Perfect Reflections

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Ch 99 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 99 -- Made to Order from Wyvern Skin


I arrived at Lambert-san's shop ready to deliver the goods he had ordered the day before. I presented the boxes and jars containing the soap, shampoo, conditioner and hair wraps to Lambert-san in the store's reception room. As usual Fer and Sui accompanied me but paid no attention to the business being transacted. Fer slept behind my chair in the reception room and Sui was also sleeping but in her bag of course.

"Yes, this is just as I asked for." Lambert-san smiled. "I should have placed this order sooner. We've actually run out of this commodity already." Lambert-san put his hand on one of the crates containing the cheaper soap as he spoke. "As for payment, since it's more than 100 gold coins, may I pay with large gold coins?" he inquired.

I nodded. "Yes, that's fine." I worked it out yesterday, the total price for everything should be 612 gold coins. I'm getting used to getting paid large amounts of money and the shock is wearing off a bit. I didn't even stutter. When I was living and working in Japan I often struggled financially with little money left before payday. I didn't really expect that arriving in a different world would be so profitable... Yup, not scraping for every copper coin is a good thing.

"Well, here are 60 large gold coins and 12 regular gold coins." Lambert-san said, laying the money out on the table before me. "Please check." As usual in this world, the coins were stacked in piles of ten during transactions. It was correct, 60 large gold coins each worth 10 regular gold coins plus another 12 gold coins, 612 gold coins in all.

"Yes, that's correct." I confirmed. Lambert-san said that between Merchants it was customary to use large gold coins involving payments of more than 100 gold coins. It made travelling around to other cities to do business with other Merchants a bit easier, especially if the Merchant didn't have an Item Box. Conversely a single large gold coin was a bit too much for normal day-to-day transactions such as buying food from a stall or paying a city's entry tax. I have a lot of regular gold coins anyway but I also have an Item Box of course. In passing, a white gold coin worth 100 regular gold coins is a coin made from an alloy of Mithril and gold. It's used for trading between countries or sometimes by wealthy Merchants carrying out very large deals.

As Lambert-san arranged for the wooden crates and jars to be taken off to the storeroom I remembered something.

"Oh yes, I have something I want to ask Lambert-san. Can I have a cloak made here?" I inquired.

"Well, of course we also accept commissions for custom made leather goods so there would be no problem." Lambert-san explained. "What kind of leather do you wish to use?"

"Well you see..." I explained to Lambert-san about the Wyverns.

"Oh, Wyvern..." his eyes widened. "I had heard that a flock of Wyverns had appeared near the city and been subjugated but I had no idea Mudouka-san was involved..." No, it wasn't me, it was Fer and Sui who dealt with the Wyverns but I didn't tell Lambert-san that. I pressed on instead.

"So I'd like you to make me a cloak and a belt with Wyvern skin." I requested.

"I have always wanted to work with Wyvern skin some day." Lambert-san said with a faraway on his face. He nodded. "I proudly accept your commission. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for my shop, to work with Wyvern skin." Oh, working with Wyvern skin is uncommon? I had spoken to the Guild Master back at the Adventurers Guild about having a cloak made but he hadn't told me it was going to be difficult. I had gotten the idea it would be easy. Lambert-san went on to explain.

"However, it takes some time to work with Wyvern skin, is that all right with you?"

"How long will it take?" I asked.

"Hmmm," Lambert-san stared at the ceiling, deep in thought for a moment. "It will take about six months..." That long really? Then again Johan-ojisan back at the Adventurers Guild said he would need to use a Mithril knife to dismantle the Wyverns I was selling so maybe tanning the skin and making a cloak and a belt and maybe even some shoes, that would take quite a long time due to the difficulty of working the leather. Well, I wasn't really in a hurry so waiting half a year wouldn't be that problematic.

"You see, even if you are supplying the skin yourself the sorts of craftsmen who can work with such materials are uncommon and of course it will take them a long time to carry out the work. The price, well..." Lambert-san could only give me an estimate of the cost but it was going to be not less than 500 gold coins.

The old me might have swallowed at hearing that price but now I could afford it easily, even after paying 370 gold coins for my bath (MY bath!) two days ago. Getting something made-to-order always cost more than off-the-peg after all. Working with Wyvern skin was a tough job so it was going to cost in terms of time and labour. It couldn't be helped.

"Oh, that price, can I pay it with the leftover Wyvern skin?" Wyverns were big creatures and Lambert-san should be able to make a cloak, belt and shoes from a single Wyvern skin and still have a lot of leather left unused.

"Eh-, are you sure?" Lambert-san said. He paused for a moment in thought. "Wyvern skin is very rarely available on the market so that might be a good deal for me..." He shook his head. "I can't agree immediately, Mukouda-san, I will have to give it some consideration but it is certainly a tempting offer. Let's talk about it later, please?"

The only use I have for Wyvern skins is to sell them for money so if I can trade one skin to pay for the making of the cloak, belt and shoes I want then I don't have a problem with that. It would save me paying for them in cash otherwise.

"Then I would be happy if you would accept this commission, Lambert-san." I said. Lambert-san nodded and I stood up, picking up Sui's bag as Fer came to life behind me.

"Well, I'm going to the Adventurers Guild now. I'll bring the Wyvern skin back here afterwards, so thank you."

"Yes, I will be waiting for you." said Lambert-san as he escorted me to the front door. We left the shop and headed for the Adventurers Guild.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Ch 17 Sakyubasu ni Tensei Shita no de Miruku o Shiborimasu (Because I Reincarnated as a Succubus, I’ll Squeeze Out Milk)

Ch 17 -- Loving Older Sister and Dutiful Younger Brother

~ What has gone before ~
I made friends with a boy and out of nowhere he declared my best friend to be his (love?) rival.


* * * * *

We had stopped in what appeared to be the biggest street in town, with arcades on either side covering stores and shops. The buildings were all made of stone, an unfamiliar sight to a modern-day Japanese person.  It made me feel like I was visiting Kyoto or some other historical place. I suppose if you're creating an RPG then these sorts of stone buildings fit right in.

The day was getting on and there was almost no traffic around, no crowds of people which was good. I rather like night when it's quiet with few people. As a hikikomori even just imagining the crowds of people who would be here in the daytime unnerved me.

The stores in this town were grouped together in districts much like a lot of Japanese cities and this neighbourhood we were in seemed to be for eating and drinking. The place we had stopped outside turned out to be Erim's home, a tavern named "O - pub". It was a single-storey building about 160 square metres in extent, a bit like a family restaurant at home. Thinking that it was operated by just two siblings rather impressed me.

In front of the store was one of those double-flapping doors commonly seen in saloons and the like that appear in Westerns. The light that glowed past the doors wasn't from an oil lamp or candles, it was a bright white colour just like a modern fluorescent or LED lamp. Since there probably wasn't electricity in this world the light was undoubtedly produced by something else.

Although the lights were on there was a sign on the door reading "Closed" written in in something like English cursive -- hold on?

"What's wrong?" Erim asked as I stopped suddenly.

"I can read what's written there," I explained, puzzled. "It says that the shop is closed, doesn't it?" Erim nodded, still not clear why I was confused. I said "cursive" but the letters on the sign weren't actually English, they were ones I'd never seen before but somehow I could understand what they meant.

"Yes it says 'Closed'." Erim agreed, thinking hard. "Being able to read might be a skill of someone reincarnated like yourself. This is the written language that humans use. Can you write it?"

I concentrated hard, imagining myself creating text and..."It's impossible for me to write like that." I finally admitted. "I tried thinking how I'd write the letters of my name but nothing came to mind."

In Japanese even if it was a word like, say, "rose" with complex characters made up of lots of strokes and radicals [薔薇] I could just read it. Selecting letters on a smartphone, it auto-converts to allow me to make the right choice from homonyms. This language though, I couldn't write the letters with pen and paper. It was so odd, being able to read but not to write.

"I'll help you to learn to write as well as read." Erim offered.

"Thank you Erim." I said. "However since I can already read this language it shouldn't be difficult for me to learn to write."

"I hope so, but if it isn't an imposition then when I've got the time I'll help you with it as much as I can."

"I wouldn't want to bother you, Erim." I protested.

"I want to get a start on the battle I face," Erim stated blushingly, "and doing this for you will only help me."

Battle? Are you planning to fight anyone, Erim? Any why does the idea of helping me study make you so happy? Will teaching me a letter give you a power-up somehow? Wouldn't it be better for you to concentrate on bulking up and building muscles? I searched my memory of the previous conversations trying to figure out what I might have said that would cause him to blush but I couldn't find anything. I gave up for the moment.

"Excuse me, cow-san, can you wait outside for a while? I don't think you can go in until I move a lot of chairs and tables." Erim said. Minoko accepted Erim's instruction to wait and meekly squatted down in front of the store entrance. I thanked Minoko for carrying us all this way and stepped down onto the packed earth of the roadway. The cool soil felt good on the soles of my bare feet.

"I'm kinda nervous about the idea of bringing a girl home to introduce them to my family." Erim said, hesitating in front of the door.

"Ah, I see." I was confused at his sudden non-sequitur. "Are you likely to do that any time soon?"

"Please don't say you don't understand." Erim said exasperatedly.

"Well I don't, not really," I said, "but it will be fine. I'll explain everything you did to your sister and how you only had the best of intentions towards me and that will be that, Erim."

"Richy-san, maybe... Are you making fun of me?" Erim asked.

"What?" Where did that come from?

"...She's really got no idea," he muttered to himself under his breath, "Is she truly that naive?" He shrugged. "Okay, let's go in." What Erim just said worried me but I had more immediate problems -- I was finally going to meet with his older sister. For that reason above all I was very nervous.

Erim went first, pushing the swing doors open wide. I snuck in behind him, trying to conceal myself using his not-very-broad back as cover while the doors flapped back and forth in the background. A wood scent assaulted my nostrils when I entered. Unlike the usual painted or plasticky inorganic appearance of modern Japanese shops, the floor, ceiling and walls of this tavern were all boarded over. The decor seemed warmer and more welcoming for that reason.

I peered into the interior of the tavern over Erim's shoulder. A long bar ran the length of the wall on the left side of the single large room, with shelves on the wall behind filled with neatly-arranged bottles of assorted colours. I could see a sink back there too.

"- Oh, welcome back, you're early aren't you?" A lovely clear voice called out from behind the counter where a girl stood polishing a transparent drinking cup. Was she really Erim's older sister? She was beautiful rather than cute. Erim's older sister was 22 years old according to her brother so it may be rude to call a woman of that age a "girl" but if the thirty-something office lady at the Reincarnation Support Division could see her that person would shed tears of blood in jealous envy. I would have guessed she was about the same age as me or Erim if I hadn't been told otherwise. Her hair was a similar shade as Erim's but perhaps a little lighter, carefully dressed in a long plait that fell to her slim waist. Her large expressive eyes were a warm brown colour. I estimated we about the same height, realising I was now probably a bit shorter than originally after my reincarnation as a succubus.

"Richy-san, allow me to introduce my older sister Sumirena to you." Erim said very formally. So this is Sumirena-san? I bobbed my head politely to her, wondering how she would react.

Sumirena-san put the half-polished glass down on the counter and came out around the counter which allowed me to see that she was wearing a long-skirted dress with a white apron. She lifted her skirt at the front and rushed over to us in an apparent panic.

"Erim...You, why..."

Both me and Erim were in bare feet. It might have seemed a trivial fact but not to Sumirena-san. For me I thought their reunion would be like a family drama on teevee back home, a worried sister hugging her brother who had faced up to an terrifying orc out in the dangerous woods, asking him if he was all right, tears of relief glistening in her eyes, that sort of scene. Instead...

"Kneel." - no hugs, no tears, just a word of command in a cold voice. Sumirena-san? Erim instantly knelt in seiza, back straight and feet folded under him as if obeying this sort of command was a regular occurrence in this household.

"Erim, you made me worry, didn't you?" Sumirena-san said with a sorrowful voice. Erim's face, however was stricken with fear.

"Even though I tried to discourage you from entering the forest as much as I could I eventually gave in and I even closed the tavern temporarily because you absolutely insisted on going. And now I found out it was a lie, you weren't going to the forest at all, you were spending your time making out with a girl instead!"

"Ah, S- Sis, please hear me out!" Erim begged.

Sumirena-san touched Erim's forehead with a finger to silence his entreaties before turning to pick up a heavy crate full of bottles from the bar with an "umphh".

"Erim, I understand you're at that age where you're interested in that kind of thing... But if you lie to me and run off to indulge your sexual desires, don't you think that'd I'd be disappointed in you?" she said with a sigh before depositing the crate of bottles onto Erim's knees.

"S- Sis! It's heavy, it hurts!"

"And then you bring this bint-san back here so late? I don't wish to believe it but I can only wonder if you're planning to use our home as a love hotel? Are you going to take her up to your room now?" Sumirena-san glared down at Erim's tear-streaked face before turning to pick up another heavy crate of bottles from the bar. I didn't know what to think as my original vision of Erim's loving sister, Sumirena-san disintegrated before my eyes.

"Let us explain please! This person will tell you that nothing happened between us!" Erim begged. Sumirena-san looked at me curiously but I was frozen and unable to say a word as always. I could never speak up for myself in such situations before I was reincarnated and I still retained my hikikomori fear of dealing with strangers, especially angry ones like Erim's older sister.

"Well ... I suppose I shouldn't scold you before finding out what happened. Sorry." Sumirena-san said in a conciliatory tone but she still held the second heavy crate ready for use and furthermore did nothing about the first crate resting painfully on Erim's knees.

"That's all right, sis. Once you understand what happened..." Erim said but Sumirena-san shook her head.

"I can't believe my little brother's excuses since I'm his big sister and I know him too well but I'll listen to you, bint-san." She hefted the crate in emphasis. "However before I hear your version of events I need to ask Erim a few things."

"I'm all right, sis." Erim said in relief. "I've not been hurt at all, in fact we never even came across the orc we were hunting."

Sumirena-san shook her head in dismissal "No, I do not care if you're hurt unless it hinders your work in the tavern." she said coldly. "I do not care..." she said about her little brother. How unfeeling of her. My view of Sumirena-san's sisterly heart descended another level.

"More importantly, that girl has a really splendid chest." Sumirena-san declared, fixing her gaze on my breasts.  I reflexively held my arms up to obscure them from her accusatory eyes. Unfortunately my new arms were quite thin unlike my substantial breasts and did little to conceal them.

"Well, that's true," Erim agreed.

"I don't care about her chest," Sumirena-san declared insincerely while unable to take her eyes off my breasts, "but have you done anything perverted with that girl?"

"P- perverted, have I done...?" Erim looked away. "Um, no?"

"Oh hoh, you did something, didn't you? Maybe you groped those enormous breasts, oh oh oh you blinked,  yeah, that's what you did. " Sumirena-san said triumphantly. "You play hooky from the tavern forcing me to close up for the evening to run off into the woods with a girl. " Her eyes narrowed, "Just how thoroughly did you massage those gigantic breasts of hers?"

Stupid honest Erim remained silent which only confirmed her accusations. Thump, and a second crate of bottles was stacked on Erim 's knees.

"Sister, ahhh, it's digging into my legs!"

"Well, it's only about twenty kilogrammes which should be nothing for you, Erim." Sumirena-san declared. "You can stand a lot more, can't you? After all you're not making any attempt to remove the crates which tells me you're guilty, doesn't it?"

"It was an accident! I didn't mean to push Richy-san down!" Erim said quickly. Sumirena-san's eyes widened and she turned to me.

"Oh no, I'm sorry.  I didn't realise that my little brother had become a sex criminal behind my back. As his guardian, castration, oops, correction of his deviant personality is required of me." As she spoke she picked up a third crate of bottles from the bar.

"Listen to what I'm saying! Please listen!" Erim begged.

"I'm listening, but I will add another crate every thirty seconds." Sumirena-san said menacingly.

"Well, uh, everything was OK to start with. I joined up with the party of adventurers as planned and we went to the Lububu Forest..." Erim hesitated, thinking,  "and I met up with Richy-san there..." The third crate was deposited on Erim's knees.

"Ummm, onee-san?" I tried to interrupt.

"Richy-san, leave this to me .... Please!" Erim insisted.

"Well, but..."

Erim pressed on. "When Richy-san was about to be attacked in the forest, I wasn't any use, I couldn't defend her, I never regretted my weakness so much when that happened to her... so I promised myself that I'd succeed next time!"

"That's nice but unimportant! Hurry up with the explanation of your perverted actions. Fourth one!" The next crate was deposited on his trembling knees.

He was beaten up by his adventurer companions, punched by me and then tortured by his sister and guardian. It seems to me that Erim had had a very unpleasant day since meeting up with me. By the time we finished explaining everything to Sumirena-san's satisfaction Erim had over a hundred kilograms of beer crates loaded on his knees.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Ch 98 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 98  -- Getting a Big Order


I visited Lambert-san's store the next day as I was interested in how the soap and shampoo and other items were selling.

"Good afternoon, Lambert-san." I said as the store's assistant led me to where he was working.

"Oh, Mukouda-san, good to see you." Lambert-san welcomed me with a broad smile.

"So are the soaps and shampoo selling well?" I enquired, getting right down to business.

"Yes, very well. I originally thought to use the regular shop staff to sell these items but..." As Lambert-san explained, Mary-san's word-of-mouth publicity campaign was highly successful and what's more, the ladies who bought soap and shampoo from her went on to tell all their friends, bringing in more customers.

"As you can see, Mary is personally demonstrating the items which has also boosted sales considerably."

In the corner of the shop  where the soap and shampoo were laid out on display Mary-san was speaking enthusiastically to a lady while getting her to touch her hair. The customer seemed surprised touching Mary's hair, discussing the effects of the shampoo eagerly with Lambert-san's wife.

"Thanks to Mary, sales are excellent. Of course, the goods I bought from Mukouda are of the highest quality."

The best sellers were the cheaper unscented soap and the rinse-in shampoo. It seemed they would be sold out in a little while. The lower price made them an easier sell. The sets of rose scented soap and shampoo and conditioner seemed to be popular among ladies who were more well-off, with nearly two-thirds of them being sold already. Although the hair wraps were particularly expensive, it seems that Mary-san had sold nearly one-third of my original delivery in the same time. I was amazed.

"I'm also surprised at the level of sales." Lambert-san said. "I underestimated the effort women would make in the pursuit of beauty." He shrugged. "Why, some customers bought as many as five high-end scented soaps at one time just because of the smell."

This world is different from mine in many ways but women's obsession with beauty is a universal constant. My older sister is a beauty otaku who says things like "these days guys who don't care about looking good are no good". When I was younger, living with her at my parents' house she would chop and change, experimenting with all sorts of new shampoos and conditioners and face and body lotions as they came on the market. Anything that she abandoned half-empty she pushed on me to try.

"The sales of leather goods in our main business is also doing well, surprisingly." Lambert-san added. The ladies who came to buy soap and shampoo here also saw his leather goods and they'd often buy something if it caught their eye while they were in the store. Ladies bags were a popular item, they seemed to go well with the hair care and soaps Mary-san was selling. The well-dressed men who sometimes accompanied the ladies were also often tempted by some of the store's more regular offerings.

"I didn't expect that the sale of such things would affect the sale of bags the way it did but," Lambert-san smiled, "in this case I'm rather pleased I miscalculated on that score." I wasn't surprised he was smiling, improving the sales of his regular leather goods even by accident was a good thing for him.

"So let's talk business..." I asked about any new orders Lambert-san wanted to place with me. It seems that Lambert-san was now convinced that Mary-san could sell the soaps and shampoos from the first trial order I had provided with little difficulty. We quickly agreed on the next order, the cheapest soap × 600 pieces, rose scented soap × 200 pieces, rinse-in shampoo × 500 bottles, shampoo and conditioner × 200 sets and finally 60 jars of hair wraps. Some of the quantities surprised me a little. He wanted 600 of the cheap soaps?

According to Mary-san, for regular folks who are neither aristocrats nor merchants even the cheapest unscented soap is expensive but she had sold such soaps to people like Merchants Guild staff members and even female Adventurers who were willing to pay for them. It turns out it was a mistake to put the scented soaps in bags, Mary-san explained as the scent attracted the attention of ordinary women visiting the shop. They might not be able to afford the scented soap but the plain soap was often within their means. Lambert-san expected that they would be able to sell even more of the plain soaps in the future.

"Because the order is quite big is it possible for you to fill the bottles here in your store, Lambert-san?" I asked, considering how much work it was going to be to do it all by myself. "I can bring the hair wraps in the glass jars and you can sell them directly."

"Yes, that's fine." said Lambert-san, thinking hard." Also, if someone has already purchased shampoos and the like or the hair wraps, if they bring the containers back we can fill them again here in the store and charge them a little less." I remembered suggesting something like that before and obviously Lambert-san had remembered my comment, not surprising for a master Merchant such as he. Anyway it was a relief that I wouldn't have to fill nearly a thousand bottles by myself.

"Well then, I will bring it all along tomorrow." I would have to hurry and get to work once I got back to the inn as I hadn't been expecting such a large order. I couldn't hand out the refill pouches or packets I bought via the Net Super so I'd have to decant the liquids into some containers I obtained locally. On the way home I stopped off and went searching in a general store where I bought some wooden boxes and a number of large jars before I went back to the inn.

◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇

Once I was back I immediately started preparing the order I had received from Lambert-san. I bought a lot of stuff from the Net Super. The order for the cheapest soap is 600 bars, it comes in packs of three bars of soap so I needed to buy 200 packs. It turned out that the maximum number I could order in one transaction on the Net Super was 99 of each item so I ordered 99 packs, another 99 packs and then 2 packs.

The order for rose scented soap was 200 bars. Since each pack contained 3 bars I ordered 67 packs. I could do this in one order since it was less than 99. That made 201 bars, one over the order but I kept the spare for my own use. On to the liquids. The rinse-in shampoo order was for 500 bottles, each refill pouch would fill 3 bottles so I bought 167 pouches in two orders. This was a little more than the order requested but I decided to donate the extra to Lambert-san. The order for shampoo and conditioner were for 200 pairs of bottles. I bought refill pouches again, 67 of each and again I left the extra to Lambert-san. Finally the hair wraps, 30 packs each with 8 wraps. I also bought 60 glass jars to put the hair wraps in. Whew.

I checked the quantities I had ordered, making sure I hadn't missed anything before starting to unpack and decant all the items. The plain soap bars were unwrapped and packed into wooden boxes, then I did the same with the rose-scented soaps into more boxes.

"Wow, I'm tired but I still have to sort out the refills next." I continued with the rinse-in shampoo, pouring the contents of the refill pouches into large jars, each with a lid. I think they were used in this world for fruit wines or preserves, each holding about 8 litres. I poured and poured and poured, eventually filling 13 jars with the rinse-in shampoo. The large jars worked really well for this purpose.

I did the same for the shampoo and conditioner sets, filling yet more large jars from the refill pouches. Finally I got on to the hair wraps, putting 4 hair wraps in each of the glass jars I had bought from the Net Super.

"Yes, finally, finished!" By the time I had finished the sun was beginning to sink low in the sky. Dinner time?

"Aruji, Fer-ojichan is hungry and waiting for you-" Sui announced. Yeah yeah, I took Sui and hurried down to the beast stables behind the inn.

* * * * *

When I got there Fer was grumpy. Well, grumpier than usual.

"Hoi, where were you?"

"Sorry sorry. Please forgive me for being late, I've got a real treat for you tonight." I took out the pot of beef stew from my Item Box. I had prepared it the night before since I had the time to simmer it properly. I had a good feeling the slow-cooked meat was going to taste great. I put out two servings of beef stew on plates for the two gluttons.

"Right. Be careful as it's hot." I warned as I put the plates down for them.

"This is the first time I've seen this. What is it..." Fer inquired suspiciously, then the smell hit him. Darling Sui was already digging in to her helping but Fer wasn't far behind.

"Ooo, this meat's so soft, it's just melting in my mouth." Fer said indistinctly, vacuuming up the stew on his plate.

"It really is." Sui added. "And it tastes delicious too!- "

Beef stew seems to be quite popular with the two gluttons as well.

"Seconds!" they chorused. I dished out even more stew for them while I started eating my own portion along with some French bread I had bought from the Net Super, dunking it in the gravy.

Ooooh, the meat is almost too tender, falling apart in my mouth. And sooo tasty. I wish I had added mushrooms, maybe I'll put some in next time I cook this dish.

I bought French bread because I thought it was better to eat beef stew with a crusty bread, but the Net Super version of French bread is actually quite soft and not crusty at all. I wasn't really surprised since at home I could never get proper crusty French bread anywhere except a specialist bakery. Were there any crusty breads in this world, I wondered. Well, there's that hard black bread, the sort I had eaten when I was travelling with the Iron Will team of Adventurers soon after I arrived in this world. Just eating it by itself as travel rations, it's tough and not very tasty but it might go well with beef stew since it's got a hard crust. I'll buy some black bread locally and keep it for next time, I decided.

"Seconds!" Shouldn't that be thirds? Whatever. I dished out more stew. Fer spotted the French bread I was eating my stew with.

"Nuu, is that something tasty you're eating this with?"

"Well yeah. I like eating beef stew with bread." I confirmed, reaching for the Net Super display. I knew what was coming. Lessee, bread, bread, bread... ah.

"I want to try it then." Fer announced, his previously-immaculate muzzle dripping with gravy. And I just washed you earlier, I sighed.

"Sui also wants to eat-" Yeah yeah. The order, two loaves of French bread arrived. I cut them apart and immersed some of the chunks in beef stew on the two dishes.

"Try some of this, I will add more if you like it."

"Umu-" Fer was muzzle-down in his dish of beef stew before I finished speaking and Sui didn't hesitate either.

"Well, this is really tasty. The bread soaks up the gravy and that makes it delicious." Fer declared as he came up for air.

"It really is." Sui chimed in. "The stew is delicious when you eat it with bread."

Fer and Sui seemed to like eating bread with the beef stew, demanding more "seconds" (fourths, fifths? I lost count) before finally...

"Well, I'm full." Fer said, sitting back at last. "It looks like Sui's full up too."

"Both of us are full up-" Sui agreed.

"Uuuuuurp... I may have eaten a little too much." Fer said deprecatingly, licking his stained muzzle to capture the last of the gravy adhering to it. Yeah, right. I peered into the pot which was now empty of beef stew. It had turned out to be a hit with my two gluttonous companions. I'll have to make more when I have the time to cook it properly. And include mushrooms.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Ch 97 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 97 -- Washing the Demonic Beast Fer


Next morning it was time to wash Fer. I had purchased dog shampoo, a dog brush and the largest-sized bath towel I could find on the Net Super. There was a great variety of pet food and other pet supplies available for purchase there, not surprising as the number of pet owners is increasing and many of them are willing to pamper their pets regardless of expense. This was handy for me since I could easily buy such things from the Net Super thanks to that. I hesitated looking at the plushy dog toys on offer but I decided if Fer wanted to chew on something there were plenty of S-ranked monsters around in this world.

With Sui safely tucked away in her shoulder bag I went down to where Fer was waiting for us in the inn's beast stables.

"Fer, let's go out of town again. I want to give you a bath like I said yesterday."

"Nu... you're really intending to wash me?" Fer seemed a little hesitant.

"Of course. Could it be you're scared of water?"

"W- well, that's not really true but I don't like to get wet, you see..." Okay, he was very hesitant.

"I'm not planning to drown you, just wash you so it'll be OK, I promise. Let's go." I didn't want to spend all day arguing with him like a toddler.

"Nuuuu, I give in..." I was starting to get a handle on Fer -- he'd agree to do something he found necessary but unpleasant as long as he had made it clear to everyone within earshot that he was doing it reluctantly and under duress. Now that was over with we left the beast stables and headed out of the city to the same remote area we had gone to yesterday for my own bath.

First up I had to brush out Fer's coat. I needed to do this before I washed him, remembering what a dog-owning workmate had told me once. Just washing a dog's matted hair won't clean it properly but if the coat is brushed beforehand the shampoo can get deep between the hairs and do its job. That was the theory, at least. Now to test it.

"Fer, first of all I'm going to brush out your hair to untangle it."

"W- well, okay." He seemed uneasy somehow. Then again it was probably the first time ever in the thousand years he'd been around that anyone had brushed him. I started working on Fer's hair with the dog brush I had bought from the Net Super. It was for large dogs, supposedly but Fer was extra-large so I didn't know quite if it would work. They didn't sell Fenrir brushes unfortunately.

"Ow ow-- Hey, take it a bit easier will ya?" Fer growled. The mighty Fer couldn't deal with a little discomfort? I was amazed.

"Sorry, sorry." I apologised. I brushed his coat more carefully, not pulling too hard at the places where the matted hair clogged the brush and tugged at his skin. It was a lot of hard work since his body was easily as big as a cow.

"Huff- this is working..." Fer's hair mats were starting to unravel as I persisted with the brush. It wasn't easy especially around his belly which had a lot of really thick hair mats but I finally managed to finish brushing him down properly. At the end I had a mountain of loose hair almost as tall as Fer himself... I got rid of this shed hair by digging holes with earth magic and burying it.

After the brushing I prepared to shampoo Fer's coat to clean it properly. First I took my bath out of my Item Box.

"Sui, will you wake up? I want your help for a moment." Hearing my thought Sui crawled out of her bag at once.

"What is it Aruji-?"

"Can you put some water in here please?" I indicated the bath.

"I got it-" Sui filled the bath with water and I added a small Fireball to heat it up. After stirring with my bath paddle I checked the temperature. It was maybe a little bit hot so I asked Sui to add more cold water. Some more stirring and yup, that seemed fine. It would stay at that temperature now thanks to the magical wonderful delightful bath (MY bath!). I scooped up some hot water in a bucket and poured it over Fer.

"Guuuh...." Fer shuddered and tried to back away. It seemed the mighty Fenrir didn't like getting wet after all. I kept on scooping and pouring the hot water over him but it was taking a lot of time as there was a lot of Fer to thoroughly soak down. Fer was getting more and more fidgety as it went on.

"Haven't you finished yet?" he grumbled.

"I'm getting there but wetting all of you down properly is hard work, Fer." I said pouring yet another bucket of hot water over him.

"Can't you use Sui's water magic somehow?" He wanted this over and done with, it was clear.

Oh, is that possible? Sui had Ruka-sama's blessing so she could do all sorts of water-related things and she's a Slime after all...

"Sui, can you suck up the hot water in this bath and spray it over Fer, like it was raining? You don't have to do it too hard." I added, remembering the power of her Water Cutter which had snipped off Wyvern heads like daisies in a meadow.

"Uh, I'll have a go-" Saying that Sui stretched a tentacle into the bath and sucked up hot water while stretching another tentacle from the other side of her body. Hot water spouted from that end like a hose.

"Uh, something like this?" The tip of her tentacle spread out and hot water came out like a shower from the end.

"Yes, great. As expected Sui can do it."

"Uhufufu. Sui is great-?"

"Yes, Sui is great. Can you keep doing this until I finish washing Fer?"

"Yeah, easy-" Sui confirmed. With the help of Sui's shower I got Fer's giant body thoroughly soaked. Time for the shampoo. I planned to use a shampoo for dogs I bought yesterday. Actually it was a shampoo suitable for both dogs and cats, according to the label. I chose it based on a report from a veterinarian who recommends various pet care products on the Net Super. He wrote that it is optimal for maintaining the health of the pet's skin and it can be used for puppies and kittens because it is mild. I didn't tell Fer this, of course. It had a conditioning feature like a rinse-in shampoo and the label said that after washing the hair would be soft and well-nourished. It was a bit expensive but I bought it because it promised to be good.

Following the instructions on the label I worked the shampoo into Fer's coat, starting from the neck down to his shoulders and then along his back and then back up to the neck again, against the lie of the hairs to get shampoo all the way down to his skin. I did it gently, the label said this would relax the dog being washed and encourage it to cooperate, at least that was the theory.

I added more shampoo and kept working away. "Fer, is this itchy or stinging?"

"Umu, it's OK. You can put in a bit more effort if you'd like."

Oh, I see. Fer wanted me to treat him like a dog. Right then... I washed harder, rubbing at his coat vigorously as Fer obviously wanted me to.

"Oooooh, yes, there, there... and there." I kept rubbing hard at the places Fer indicated.

"Ooooh, that's soooo nice..." Fer, didn't you say you didn't like getting wet earlier? Back, sides, belly, feet, I finally finished washing all of his body with the shampoo. Massaging the shampoo deep into his coat seemed to have mellowed him out. All that was left to wash now was his head. I wasn't sure about putting shampoo on there, I know I didn't like getting such stuff in my eyes myself so I figured I'd just use plain hot water.

"Hey, Fer, it's time to wash your face, can I spray hot water there?"

"O-, on my face? Nuhhh... Well, I can stand it. Do it quick-." Fer said, bravely closing his eyes. Fer really wasn't keen on his face getting wet, a legendary Demonic Beast that one-hitted high-ranking monsters bang! bang! was afraid of a little hot water. I mustn't laugh, I mustn't laugh... I let out a stifled laugh anyway.

"Nuuh, did you laugh at me just now?" Fer looked round at me suspiciously.

"I- I didn't laugh." I denied, trying desperately to keep a straight face. Change the subject quick. "Sui, can you spray some more hot water for me?"

"Yeah-" Sui started pumping more water from the bath. I directed the spray onto Fer's face.

"Gnuuuh-" he whined, flinching away as the gentle spray touched his face.

"Fer, hold still so I can wash your face." I chided. "Be brave."

"Guuuh-" the whining continued but courageous Fer held his head still as commanded while I thoroughly wetted his face. Finally that part was done.

"I'll rinse off the shampoo next." I said, taking the tip of Sui's tentacle and spraying fresh hot water over Fer's body, rinsing it thoroughly and leaving no bubbles. Fer's wet coat was now gleaming, clean and smooth.

"Yes, that's very good." I said, standing back to admire my work.

"Fuu-" Fer seemed glad I had stopped spraying him.

"And that's it, you're done, back washed and all." I announced.

"Huh, is it really all over?"

"I now just need to dry you off with a towel... waah, stand still-" I had picked up the extra-large bath towel just as Fer shook his body vigorously, just like a dog shaking off water after a bath.

"Uh, Fer?" I was drenched in the resulting spray.

"What? Oh, sorry." Fer said insincerely.

"You're not sorry at all, are you?" I looked down at my soaked body. "I'm completely doused thanks to you." I spat out some water that had gone in my mouth. It was my own fault though, I should have realised he would do something like that. Sometimes I forgot Fer was just a big dog, sort of. I spat again, some of Fer's loose hair from the grooming had been shaken off with the rinse water and got into my mouth. Uck. I had intended to wash Fer but I ended up getting a shower myself. Haa~.

Speaking of Fer, after shaking off most of the water he created a warm breeze and finished drying off his coat. It seemed that with Ninril-sama's blessing he could do all sorts of things with wind magic, not just use it to destroy enemies.

Fer definitely wasn't keen on getting wet but he seemed happy with the final results of his bath, saying "wow" as he looked over his clean body. His glossy smooth coat now gleamed marvelously like silver. Of course it would need to be kept that way.

"I'll need to wash you like this at least once or better still twice a month from now on, Fer." I announced.

"What? Hey, aren't you finished with all this now?" Fer grumbled but still unable to take his eyes off his clean coat.

"What are you saying? It's bad for your skin to remain dirty." I scolded him. "Besides the way you're looking at your coat, you're quite happy for it to be that way, aren't you? Well you'll have to wash it regularly to keep it looking like that."

"Well, no, I'm not really..." He was conflicted. Getting wet, nope, being clean and shiny, yep. Come on Fer, admit it...

"You look great now and you know it, a true Fenrir with a smooth silvery coat. You don't want to go back to being a scruffy-looking Fenrir, do you Fer? That's such a depressing sight."

"Well, a dirty Fenrir... Grummm-" Fer was still not sure but he was teetering...

"Well, you can only keep your coat looking like that if you wash it regularly. Don't worry, I'll help you do it properly." I played my trump card. "Hey Sui, how do you think Fer-ojichan looks right now?"

"Nnnn, Fer-ojichan's coat is beautiful and fluffy!" Sui bounced around happily.

"See, even Sui-chan agrees with me." Take that, Fer.

"Muu, it can't be helped then, I'll wash my coat, once or twice a month." Fer looked up. "But that's all. No more than that!" he declared. Yeah yeah Fer, lay down the law, tell us how it's going to be. I didn't care, it meant I wouldn't be climbing on the back of a dirt-covered Fer any more when we travelled. A thorough washing once or twice a month would be enough.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Ch 16 Sakyubasu ni Tensei Shita no de Miruku o Shiborimasu (Because I Reincarnated as a Succubus, I’ll Squeeze Out Milk)

Ch 16 -- Sakyubasu ni Tensei Shita no de Miruku o Shiborimasu (Because I Reincarnated as a Succubus, I’ll Squeeze Out Milk)

New series! Yay! More work for me! Yay! (Ego: Hey Id, What do you mean Yay!)

Previous chapters translated by others can be found on Novel Updates here:
https://www.novelupdates.com/series/because-i-reincarnated-as-a-succubus-ill-squeeze-out-milk/

Synopsis -- After being killed in a family restaurant in a very improbable accident involving Truck-kun, a 17-year-old shut-in (hikikomori) named Riichi Hourai is reincarnated as a succubus due to a misunderstanding by the Reincarnation Support Department. A succubus must extract a man’s life essence and consume it to live but Riichi as a former man firmly refuses to do so.

Does a substitute for a life essence kind of food exist? There is! And surprisingly it’s milk!! However, there’s no creature called a cow in the world he is to be reincarnated into, indeed no-one in that world drinks milk of any kind at all. The Reincarnation Support Department gave him a dairy cow as a special favour but it's up to him to take care of the creature who will become his life line in this other world if he is not to have to rely on his succubus powers to survive. However, it seems the cow isn’t just an ordinary cow…

Contrary to his desire for a peaceful life, Riichi was dragged into conflicts that influenced the fate of the world without him noticing it. Though he and his best friend both died in that improbable accident his best friend reincarnated later and elsewhere in this world so they haven't encountered each other yet.

Can Riichi meet his best friend ever again?! Will their friendship be the same as it was in their past life?! A romantic comedy with their new cheat forms starts here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ch 16 -- Write as "lover" and read as "rival"

~ What has gone before ~
My hair is dressed in dangos covering my horns and the lad's boots are on Minoko's horns concealing them perfectly too. We can get into the town like this!

* * * * *

"We're finally here." Erim said. "This town, Meiroku, is on the road between two major cities so it's a regular stopping place for travellers of all races."

This felt very RPG-ish as if Erim was an NPC standing near the entrance of the game-start town telling the newbie player all about it. Erim got off Minoko's back and led the way. I tried to apologise for making him give up his boots to hide Mikoko's horns and walk barefoot but he refused, saying "I walk barefoot all the time. It feels good, doesn't it?" I was deeply moved, he's a good kid.

The town of Meiroku was surrounded by a brown stone wall about 3 metres high with a gateway at one point. Intrigued, I leaned over on Minoko's back and touched the wall with my hand, discovering it was rough. It wasn't concrete but some natural stone from a quarry instead. Instead of an electric light there was a fire beacon in an swaying iron basket above the gateway entrance to the town, casting flickering shadows as we approached.

"...Minoko, stop." I said as I saw someone approach us from the entrance, and Minoko obediently stopped.

"-- who will they be at this time, Erim?" I asked nervously but Erim advanced confidently, calling out a greeting to the man who was dressed like a foot-soldier from a Western historical epic and carrying a spear. He was obviously some kind of town gatekeeper from his appearance.

Because of my ingrained hikikomori reflexes or perhaps because of my recent bitter experiences since I had been reincarnated as a succubus, when I realized that the gatekeeper was a man about 30 years old I nervously looked for a place to hide. No, no, I had to act normal (well, as normal as a boy just reincarnated as a succubus riding a cow could act) and not arouse the guard's suspicion.

"Good evening, Rodrick-san. It's rare to see you on night watchman duty." Erim said.

"It's just for tonight, some of the regular night watch are sick at the moment." The guard scratched his head. "I heard you were going to Lububu Forest but that you weren't leaving until tomorrow?"

"That was what we intended but we decided to go a day early." Erim explained.

"Okay, anyway you're not hurt so that's good." The guard waved at the entrance. "Hurry off home and let Sumirena-san see you're safe and well. Will she re-open the tavern now that you're back?"

"No, it's staying closed as scheduled." Erim said. The guard seemed disappointed by that news. Sumirena-san, is that the name of Erim's older sister?

"By the way, what is that big animal behind you, a horse...?" the guard had finally caught sight of Minoko and myself in the flickering light of the beacon, and pointed his spear at me. "No, not a horse but there's someone riding it, who..."

Minoko walked to the side of Erim without waiting for my instructions. I considered getting down beside him while wondering what to say to the guard but Erim went on to introduce me before I could do so.

"I met up with someone who was headed in this direction and accompanied her here. Her name is Richy Holline. She's travelling around various places and she wants to stay in our town for a while."

Thanks, Erim. I didn't want everyone to know I was a demon or reincarnated as that would be a bother. I'd have to think up some better kind of story for Erim's older sister though if I was going to stay at her place. As Erim had said everything I simply lifted my face I had previously been trying to hide and gave the guard a brief nod in greeting. For some reason though, he couldn't meet my eyes and kept staring at my upper body instead, mouth agape as if stunned. I know, guard-san, I know. I'm sorry my face is incredibly ugly.

"Well then, shall we go?" Erim said to me. "Roderick-san, if you'll excuse us?" Erim didn't give the guard-san time to react and just walked through the open gate with Minoko following. I felt the guard-san's gaze follow me but I remained silent.

There were no children running around town because it was late, indeed there were few adults about but they didn't seem unwelcoming, although I did attract some stares. All the houses were made of the same stone as the wall surrounding the town - it might be limestone or some kind of sandstone, I wasn't sure. The lamps in the street dyed the stone a warm orange colour. Because of the uniformity of tone the place had a calm atmosphere.

"It's a beautiful town," I muttered under my breath as I looked around. Erim must have heard me.

"Thank you." he said with a smile. "Because it's not a big city the people here all know each other. You'll get to know a lot of them soon too, I'm sure."

"Well, you seemed to know that guy at the gate just now."

"He's Roderick-san, a regular visitor to my older sister's place. I noticed him staring at you, Richy-san." Erim said with a smile.

"Well, I was hoping he was staring at Minoko, not me actually." I protested. I mean, being struck speechless by my horrific features?

"But I understand what he was thinking." Erim continued, still smiling.

Do you really understand? Do you think I look dreadful too? I really want to hide away again...

"Anyway, Richy-san, you were remarkably quiet back there." Erim said.

"Ah, it's a sad story, I'm almost always like that when I first meet strangers, I'm scared to speak to them. It's like a phobia."

"Now you mention it you were a bit shy when we first met but now you're talking to me quite freely."

"Erim is an exception - you're special." I explained.

"I'm special?..." His face turned red as he looked away.

I explained that as a lowly hikikomori I naturally regarded myself as beneath everyone else such as my parents and seniors at school and I took care not to come to their attention more than I absolutely had to. I was incapable of speaking to anyone out of turn or initiating a conversation. The one exception was Takuto, a close friend who was almost like a big brother to me. Even in this world Minoko had made it instantly clear she was my superior.

Saying that, Erim is younger than me but I still feel obliged to him for his assistance, so why can I speak to him so freely? Am I no longer bottom of the heap somehow?

"Richy-san, can I talk to you seriously for a moment?" Erim asked earnestly.

"Well yes, but do you have to speak to me so formally?"

"I feel I would die for you, Richy-san." Erim stated.

"You idiot, what are you saying?" I blurted out. "Yes you should value your companions but don't disregard your own worth. It's to late to have regrets if you die, and besides think about the ones you leave behind."

"The ones left behind, would Richy-san also be included?"

"Naturally if you were to die Erim, I would..." I stopped. If he died I'd probably retreat back into my shell again. Being honest with myself, I couldn't say anything else. I didn't want to lose him the way I had lost Takuto. I'd have to care for him in the future, I decided.

Erim's eyes were moist. He was obviously the sensitive type of guy which I found rather charming. Change the subject, quick.

"Oh, yeah, I remember guard-san said your sister's tavern wasn't open today. Do you help her in the tavern, Erim? "

"Yes, since my older sister is totally useless at cooking I make all the food for customers at the tavern."

"You're someone who can cook!?" Doesn't that make up for not being strong and tough? Erim's status suddenly soared past my own worthless self again. I slumped. Never mind.

"...Erim, it seems to me that you must be popular with girls. You're a true gentleman." The words caught in my mouth for some reason.

"I've never been popular with the opposite sex, sorry to say. I've never even confessed to a girl before." He glanced at me for some reason then turned his head away quickly.

"I'm sure there are many girls around who like boys like Erim." I declared firmly. Ganbatte, Erim-san.

"Well, ummm, Richy-san's image of what a perfect man looks like, is that anything like me?" he asked hesitantly.

"No, absolutely not." I replied.

"Ah, I see..."

"The image of my ideal man? You're way too thin, Erim. My ideal man is not someone who looks like an Orc but they've got to have some muscle at least. Macho but not hard is what I'd be looking for." Now I had become a woman I couldn't meet that ideal any more, no matter how hard I trained my body. Not that I had ever trained my body when I was a lowly male hikikomori...

"Then I will do my best! I- I will train myself!" Erim declared.

"What, you're going to train up?" Why did he tell me that all of a sudden? Was he angry because I accused him of being weedy and weak?

"I will totally, absolutely, make myself into Richy-san's ideal man!"

Stop it. You're making me jealous, doing something I can never manage myself now I'm a girl. I remembered Takuto, we were totally the same size and build when we were in elementary school but as we grew up he became big and strong and I stayed feeble and weak. Why did we become so different? Heredity, upbringing, what caused the difference?

"Richy-san?" Erim prompted. "You seem distant, are you thinking about something?"

"Sort of, I was remembering someone I knew in the other world."

"Oh, I see..." Erim seemed downcast. "Were they... someone special to you, Richy-san?"

"Well, I suppose so... someone irreplaceable." Actually, I didn't have any other friends apart from Takuto.

"Was it a... boy?" Erim pressed.

"That's right, but..." If I had gotten a girlfriend what would have happened to us?

"Did that guy look your ideal man, Richy-san!?" Erim seemed to be obsessed with asking me the weirdest questions but I humoured him. He was a nice boy.

"That guy looked really sharp when he took off his clothes, he had a fit and muscular body."

"When he took off his-, aaaaah!" Erim suddenly exclaimed, looking like he had been hit hard and lost a lot of HP.

"Wh- what is it!?" I looked around to see what had startled him but there was nothing. When I turned back he had dropped to one knee, breathing hard. Was he going crazy? Was he having a stroke?

"Richy-san, I..." he swallowed. "Someday I wish to fill the space in your heart that person occupied. I'll work hard to succeed. So then, so then..." he stopped.

"So then... what?" I asked, perplexed. I gestured for him to stand up, we were attracting attention from a few people nearby. As he stood I could see the determination burning in his eyes as he visibly summoned up a once-in-a-lifetime level of courage and announced:

"Please let us be friends from this day on!" Erim presented me with his hands, bowing deeply.

"……friends?" Us? Friends?

Friends. I stared at Elim's proffered hands as the idea reverberated over and over in my head. Until now, speaking of friends, Takuto was the only one I had ever had. If I could never meet with him again then from now on I would have no friends at all, was my single thought. I wasn't exaggerating, it had been ten years since we first met and in all that time no-one else had been my friend. For me friends are rare, valuable and hard to get.

"Really... you would really be my friend?" I couldn't believe it.

"Well, you see, I think the order of such things is important so we should start as friends." Erim said.

I couldn't stop smiling. I fell off Minoko's back, grasping Elim's hands with both hands.

"I'm happy! I'm so unbelievably happy!" I had gained a second friend in my otherwise-worthless hikikomori life. The horrible events of the day, what had happened to me at the hands of the the Orc and the Adventurers, were swept away as if they had never happened in the excitement.

"I'm, I'm, I'm so grateful!" Erim clutched my hands. "I will endeavour to make an utmost effort to progress our relationship, to be more than just a good friend of Richy-san in the future!"

The future of our friendship? Oh, I see, he wishes to become best friends with me later.

"Wow, I'm so impressed. There is actually someone who wishes to be in that sort of relationship with me besides Takuto."

"Takuto-san, you say? The man who is my rival." declared Erim, his eyes hardening.

"Rival, eh?" Oh, friends who compete with each other, creating an even greater friendship. It happened all the time in sports manga. Wouldn't that be great?

"If we get a chance to meet him I will introduce him to you, so until then please treat him as your rival." I said.

"Isn't that impossible?" Erim asked, his brow furrowed.

"I don't know, perhaps Takuto may be reincarnated in this world." I explained.

"Could that really happen!?"

"Yeah, he was in the same accident with me and I was killed instantly." My face sobered. "I was informed that Takuto was badly injured and may still die. If so he will be reincarnated, I think and he might turn up here."

"Oh, I see..." Erims' face fell.

"If that happens, will you consider meeting with him?"

"...I understand." Erim nodded. "As much as I would be unwilling to impose on the grief of a woman who has been separated from a former boyfriend due to an accident, I look forward to it."

"I don't quite get what you just said there, Erim but thank you - if you ever meet with Takuto I'm sure you will end up becoming best friends."

"Well, ummm, that is ... how would you feel in that case?"

"I'd be okay with it, I promise you."

Heh heh, this is so great. Will my circle of friends continue to increase like this? While I was dreaming how splendid this world I had been reincarnated into was Minoko made a "Mohuu" noise.

We're here? What do you mean, here?

* * * * *

Author's note: A perfect example of maximum misunderstanding by a foolish child...

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Intermission -- Not A Chapter

This is not a chapter of Tondemo Skill. (Well, duuuh!)

I thought I'd say some things about how I do this stuff, why I do it and other things now that I've completed more than sixty chapters.

Hi, my name's Albedo. Yes it's a pseudonym, it's one I've used for a long time doing stuff like scanlations. "Long time" means over ten years or so. I'm a one-man band because collaborating with people in this sort of endeavour is a pain and always ends in flames and regrets (been there, done that, got the flouncy email). I'm British so the English text I produce tends to have British English spellings ("colour") and colloquialisms. I do this for free, I don't have a Patreon or even run ads on this blog no matter how easy Google make it for people like me to monetise my efforts by doing so. I have added a "buy me a coffee" button recently but that's as far as I want to go.

How did I get into translating light novel series? Well, I decided my grasp of Japanese was now good enough to cope with pure text rather than speech bubbles in manga. Scanlating is a lot easier in that regard -- there was one manga scanlation group who claimed to translate by facial expressions. It helps, a lot, to have graphical visualisations of what's going on. Since the manga release of Tondemo Skill has now reached the point in the Web novel's storyline when I took over translating it's going to be fun to see how the visuals match up with my fevered imaginings of what the moonspeak runes actually say. Or not.

I use the word "crappy" describing this series and actually it is pretty crappy in both storyline and textual structure. I clean it up a lot when translating it into English. I also add bits to improve the text, and enhance descriptions and scenes but only where it doesn't affect the flow of the story or the plot. Japanese LN writers tend to leave stuff out because they're writing fast rather than well and Eguchi Ren, the author of Tondemo Skill is no exception.

Future plans -- I'm looking at bundling up my translations and "publishing" them as an e-book to make them easier to read off-line. That will come at a convenient breakpoint in the story, probably a few chapters from now. I will not do this with the first 40-odd chapters translated by someone else since that work belongs to them.

I am also considering picking up another series which is suffering from the current translators going to college/graduating and having to work for a living combined, I suspect, with a whole lot of "I don't want to do this any more". See my reference to collaborations above. More news later or I may just drop the first chapter on you here without warning.


Ch 96 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 96 -- Fer Hunts Something Amazing


I was starting to worry as the sun set with no sign of Fer but then he suddenly returned, noisily bursting through the tree branches and startling me.

 --Thump--  Fer casually dropped a big lizard that he was carrying in his mouth onto the ground in front of me.

"I was delayed." Fer not-apologised for his tardiness in a very Fer-like manner.

"...Uh Fer, what's with this big lizard thing?" I asked nervously, dreading the answer. It looked a bit like a Komodo dragon lizard I had seen on TV but bigger, from the tip of its snout to the end of its tail it must have been at least five metres long.

"I caught a sniff of something special and followed my nose." Fer said in a satisfied tone. "I came across something that would put up a fight against me at last."

That's not what I asked, Fer, just what is this big lizard thing?

"That flock of Wyverns got my hopes up but they turned out to be a disappointment." Fer shrugged. "However after I tracked down this Earth Dragon, I finally got a little exercise."

...Fer, what did you just say? I wondered if my hearing was getting worse.

"Uh, Fer, what did you say?"

"Is your hearing getting worse? I said, because that flock of Wyverns were a disappointment I went off and got some real exercise with this Earth Dragon here."

"...A-, an Earth Dragon?" I stuttered.

"Yep. That's it. That's an Earth Dragon." Fer nudged the big lizard with his snout. "Right there."

I used Appraisal on the giant Komodo Dragon lizard thing lying on the ground.

[ Earth Dragon]

That's all, there were no other stats because, well, Fer had killed it. Ummm...

"What, what did you...?" I stumbled to a halt, my brain locking up as I tried to deal with what Fer had just done.

"What? What did I do what?" Fer looked confused, as if he naturally hunted dragons every day, no biggie and why was I surprised?

"What?" I repeated myself. "An Earth Dragon, why did you hunt it?"

"Why not?" Fer shrugged. "Dragon meat tastes delicious, I told you before. Isn't that a good reason to hunt it?"

I thought hurriedly, trying to explain to a confused Fer. "No no no, it's great that the meat is delicious, that's not a problem." I waved my hands. "If the Adventurer's Guild couldn't purchase the Chimaera and Orthros you hunted earlier then do you think they could buy the materials from an Earth Dragon?"

Fer looked disappointed. "Nu, Dragon's meat is really delicious." Stop drooling, Fer, we're having a serious discussion here. He suddenly perked up.

"Hey, even if they wouldn't buy the materials, couldn't you get them to dismantle it anyway?" Oh, just dismantling? That might work... Smart thinking, Fer.

"I'll talk to the Guild Master and Johan about it, see if they can dismantle it for us. However it's a Dragon... I don't know if they can actually disassemble something like that."

"Hm, you've got a point. I was looking forward to eating Dragon's meat after a very long while. We'll wait and see what happens..."

I'll see what they say but it's an Earth Dragon after all. Looks like they're in for another surprise. Haaa~.

Fer's nose wrinkled as he sniffed. "Hey something smells good." Now the matter of the Earth Dragon was dealt with -- at least for now -- Fer had reverted to his usual gluttonous self. I deposited the giant body of the Earth Dragon in my Item Box to make some space to serve dinner.

"You want to eat dinner here?" Stupid question.

"Well, yeah." Predictable answer.

I started serving the beef bowl. Leaving the beef stew for later will make it taste better as the beef gets more tender. I put rice I had cooked beforehand into dishes and then piled plenty of meat on top. I woke Sui up.

"Sui, your dinner's ready."

"Oh? Dinner-"

"Yes, here's your dinner."

"Dinner-"

I gave a beef bowl (extra large portions) to Fer and Sui.

"Mumu, this is delicious."

"Really, the meat is soooo tasty~"

The way they were talking it was clear they both liked beef bowl so I decided it was my turn to eat and what I'd like was to put some eggs on my beef bowl. When I opened Net Super and looked at the eggs on offer something special caught my eye. Oh yesssss... I bought hot spring eggs which had been soft-boiled in natural hot water. Soft-boiled eggs on a beef bowl are delicious. I broke them into the meat letting the runny yolk soak down into the rice below then stirred them in and popped some into my mouth.

"Yummy~"

Adding the soft-boiled eggs mellows the taste. Delicious. This calls for tea, doesn't it... I took a PET bottle of green tea I had bought earlier from my Item Box. Gulp gulp gulp... my mouth was refreshed, then back to the beef bowl. Yum yum.

"Hey, seconds here." Fer squinted suspiciously at my own bowl. "Hold on, why've you got eggs on yours? You trying to be sneaky? I want some too."

"Sui wants seconds too. Put egg on Sui's-"

Yeah yeah.  I made up two more beef bowls (extra large), got two more hot-spring eggs and broke them on top of the meat before handing the out the dishes to the two gluttons.

"Muuu, putting the egg on top is completely delicious."

"Sui also likes the way the eggs taste-"

So they both like beef bowls with runny soft-boiled eggs, devouring them greedily. Several servings later they finally declared they were satisfied.

"Fuu-, that was really tasty." Fer announced.

"It was really delicious-" Sui agreed.

"Well then, are we going back to the city now?" I enquired. We were all done here, I thought.

"Uh-huh."

"Yup."

I was going to get on Fer's back for the trip back to town but...

"Fer?" I couldn't get on his back. Yuck.

"What?" He looked back over his shoulder at me.

"You- you're dirty." I blurted out, staring at Fer's matted hair.

"W- what?" Fer exclaimed.

Until now I hadn't really taken any notice but now I'd had a bath and I was all clean myself I couldn't ignore it any longer. I poked at the clumped masses of dirty hair on his coat.

"See, all the hair here is filthy, it's sticking together and matted. You've got to have noticed it's in terrible condition, haven't you Fer?"

"Uh, well, that's not really-." Fer hesitated. "Look, I groom myself regularly..." He couldn't look me in the eye as he said that though.

"No no no, you're do not doing it right." I declared. It was obvious he wasn't taking care of his coat properly at all.

"Ummm-"

"Right, I've decided, I'm going to wash you tomorrow, Fer."

"Wh-" Fer whined.

"Are you scared of water? Is that what you're telling me?" I pressed him.

"P-  positively not." Fer declared, still unable to look me in the eye.

"That's good then. I'll give you a bath tomorrow, Fer. I've decided."

"Gwuuuh" Fer whined quietly, his muzzle pressed against the ground in submission. He really wasn't keen on the idea but I had to be firm, the condition of his coat was a disgrace. I'd have to get some dog shampoo and a brush to wash and groom Fer properly. Could I buy dog shampoo from the Net Super?