we’ll end up dead. In this world, we no longer have parents or guardians as protection.
“Really!? Phew~ I’m glad I selected it,” Tomoya finally seemed somewhat relieved.
While you can’t tell just from the words ‘Toughness’ that it applies to illnesses as well, with such a high level as Tomoya’s, he’s probably gained resistance to most diseases.
“Alright, on to my skills next. These were my choices…” Haruka announced.
[Help] [Aptitude with Bows] [Alchemic Disposition]
[Magical Disposition/Light] [Magical Disposition/Wind] [Magical Disposition/Water]
[Magical Power Boost] [Otherworldly Sense] [Bow Skill Lv.2]
[Toughness Lv.2] [Throw Lv.1] [Intuition Lv.2]
[Disassembly Lv.1] [Light Magic Lv.3] [Wind Magic Lv.1]
[Water Magic Lv.1] [Fast Spellcasting Lv.1] [Alchemy Lv.1]
[Sewing Lv.1] [Cooking Lv.1]
“…Wait, why do you seem to have more skills than me?” Tomoya asked, head tilted to one side.
“He’s right. You have more skills than me too… Haruka, how many points were you given?” I asked.
It must have been quite a number.
I don’t really remember the exact cost for each skill, but I’m sure her list of skills required more points than I had.
“Points? I got 200?” Haruka answered nonchalantly.
“Huh!? I only had 120?”
“I had 150… Were our specs so different?”
“You still had 150! Haruka, you had almost twice the number of points I had!?”
It was true that Haruka was better at studies than I was. And, she was also much better-looking.
Her athletic ability was great, her communication skills too…
But to have all these calculated and given a score… How depressing.
“W-Well, I’m sure that evil god was biased! There’s no way you guys are of lesser value as humans!”
“Our value as humans…”
Watching us sink into depression, Haruka hurried to reassure us.
Tomoya looked especially upset.
“Don’t worry, Tomoya! You just need to level up your skills from now on! Come on, Nao, say something!”
Haruka thumped me on the back, pressing me to speak.
“Y-Yeah… She’s right, Tomoya.”
With a feeling of slight dissatisfaction, I glanced at my own status display again.
[Help] [Aptitude with Spears] [Magical Disposition/Space-Time]
[Spear Skill Lv.2] [Evasion Lv.1] [Toughness Lv.2]
[Hawk’s Eye Lv.1] [Stealth Lv.1] [Enemy Awareness Lv.1]
[Intuition Lv.2] [Trap Knowledge Lv.1]
[Space-Time Magic Lv.2] [Fire Magic Lv.1]
I’d thought my skill make-up looked good, but compared to Haruka’s, it now seemed a little lacking.
I wanted to think that Haruka just got too many points.
I mean, it can’t be that I got one of the least number of points compared to the rest of my class, right?
I had more than Tomoya, but disregarding ‘Help’, the number of points we had at our disposal were almost the same.
“Hmm. So Nao, you’re like the tank of our group? I guess it sorta fits you.”
“Huh, really? Does that matter?”
“Of course. Tomoya’s like a reckless vanguard fighter, and because Nao’s hard to place, I decided to model myself to be the rear support character,” Haruka explained.
Oh… I guess it was true, but I wished she’d give me a cooler name than ‘tank’. Something like ‘all-rounder’, perhaps.
But then, I’d made my skill selection without much thought, so I couldn’t complain.
“Well, lucky for us, we sorta match up to form a vanguard, tank, and rear support, so we’ll be alright. Let’s hurry and try to get to a city.”
“…That’s right, Haruka, you got a skill called ‘Otherworldly Sense’. Is that what’s telling you to hurry?”
“Well, we'll be safer if we're among other people. Back when we were humans, even a wild boar is enough to kill us. So while we have skills now, it’s still important to find somewhere safe to settle down.”
“Yeah, I remember seeing that on the news. How people get hurt and sometimes even killed by wild boars.”
“I’ve even heard that humans aren’t a match for the house cat if it’s intent on killing us, but I have my doubts.”
That’s right, it is very difficult to catch a cat when it doesn’t want to be caught. With that in mind, what Tomoya just said didn’t sound too implausible at all.
By the way, aside from our skills, I noticed belatedly that we were all unarmed.
All we had were clothes which (probably) belonged in this world.
“Hey hey, can we talk later? Let’s get going! Nao, you have ‘Hawk’s Eye’, right? Do you see a city nearby?”
At Haruka's urging, I looked around, but all I could see were fields and forests.
There was nothing that resembled civilization, and over there were some mountains… Oh, could that be a road?
“I don’t see any cities, but there’s something that looks like a road over there,” I reported.
“No city? But at least there’s a road… Anyway, let’s head over.”