Perfect Reflections

Friday, 19 October 2018

Ch 111 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 111 -- Registration of Dora-chan as a Contracted Monster

We ran into a problem when we tried to enter the city. Dora-chan was small sure enough but he still looked like a Dragon and that attracted attention, not surprisingly.

I explained to Gatekeeper-san that Dora-chan was a new contracted monster and he wouldn't cause any problems but the guard wasn't ready to accept my unsupported word.

"Looky here, sonny," Gatekeeper-san pointed to the part of my Guild card which had Fer and Sui listed as my contracted monsters. "No Dragon." He handed my card back to me. "No entry." He crossed his arms firmly. Until Dora-chan was listed on my Guild card as a contracted monster he wouldn't be able to accompany us into the city. Realising it would be useless to argue my way past them I gave up and asked one of the gatekeepers to go and fetch Rodolpho-san, the Guild Master of the city's Adventurers Guild to vouch for me.

"Right then," Rodopho-san said as he strode up to the gate a few minutes later, "What's happening here?" The gatekeepers stepped back to let him through to talk to me.

"Well," I explained again, "I've got a new contracted monster with me and that's causing us problems getting into the city..."

"Oh, ah, that's a P- Pixie Dragon?" Rodolpho-san burst out as he caught sight of Dora-chan.

"Oh, I'm surprised you recognise it. I was told it's a very rare kind of monster."

"Well you see, long time ago an old friend of mine was a Dragon Slayer." Rodolpho-san explained, studying the hovering figure of the Pixie Dragon. "He spent a lot of time researching Dragons and he wouldn't stop talking about them to me... Anyways he mentioned Pixie Dragons, said they were a sub-species of Dragon. I got interested in Dragons myself, we went looking for any information on them and eventually we found an illustrated book about different kinds of Dragons in the National Library at the Royal Capital." Rodolpho-san and his Dragon Slayer colleague sounded quite dedicated types.

"Were the Pixie Dragons listed in that book?" I asked. "Fer told me this was the first one he'd come across in 500 years so they must be pretty rare."

"Yup." Rodolpho-san said. "I need to check, is everything OK between you two?"

"Well ... I've made a proper contract with the Pixie Dragon if that's what you're asking."

Rodolpho-san turned his gaze to Fer. "Well, you made a contract with a Fenrir earlier, so..." He thought for a moment. "And I figure the Fenrir wouldn't stay quiet if he saw there was a problem with you making a contract with the Dragon." 

"Of course." Fer agreed. "I'd never forgive myself if I let him mess up and get killed. That's because the food he cooks is the best." Hey Fer, stop boasting.

"Oh, the food you cook?..." Rodolpho-san said inquiringly.

"Rodolpho-san, please don't ask any more questions." I begged.

"Oh, gotcha." However Rodolpho-san's face showed he was thinking hard about what Fer had blurted out. Bad idea, Fer. I was meeting too many gluttonous characters in my travels, that was my big problem.

Rodolpho-san turned to the gatekeepers. "I'll guarantee these guys, please let them into the city."

"If the Guild Master says it's safe we'll let you in. Just don't cause any trouble, please." The gatekeepers stepped aside and we entered the town.

"So what about the subjugation request for Venom Tarantula?" Rodolpho-san asked as we walked towards the Adventurers Guild.

"Of course we got them but we only brought back the bodies of the monsters. Shouldn't we have gathered the webs?" I had wondered about that just after we had left the forest but it was too late to go back again.

"The webs the Venom Tarantulas weave are sticky threads," Rodolpho-san explained. "The web-thread material stored in sacs in a Venom Tarantula's belly isn't sticky and that's what's wanted. Just how that material is made into thread for weaving is a closely guarded secret and there are only a few craftsmen who can do so. Bruno Company is the only local business with such workers."

Oh, so that's how it is? Thinking about it the spider web stretched over the trees was sticky because it was there to capture prey. Just thinking how it must feel to get tangled up in something like that made me shiver.

"Oh, that's right, you asked us to get two specimens but we actually got eight. Will you buy them all from us?"

"Oh, eight Venom Tarantulas, really?" Rodolpho-san thought for a moment. "I can't be certain but I believe Bruno Company will be happy to buy in all the ones you have." He laughed. "It would have been a simple task for a Fenrir to catch so many, and what's more do it all in a single day." Well Fer is a legendary monster, I thought to myself but Sui is a super strong Slime too, remembering how she had one-hitted the Giant Centipede. I wondered what Rodolpho-san would think if I told him about the Giant Centipede I had in my Item Box. We reached the Adventurers Guild while I was still pondering whether to tell him about it or not.

"First of all, let's register that Pixie Dragon as your contracted monster." Rodolpho-san declared as he pushed the door open. As we entered after him we were the centre of attraction of the people inside, well Dora-chan was.

"Oh, that, is that Dragon?" "Is it a baby Dragon?" "Even if it's a baby Dragon, is it safe?" I heard various voices whispering as we walked through the crowd. Dora-chan sensed the watching eyes and cried "Kyui Kyui" softly as if he was pleased to be noticed. Show-off, I thought silently.

Rodolpho-san banged on a table, attracting everyone's attention. "Right everyone, listen up. That Dragon there is a contracted monster of this guy here." He hooked his thumb at me. "Don't mess with the Dragon or its master and everything will be fine. Mess with them and you'll have HIM to deal with." He pointed to Fer who had snuck in behind us silently while everyone's eyes were fixed on Dora-chan. More than one Adventurer's face turned white as they realised they were looking at a Fenrir. Fer was actually quite good at sneaking and if he didn't want to be noticed it was surprising just how well a large monster like him could blend in to the scenery. I wondered if there was a magic Camouflage spell he used sometimes.

"As you can see, this guy's got another contracted monster like that Dragon but a lot stronger. You don't want to make him angry." There was a murmur of assent from the crowd, some of whom were edging towards the door as Fer slowly swept them with a cold stare. He didn't bare his fangs, quite but he didn't really need to. Rodolpho-san looked the crowd over and then nodded, satisfied he had got his message across. It seemed that the Guild Master ran a tight ship in this city.

"Okay, now that's sorted let's get your contracted monster registered." Rodolpho-san held out his hand. "Come on, hurry up, I need your Guild card." It didn't take long and once Dora-chan's name and type, Pixie Dragon had been added to my Guild card and officially recorded by the receptionist then it was time to sort out selling the monsters in my Item Box so we went back to the warehouse area behind the purchasing window. It looked very similar to Johan-ojisan's warehouse back in Carerina. I supposed most Adventurers Guilds buildings were constructed similarly, they'd all need a warehouse like this.

"If it isn't the Guild Master? Is anything wrong?" The speaker was a muscular young man in his mid-20s. I looked closely and noticed he was dragging his right foot. I guessed he was a retired Adventurer, perhaps sidelined due to an injury. He seemed to be the dismantler for this city's Guild, like Johan-ojisan in Carerina. After Rodolpho-san explained why we were there the man pointed at a big bench.

"Okay, put the Venom Tarantulas there." I took them out of my Item Box.

"Wow, there are eight of them." the young man exclaimed. He seemed easily surprised.

"Oh, I've also got a Giant Centipede if you'll purchase it." I added.

"You also subjugated a Giant Centipede?" the young man said, his jaw dropping. I took out the Giant Centipede from the Item Box and put it beside the Venom Tarantulas.

"I, a Giant Centipede, this is the first time..." he was incoherent, his eyes popping at the sight.

"It's been a while since this Guild has had one of these brought in." Rodolpho-san said, gazing at the giant insect's corpse. He poked his hand into the hole in the Giant Centipede's head where its brain had been. "This monster's shell is as hard as the finest armour. What kind of attack caused this?"

Well, you see, Sui...

"Sui did it, yo, great-?" Sui jumped out of her bag and bounced around the warehouse. So you're awake, Sui?

"I'm guessing but," Rodolpho-san said shrewdly, "was it that Slime that killed the Giant Centipede?"

"Well, ah-" I didn't want to admit it but the Guild Master was not stupid. Besides I suspected he'd got a report from Willem, the Guild Master of Carerina about Sui as well as Fer. Well, since Sui was awake I decided to introduce her to Dora-chan.

"Sui, this is a new friend, Dora-chan," I said to Sui telepathically.

"Wow~ it's flying, amazing! Hey, my name's Sui. Dora-chan, nice to meet you!"

"Oh, nice to meet you too!" Dora-chan replied. They seemed to hit it off with each other very well.

While I was arranging the introductions telepathically Rodolpho-san was consulting with the Guild's dismantler about purchasing the monsters we had brought in.

"Since there's a few more than we were expecting it'll take us until the day after tomorrow before we can pay you." Rodolpho-san finally said.

"Yes, that's fine." I agreed. "I want to look around and shop for clothes in this town. Ah," I remembered suddenly, "The Venom Tarantulas, the legs are edible so we won't be selling them. Other than those parts you can purchase all of what we brought you."

Fer had said that Venom Tarantula legs were edible although the idea sounded revolting to me. The Guild was buying the bodies mainly for the thread sacs and we didn't want any of the other parts like the head so they could deal with all the rest.

"I understand." Rodolpho-san nodded. "The legs are delicious when boiled in salt water. The primary objective of our request was to provide Bruno Company with the thread they need so that is satisfactory."

"Well, I'll come back the day after tomorrow then."

"Oh, and if you're looking for clothing, this town is the best." Rodolpho-san said, obviously proud of his city's reputation for cloth weaving and tailoring. "You can get good quality clothing here at bargain prices." I wondered if Rodolpho-san came from a family of Dwarf Merchants as we left the Adventurers Guild, heading for the Spinning Wheel Inn and rest.

* * * * *

An argument broke out when we got to the inn.

"Fer and you have to stay in the beast stables, Dora-chan." I explained. As I said that Fer walked in and lay down on the futon I had spread out for him in his stall.

"Well, are you coming in?" Fer said over his shoulder. Dora-chan hovered around outside, obviously unwilling to stay in the stables. I tried to explain.

"Even though you're really small it would be impossible to have a Dragon in the room I sleep in."

"What? I'm really small, you admit it. You won't let me sleep in your room but you let Sui sleep there, don't you? You're a big meanie."

"It's OK for Sui to stay in my room because she's hidden in her bag. If I go into the inn with a Dragon flying about, no matter how small it is then the landlady who runs the place will get mad at me."

"Ummm, why would she?" I sighed. Dora-chan was obviously not well acquainted with landladies. "I wanted to  go into an inn for humans." Dora-chan said morosely.

"You'll be fine staying in the stable here with Fer, really. Be patient and I'll make you some really delicious food tomorrow, I promise." I saw Fer's ears prick up as I said that. Oops.

"Eh, you're going to make tasty food?! Hooray! Hyakko-!" Dora-chan buzzed joyfully around me. The promise of food cheered Dora-chan up immediately.

"I'll put up with sleeping in the beast stables tonight." Dora-chan flew into Fer's stall. "Hey, move over you big lump." Fer rolled over to make space for the Pixie Dragon to settle on the futons. "Do you snore?"

Fer sighed histrionically. "I'll put up with this pipsqueak for now but," he turned his head to glare at me, "the food tomorrow had better be delicious."

"Well, see you tomorrow." Dora-chan said as he tucked his head under a wing.

"The same." Fer said grumpily. I closed the door, thinking that maybe Dora-chan would be easier to deal with than I had expected. Food was the key to keeping Dora-chan contented, just like Fer and Sui. The downside was that I now had three gluttons to cater for. Ah well.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Ch 22 Sakyubasu ni Tensei Shita no de Miruku o Shiborimasu (Because I Reincarnated as a Succubus, I’ll Squeeze Out Milk)

Ch 22 -- My First Level Up

~ What has gone before ~

· I am taking a bath with my older sister. (※ blindfold SM play)
· For some reason the hero(ine) has come to be trusted by his/her older sister (explanation to follow).

* * * * *

"Judging people on their outward appearance is a silly, even dangerous thing to do." Sumirena-san explained. "When you've been dealing with customers for as long as I have you learn to observe people accurately and make your decisions on how to deal with them on that basis alone."

I listened carefully to my more experienced elder sister, grateful for her words.

"No-one alive doesn't try to cheat or exaggerate somehow in front of others." Sumirena-san said dismissively. "The way they dress, the way they speak, their posture, mannerisms, whatever they can use to raise their value in other people's eyes even a little, I've seen it all."

Most young people like myself wouldn't know this sort of thing so when I heard Sumirena-san explain how she observed people around her I could only listen silently and nod in agreement.

"Women are especially deceitful, skilled at putting forward a false appearance so if you're not aware of this and don't view them critically then you will certainly be misled." She paused. "However in Richy-chan's case you were too honest to be true so I wrongly suspected you of having ulterior motives."

I was being too honest? "I'm sorry..."

"Don't apologise. To tell you the truth it's refreshing to come across someone who doesn't put on airs or present a false front to me. I'm tired of dealing with that sort working in the tavern day after day... the fact is I worry that I might turn into someone like that myself if I'm not careful. Is it really that simple?"

Sumirena-san told me a little about their parents' death. She wasn't specific when this happened but it was why,  at twenty years old she was working in the tavern with just Erim for company. My inexperienced hikikomori self couldn't imagine how hard life had been for her. I felt a fierce determination to lighten their burden if I was going to live here. What could I do to help though?

"Sumirena-san, will having me staying here with you make you feel better?"

"Of course. I'm feeling better already. Having Richy-chan staying here is very soothing." Hearing her say that brought a warm feeling to my heart.

"But you were suspicious of me before, convinced I was a conniving would-be freeloader, what changed your mind about me?" I was still puzzled about her abrupt decision to accept me into her home so wholeheartedly.

"Well I did think that way earlier, I must admit but what I saw of you convinced me otherwise."

"W- what did you say?" I was confused (again).

"As I told you before everyone, and especially women, take care to appear well-groomed to others but in Richy-chan's case it was different. You hadn't enhanced or tidied yourself, it was a purely natural appearance with no womanly artifice. It looked stunning."

Did I look like that? When? Where? All Sumirena-san had done was to lift my skirt up after all.

"At first glance I sensed the delicate vitality that lurked amidst that golden shining wheat field, superior to the finest silk thread."

"W- what? You're being a bit too poetic for me... exactly what are you talking about?" I asked, intrigued.

"Your pubic hair, silly." Sumirena-san said abruptly.

"I've never heard it described like that!!" I burst out, offended. Wheat field? Silk? "And anyway what's the deal!? Do women really care about the appearance and shape of, of, that, ah, triangle-!?"

"Well, yes they do. After all they never know when a... companion might see it and leaving it ragged and untidy might spoil the mood."

"Stop joking and be serious for once!" I protested.

"Oh I am being serious. It was obvious at a glance, Richy-chan that you hadn't trimmed or styled your hair lower down but in your case it was so beautiful in its natural state that it displayed a visual dynamism unique in my experience."

"Please stop, I don't want to hear this!" I begged but Sumirena-san would not be deterred.

"Anyway that's why I trusted Richy-chan after a single glance."

"And that's the only reason you trusted meeee!" I couldn't believe what she had said.

"Don't be depressed, Richy-chan, it's pointless to worry about such things." Sumirena-san chided me. "I'm really pleased that I met Richy-chan and I'm sure Erim is too. My secret dream of having a younger sister has come true."

"Dream? Did you wish to have a younger sister who's actually a guy?" I protested.

"You're a guy? Really? You've got the pubic hair of a beautiful girl that's never been touched by a razor and you say you're a guy?"

"I'm feeling dizzy, let me go!" I wanted to escape.

"No chance, Richy-chan, don't be so hasty." Sumirena-san said with a laugh. " We've not even got into the bathtub yet, you can't be feeling light-headed already."

"Hiiii!!" I was in big trouble. This woman, I was coming to realise, was the most perverted person I had ever encountered by far. I tried to stand up to escape her clutches but Sumirena-san suddenly hugged me from behind. It was like a violent earthquake. A squishy soft sensation, TWO squishy soft sensations pressed into my back. Okay they were quite small breasts compared to my own Succubus-sized breasts but they were breasts, a woman's breasts, a real woman's breasts that weren't my own breasts...

"Wait- Waaaaaaaaa!! Sumirena-san, it's not good to cling to me like that when you're naked! I- I can- I can feel theeeeeem!!!"

"Umu, aren't you the lucky one?" Sumirena-san teased. I thought she said she wouldn't do things like that. "Nice, aren't they? I'm only pressing lightly, just a little, don't be embarrassed."

"How can I not be embarrassed!? Sumirena-san, I can't be calm no matter what you say!"

"There there now, just settle back and enjoy it..." My landlady is a pervert, or did I forget to tell you? I tried to resist her embrace, twisting and squirming but it just made things worse with "those" pressing on my back sometimes firmly, sometimes softly and seemingly changing shape moment to moment. And then her hands came round to grasp my front...

"This is bad, seriously, I'm telling you Sumirena-san! If I still had my man's body, surely...!"

"You'd be having an erection?" Sumirena-san guessed shrewdly.

"I'm feeling something I shouldn't be able to feel!" I cried, confused as Sumirena-san's hands kept moving over my body.

"That's very interesting." Sumirena-san's hands paused for a moment, something that was perhaps even worse than when they had been moving a moment earlier. "You don't have a male penis any more but you believe something should be getting engorged anyway from the stimulation you're experiencing. Hmmm... I suppose you could call it a phantom penis erection?"

"Please don't just make up words like that!" I objected. "Where would you use such a phrase anyway!?" What she had said brought pictures into my mind though, making things even worse for me. I could FEEL it now she had put a name to it...

"Richy-chan, don't you want to get used to having a woman's body as soon as possible?" Sumirena-san queried. "I'll work diligently with you to help you achieve this, so let's explore a little more." Her hands started moving again, downwards...

"Yaa, stop... No, not there... Ah, wait! Hold on... no, not that place! Not inside... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, ah, hyaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" In my mind I suddenly saw the image of a falling camellia petal.

At some point in my useless struggle I lost consciousness. I'm not sure but my cries of grief and anguish (which went on for the best part of an hour, if my memory was correct) must have inconvenienced the local neighbourhood's night-time rest.

* * * * *

When I woke up I was in a bed by myself. It seemed to be a private room prepared for me. It was a simple room with white wallpaper, furnished with only the bed and one small chest and a water jug and bowl. A thin peach colored curtain decorated the window. I could see starlight in a dark sky outside through a gap in the curtains. It seemed that not much time had passed since I had been brought here as my skin still felt flushed and prickly from Sumirena-san's earlier attentions. I was wearing simple pajamas, nothing more risque or revealing as I had feared. I vaguely remember that Sumirena-san brought me here after I fainted in the bathroom.

"I'm mega~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ worn out..." I couldn't sleep but I was still exhausted from what had happened to me in such a short time. In one single day I had been killed, reincarnated, nearly raped (twice!) and then molested by an older sister (adopted). That's leaving out a whole raft of other things, of course -- for example I thought my features were monstrous and horrific but it turned out I was better looking than any gravure idol with a million-selling photobook. Waaay better looking. And before you say it, for the 17-year-old male hikikomori like me inside this body that's another minus point, not a plus.

Even now, lying in the bed staring at the ceiling my heavy breasts pressed down on me disturbingly, preventing me from sleeping easily. It was the first time in my life I'd tried to sleep with such massive objects on my chest constantly reminding me of their presence and it was not going well. My wings were crushed uncomfortably under me which was another source of distraction. I tried turning on my side but my horns got in the way, catching in the pillow and wedging my head up, straining my neck. The way my breasts slumped when I turned sideways didn't help either. Lying face down... squish. Nope.

"...I really want to quit being a Succubus." I muttered. Saying that though I wondered about my current Status. It made depressing reading when I made it appear before my eyes. My Job Title was still [ Unemployed ]. However...

 [ Level ]  2 (0/2)

What? My Level had risen from 1 to 2. How had that happened?

"...Surely I needed to have had sex to raise my level... That's what the receptionist at the Reincarnation Support Department said, anyway..." Maybe she had been bullshitting me, I hadn't had sex had I? The rape attempts hadn't succeeded after all. I gave up thinking about it as I finally drifted off to sleep at the end of my eventful first day in a different world.

* * * * *

※ "phantom penis erection" is not an officially recognised technical term in TS stories (probably).

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Ch 110 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 110 -- And the Number of Contracted Monsters Increases

Wh- what's this? It looks like a Dragon? But it's so small. Was it a baby Dragon? It was only about 50 cms from its nose (muzzle?) to the tip of its tail. It didn't look like it was going to attack... what should I do?

It hovered, wings fluttering almost invisibly, its eyes... were nailed to the gyoza I was holding in disposable chopsticks. I moved the chopsticks experimentally and sure enough the head of the mini-Dragon tracked the gyoza like a laser-guided missile. Did it want to eat the gyoza?

"Oh, a Pixie Dragon. They're very rare." Fer said, obviously recognising the type of Dragon hovering in front of me.

"A Pixie Dragon?" I asked, moving the chopsticks again and watched, fascinated as the small Dragon's gaze followed the gyoza's movements exactly.

"Yeah. They're a special breed of small Dragon. I last saw one about 500 years ago." That long ago?

"Kyuu, kyuu-" Did it want the gyoza?

 I proffered the gyoza in my chopsticks to the Pixie Dragon. "Here you are!" I said, hoping it would take the hint. It swooped in and snatched the gyoza away in its jaws before gulping it down.

"Kyuu, kyuu, kyuu-" It seemed to be saying it wanted some more. I guess I had no choice. I was pretty much full up now, the rice was finished and the remaining gyoza were leftovers so... "Here, you can eat this," I said, pushing the dish towards the Pixie Dragon which settled down on the ground, folded its wings and started to eat the leftover gyoza.

"So, they must be rare if the last one you saw was 500 years ago?" I asked, watching the Pixie Dragon gobbling up the gyoza in a manner that reminded me of two other gluttons of my close acquaintance.

"Yeah. There aren't a lot of them around." Fer was also closely observing the Pixie Dragon's actions.

"A Dragon this size is kinda cute." I mused. The Earth Dragon in my Item Box was the opposite of cute but it was 5 metres long. And dead too whereas this Pixie Dragon's antics were entertaining, like a puppy or kitten.

Fer looked at me. "Are you crazy? Don't think it's harmless just because it's small. A Pixie Dragon is quite a strong monster."

Oh, really? Something that small can be strong, that didn't seem right. Fer went on to explain.

"To start with a Pixie Dragon is really nimble and quick, very agile. It's got a lot of magical power in that small body, it can use fire magic, water magic, wind magic and earth magic as well as ice magic, lightning magic and recovery magic. What's more they're strong too, getting in close and punching hard and fast repeatedly then escaping out of range before you can hit back." Fer squinted at the Pixie Dragon which was taking no notice of the level-1000 Fenris monster studying it closely as it finished off the remaining gyoza on the plate. "The Pixie Dragon I encountered 500 years ago, it was a closer fight than I expected but I won, of course."

So it can fire off powerful magic like cannonballs? That's an impressive attack for such a small creature. Even Fer seemed to think a Pixie Dragon was a worthy opponent.

"Kyuu, KYUU-" Splat. Something was stuck on my face. The Pixie Dragon? "What the hell is it doing!?" It was clinging to my head for some reason. "Hey, hey, let go already..." I shook my head to dislodge it but it wasn't budging.

"Hey you, that tasted great. I'm still hungry. Gimme more of that stuff." A voice came in my head.

"I can't give you any more, I'd have to cook another batch of gyoza... hold on, who said that?"

"Well...that Pixie Dragon said it." Fer explained. "He's wanting to make a contract with you."

"What?" A contract?

"If you cook more food like this I'll be your contracted monster." The Pixie Dragon's voice sounded again in my head.

"Good idea. The food made by this guy is delicious. For long-lived species like us there's no problems contracting with a human being for a few decades." Fer explained telepathically to the Pixie Dragon -- for some reason I overheard them.

"Well yeah, if eating food like that is part of a contract then sign me up like the big Fenris guy." Are you just deciding such a thing without asking me? Is every strong monster in this world a glutton? Will I ever get a chance to eat my own cooking ever again?

"You know, your voice sounds different to what I was expecting." I said.

"What did you imagine I'd sound like?"

"Well, a childish voice like Sui maybe?" The Pixie Dragon was so small it had to be young, like Sui.

"That Pixie Dragon is not that young. Okay, it's not that old either but it's definitely not a kid." Fer explained.

"The big guy's got that right. Pixie Dragons like me are all small but that's just how we are even when we're fully grown."

"Is- is that so?" So this Pixie Dragon is not a child then?

"Now that's out of the way I want to make a contract with you so gimme a name please." The Pixie Dragon was insistent, as insistent as Fer had been months ago. I gave in.

"You want me to just think up a name for you? I'm no good at this... okay, since you're a Dragon I'll call you Dora-chan."

"Hey, come up with something cooler than that dorky name will ya?" The Pixie Dragon demanded.

"Well, I think Dora-chan's a perfect name for you." I retorted. You want to make a contract with me, I get to choose the name, that's the rules. Dora-chan. Do-ra-chan. Do-ra-chaaaaan.

"You're kidding me! I'm not a Dora-chan!" Dora-chan said furiously. I ignored the angry Dora-chan for a moment to use my Appraisal skill on the Pixie Dragon.

[ Name] Dora-chan
[ Age ] 116
[ Type ] Pixie Dragon
[ Level ] 126
[ Stamina ] 895
[ Magic Power ] 2879
[ Attack Power ] 2652
[ Defence Power ] 865
[ Agility ] 3269
[ Skill ] Fire Magic, Water Magic, Earth Magic, Wind Magic, Ice Magic, Lightning Magic, Recovery Magic, Bombardment

Oh, it's now officially "Dora-chan". It looks like a Dragon so Dora-chan it is. Do-ra-chan. That's settled. Heh. Looking at its level it's a lot higher than Sui but then again it is a real Dragon even if it's kinda small. Its magical power and agility are high as Fer said and it's got plenty of magical skills.

"Dora-chan is 116 years old." I noted. "It doesn't look that old."

"My name's not Dora-chan, you idiot." Dora-chan didn't seem to like its name for some reason. Do-ra-chan.

"Give it up, kid." said Fer. "Dora-chan is already listed as your name in your Status. As long as you're contracted to this guy you're going to be Dora-chan."

"What?!" Dora-chan looked downcast. "I wanted a cooler name than that..."

"You're a Dragon so Dora is cool, what's wrong with that as a name?" I asked, puzzled. Was there a problem?

"This guy's naming sense is terrible." Fer commiserated. "I'm a Fenrir so I got called Fer. You're a Dragon so Dora for the same reason." Fer grinned. "Think yourself lucky, kid, he actually tried to name me Pochi and Koro before I agreed to accept Fer."

"Pochi, Koro... it sounds like he's an idiot." Hey, I'm right here you know, Dora-chan.

"You're not wrong. Dora is a lot better than anything else he would have come up with." Hey, I'm right here you know, Fer.

"You might be right there." The Pixie Dragon shuddered. "At least I'm not Pochi or Koro now."

"By the way he's also got another contracted monster. It's a Slime so he called it Sui."

"I never should have asked this idiot to give me a name in the first place, should I?" Dora-chan asked. Fer shook his head.

...calling me an idiot wasn't making me feel any better, guys. Ah well. I decided to check my own status, thinking that Dora-chan should be included in my contracted monsters now.

[ Name ] Mukouda (Tsuyoshi Mukouda)
[ Age ] 27
[ Job ] A person from a different world who got caught
[ Level ] 13
[ Stamina ] 229
[ Magic Power ] 223
[ Attack Power ] 206
[ Defence Power ] 205
[ Agility ] 200
[ Skill ] Appraisal   Item Box   Fire Magic   Earth Magic   Familiar
[ Contracted Monsters ] Fenrir  Big Slime  Pixie Dragon
[ Unique Skill ] Net Super
[ Protection ]  Wind Goddess Ninril's blessing (small)    Fire Goddess Agni's blessing (small)
Earth Goddess Kishar's blessing (small)

Oh, my level has gone up a bit, yay! but... I'm still the weakest of all four of us. Well, everyone else is strong so it can't be helped, I suppose. And yes, I've got a Pixie Dragon listed as a contracted monster. Fer, Sui, Dora-chan, they're a strong bunch of monsters.

"Hey boss, I'm hungry." Dora-chan announced.

"Ah, right right." Dora-chan was saying it wanted to eat more gyoza. I had made a contract so I cooked more gyoza. Fortunately Dora-chan did not eat as much as Fer or Sui so I only needed to cook one hanetsuki serving of gyoza before it was satisfied.

"Right then shall we go back to the city?" I asked. It wasn't dark yet and if we hurried we'd be there before nightfall.

"I suppose so." said Fer.

"Can you fly all the way there by yourself, Dora-chan?" It was a very small Dragon after all and I still thought of it as a young child.

"Who do you think I am?" Dora-chan said derisively. "I'm a Pixie Dragon, the fastest-flying Dragon there is. I can fly anywhere in a single day. Hah!"

"Really? Anyway we're headed back to the city.  Sui, my contracted monster Slime is sleeping in this bag right now. I'll introduce you later."

"Okay, I gotcha." Dora-chan said.

"Right then, let's get going." Fer said, slinging me onto his back and starting to run toward the city.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Ch 109 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 109 -- Hanetsuki Gyoza

A quick snack? OK, something easy, hmmm, tonkatsu in a sandwich? I had some ready-to-eat tonkatsu prepared, oh and other things in my Item Box I could use too. I buttered up a slice of bread, added shredded cabbage and slathered it with mayonnaise before topping it with tonkatsu, another buttered bread slice on top, cut it in half and Done! I made more tonkatsu sandwiches then repeated the process with Cheese IN Chicken katsu and also mincemeat cakes from my Item Box. I put some mustard on the tonkatsu sandwiches to add a bit of bite to the mayo.

"Is it ready yet-" Fer demanded.  Yeah yeah, I put dishes with all three types of sandwich in front of Fer and Sui, to see what they preferred.

"Umu, this tastes good." Fer paused, his head tilted in thought. "Especially the tingly yellow stuff." Fer seemed to appreciate the mustard I added to the tonkatsu sandwich, it reminded me he liked spicy food. Mustard was safer than the Poison Lake Fish he had been so keen to eat back in the forest, at least for the cook (me) who would have to prepare it for him. Safety first.

"Sui likes having this white sticky stuff in the middle-" That would be the Cheese IN Chicken katsu sandwich. Sui likes cheese, the reason I had made that kind of sandwich.

"Seconds." they chorused -- I wondered if they practiced that call, they were always perfectly synchronised. Yeah yeah. I made a large pile of tonkatsu sandwiches with mayonnaise and mustard for Fer and a similar pile of Cheese IN Chicken katsu sandwiches for Sui and dished them out before I started to eat my own dinner. I went with Fer's choice, tonkatsu sandwiches with mayo and mustard for myself.

Crunch. Oh yeah, really tasty. The sharp mustard and mayonnaise combo worked to cleanse the stickiness of the fatty Orc General meat and the cabbage added a bit of crunchy texture to each bite. I got a PET bottle of cold tea from my Item Box and helped myself, washing the first sandwich down before starting on a second one.

"Aruji, Sui also wants a drink-"

"Me too." Fer chimed in. "More of that bubbly stuff will do." Yeah yeah, I bought cola from the Net Super and put out two bowls for them.

After we finished eating the sun was still well above the horizon. "Since I've got time today I'll get some work done so you two can take a nap." I announced.

"Sui understands. I'm taking a nap-" Sui said as she went into her favourite bag.

"Hey, what are you planning?" Fer asked suspiciously.

"Well, there's something I want to eat later, I thought I'd make some now."

"Umu, is it tasty?"

"Of course it's tasty." I replied, somewhat offended at Fer's question.

"That's OK then, go ahead." Fer graciously gave me permission to do what I was going to do anyway.

"Right then, go over there and take it easy for a bit." I ordered. I didn't want him slavering over my shoulder as I cooked.

"Yeah, I got it." Fer moved off and lay down, his eyes closed but I suspected he was keeping a watchful eye on what I was doing since food was involved. That was OK as long as he didn't get in the way.

So, what I wanted to make is gyoza dumplings. I liked eating gyoza at home and I always kept a good stock of frozen dumplings to hand. This time I decided to make my own from scratch. I got some minced meat out of my Item Box, an essential ingredient for gyoza. I upped the quantities because I decided to make a lot to keep for later and I added more meat to the recipe because Fer liked meat. I figured I'd be OK with eating some of them because, well I liked meat too but I'd make some with more veggies for myself too.

I needed to buy other ingredients for the gyoza and dipping sauce from the Net Super. More cabbage (I'd used up the last of it on the sandwiches), chives, tubes of grated ginger and grated garlic, more soy sauce and cooking sake to start with, oh and I needed a can of chicken soup stock and some sesame oil too.

First I finely chopped up some cabbage and put it into a bowl. There's two schools of thought about what kind of cabbage to use, Chinese cabbage or regular cabbage. When I'm making gyoza for myself I'm a regular cabbage guy so that's what I went with this time. I put Orc General minced meat into the bowl then added grated ginger and grated garlic from the tubes, soy sauce, sake, some chicken stock, a little sesame oil and salt and pepper and mixed it up well. I added more cabbage and chives until the mixture got sticky and firm.

I bought pre-made pastry circles for the dumplings from the Net Super and started filling them one after the other until all the ingredients were used up. I made some of them with more veggies than the rest just for me.

"After cooking them they're ready to eat," I thought to myself, "they really taste best freshly made." The frozen gyoza I ate at home were good but not as good as gyoza made from scratch and eaten right there and then.

Gruuuu-. Was that the sound of an empty belly behind me? I looked around to see Fer sitting attentively and staring fixedly at the gyoza I had just made and drooling more than a little. Of course-. The sun was going down now, it was time for dinner.

"Do you want to try some of these?" I asked redundantly.

"Well, it's time for dinner so..." Fer didn't do "reluctant eater" very well. The drool was a bit of a giveaway in that regard. OK, how to cook the gyoza? I figured I'd do them "feather style". I got out a big frying pan to cook enough gyoza for Fer and Sui (and myself of course). I put some oil in the pan and then arranged the dumplings in a circular pattern, a "hanetsuki" layout. After frying them for a bit I added some water mixed with wheat flour then put the lid on to steam them. When the moisture had gone and crackling sounds came from the pan I added some sesame oil as a glaze then let them cook for a few minutes more. Once they were ready I put a large dish over the pan, turned it upside down and hey presto! the finished gyoza were laid out in a hanetsuki pattern.

"You made dinner-" it seemed Sui had woken up.

"Uh huh." Fer agreed, his eyes fixed on the plate of cooked gyoza.

"Dinner, dinner-" Sui said happily. I put out some gyoza on dishes for the two gluttons, not bothering with dipping sauce for them but the extra meat juices in the filling would suffice, I reckoned. Fer gobbled five at once to start with.

"Oh, the meat's nice and juicy and the flavour's lovely-" Sui chimed in.

"It really is. There's vegetables in there too, they mix in with the meat and taste delicious." Crunch crunch crunch, more gyoza disappeared from Fer's dish. "Oh, and the crisp outside, tasty." It seemed that both of them liked the gyoza. There was maybe too much of the fatty Orc General's ground meat in their dumplings but the cabbage made up for that somewhat, preventing them from turning soggy as they cooked.

"More." Fer demanded.

"Sui wants more too-"

I baked gyoza again and again for Fer and Sui, only slowing down after they finished eating. The last batch I made I put more vegetables in the filling for my own consumption. I accompanied them with cooked rice fresh from my Item Box and, of course, a premium beer as was only fitting. I used a dipping sauce for my own gyoza since there was less meat and fat in the filling and they were a bit drier. I mixed up some soy sauce, vinegar and chili oil, nice and simple.

Crunch. Tasty TASTY Gyoza-. They were just like hanetsuki gyoza I might have ordered at an izakaya back home, crisp and flavourful. I picked another gyoza off the dish, dipped it in sauce and Crunch! Wonderful! I didn't neglect the rice of course but when that was gone there were still gyoza left. Oh noes! My hand reflexively found the can of premium beer which, I decided, would accompany the remaining gyoza quite nicely. Glug glug glug~.

I was concentrating on eating and drinking so much I failed to notice a flapping sound until it got very loud. I turned to see what it was....

..................? A tiny Dragon was flying around beside me.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Ch 21 Sakyubasu ni Tensei Shita no de Miruku o Shiborimasu (Because I Reincarnated as a Succubus, I’ll Squeeze Out Milk)

Ch 21 -- My Landlady is a Pervert

~ What has gone before ~

·  The protagonist finally saw his/her face in the mirror.
· After that they prepared to take a bath with the older sister.

* * * * *

"Bathing together, no, I can't do that!" I protested.

"Oh, why are you facing away from me?" Sumirena-san said, puzzled.

"I'd see you naked and you're a woman and... it's not right!" I heard Sumirena-san's long dress fall to the floor behind me, joining the apron she had taken off previously. Looking away didn't help because of the large mirror on the wall. Whether I faced one way or the other I couldn't avoid seeing Sumirena-san's nakedness. Embarrassed, I closed my eyes.

"Hey, Richy-chan, can I ask you about something else?" Sumirena-san enquired.

"What is it!? I'm at my limit here!"

"Richy-chan, before you were reincarnated, were you a young boy by any chance? Seeing your reaction, I don't think you're behaving like a girl would."

"You just figured that out?! I still think I'm a boy even now!" I exclaimed. "I'm only a year older than Erim and battling my way through puberty. Of course I'd be embarrassed about seeing Sumirena-san naked, I'm shy about such things!"

"Oh dear, you really were a boy. I should have realised earlier, you kept using "ore" talking about yourself. That's not a good way to try to hide that you're a boy, you know?"

"Well I'd be grateful if you didn't tell anyone else!" I begged her. I had missed my chance to explain things to Erim but I hadn't really intended to conceal the fact I was really a boy from him. It was probably best to keep it from him now, I decided, he was easily confused at the best of times.

"My my, this girl is really too cute," Sumirena-san mused.

"You're saying I'm cute again!?" I burst out. "You think it's funny, knowing I'm a man inside, are you just saying that to make me feel bad?"

"Well, hold on." Sumirena-san raised her hand. "It's not like Richy-chan is a perverted old geezer inside that girlish body intending to hide the fact from everyone, is it? You've admitted who you are to me. If I thought you were being sneaky and maybe planning to hurt other girls, well," she cracked her knuckles, "things would become unpleasant for you. However..."


"You've got the mind of a pure unsullied boy and the body of a beautiful girl and that just makes you twice as desirable in my eyes. That's my opinion anyway." she finished.

"For me suddenly becoming a girl is a major event that has changed my life around 120 degrees," or was it 180? I wasn't sure, "It's like a bad storyline from a gag manga!" Manga? Would they know what that was in this world? "Don't say things like that!"

"Girls are like food in a way." Sumirena-san went on, ignoring my protests. "Because, you see every girl has a special little bean that-"

"Stoooop!! The perverted old geezer is inside you, Sumirena-san! Please put your clothes on quickly! The idea of seeing a woman in just her underwear is giving me the wrong idea!"

"Richy-chan, you're a bit late." Sumirena-san replied.

"Late, how?"

"I'm already naked. I'm not wearing any underwear now. See?"

"Have you taken everything off!? Enough! I am leaving!" I'd have to open my eyes to find the door though, and Sumirena-san was in the way, I think and...

"No. I will not let you leave here." Sumirena-san said firmly.

"Why are you pushing me so far, Sumirena-san? Please let me go!"

"Oh, hearing a girl desperately pleading to escape my clutches, somehow it feels terribly erotic, you know." Sumirena-san was definitely a pervert, I decided.

"Please don't say such things!"

"You dislike the idea of sharing a bath with me so much?" she asked in a voice full of disappointment.

"It's not that I think you're disgusting, it's just... well, the idea's just unbearable to me." I tried to explain.

"...I see. Well, if you say that, it can't be helped." Sumirena-san said with a sad catch in her voice. I heard the sound of her putting her clothes back on. She had finally given up, it seemed. Sumirena-san's suggestive and occasionally outright lewd speech and behaviour was getting to me and I was thankful she had stopped for now.

I had been lonely for so long, shunning company and I felt awkward being around someone so forthright and pushy like Sumirena-san but I had to be firm with her and not let her play with me like I was some kind of toy for her amusement.

"You can open your eyes now." she said.

"...Sumirena-san, ummm, I want to thank you Sumirena-san, I'm really happy that..." I opened my eyes. "'re still naked! AAAAAAAAAAAAH!" I screamed, a high-pitched girlish scream.

"Uhufu, fooled you!" Her cheeks dimpled in a smile. "I didn't say I was going to dress myself again though." Flaunting her nakedness Sumirena-san posed, lifting her modest breasts in her hands. My eyes! I saw it! For the first time ever I saw a real woman's naked everything... I clamped my eyes shut again but the afterimage burned in my brain.

"Oh no... I was showing you my body, why have you closed your eyes again? It's just us girls here, you can look as much as you want, surely?"

"It's impossible! If I did that, I will pass out for sure!"

"Get used to seeing it." Sumirena-san said coldly. "It might be shocking for you right now but you need to get over it, Richy-chan. You're a girl too, after all."

"Yes but," I scrabbled for an excuse, anything... "Taking a bath together is a step too far!" If I let her get away with this... uh, what is that soft feeling?

"Well, if I stand around like this much longer I will catch cold so I want to get in the bath right away." Her hands fumbled at the hem of my one-piece dress. " If you say you won't strip yourself then I'll do it for you. I won't delay any longer."

"Strip me, what? Stop it, please wait! Wait! Don't pull!!"

"Ah, this is fun. I can't forcibly strip ordinary girls since it would be criminal of me but since it's Richy-chan there isn't a problem, right?"

"I think there is problem, a big one! Stop..., Hu, Sumirena-san, you're so strong..." I couldn't stop her...

"I'm Level 8," Sumirena-san said as she tugged at my dress again. "I think that's average for women." Level 8? That's stronger than Erim!

"Right then, let's get you out of that dress now. Although I could just leave you with your head and arms trapped inside like that." she laughed. She had pulled the hem of my dress up over my head leaving me naked below. "I could just tie a knot on top, you'd be helpless."

"No please, I don't want that! Oh, aaaah..." I begged in a muffled voice.

"Very well then, it's all coming off. Next time, though, let's do it that way." she said, continuing to pull ruthlessly until my one-piece dress, my last defence against exposure, came off over my head and I was naked before her gaze.

"Wow. On close inspection the important parts of your body are truly impressive. Moreover, the color and shape are superb. They're so shockingly perfect I want to say "Pow!" or something like that. Gulp." Sumirena-san said somewhat incoherently. What's with the sound effect? Pow? What was going on? I was keeping my eyes tightly shut, afraid to look but I knew I was now naked in front of, of, of a... woman, and, and, I was a woman myself and, and naked too and... Open your eyes, I told myself, until you do that you've got no idea what you really look like, but somehow my eyes wouldn't open.

"Richy-chan, you're only covering your crotch with your hands, if you really want to make a show of preserving your girlish modesty then you should cover your chest as well next time." Sumirena-san offered me some more unwelcome advice.

"What do you mean, next time! There isn't going to be..."

"Uhu, you're a girl," Sumirena-san interrupted. "but that gesture is so boyish." She paused. "Myself, I find it kinda endearing..." There was definitely a screw (or three) loose in my landlady's head, I decided listening to what she was saying about me. I needed some help here but who could I turn to? Erim? He was the one that had brought me here in the first place and he was Sumirena-san's younger brother and very much under her thumb. Who else? There was nobody...

"Get in, get in." I felt a push on my back, propelling me forward.

"Don't push me! I hate it! And I'm not going in the bath with you!"

"Oh, hearing the protests of a blubbering girl being forced into a bath with me against her will is soooo stimulating." 

 Did she really understand how her words made me feel? "Sumirena-san, please give some consideration to my feelings!"

"Yes, of course I will. Later." she said firmly. "Let's get your back washed first though." she said as she kept pushing me towards the bath. I couldn't use force against a woman, I was a man after all but even if I had tried to oppose her I knew Sumirena-san was stronger than me by far. I had run out of ideas and and I gave in, letting her direct me limply to the bath. However, as a last concession Sumirena-san permitted me to make a blindfold for myself with the towel I had wrapped around my left arm earlier.

"Blindfolding, that's SM play too!" Sumirena-san said. My landlady is a pervert.

"First of all, I'll wash Richy-chan's back." I was guided to sit down on a low stool in the bathroom. "Please be gentle..." I begged her. I heard a shower spray noise and felt warm droplets of water on my skin. It seemed that hot water was created by fire magic in this world and so it was readily available in most homes. I was impressed by the clever use of magic for this purpose.

"Ah, Richy-chan, you're soooo attractive... oh, your wings are lovely. Can I lick them a bit?"

"What do you mean, lick? My wings? I don't get it." Where had that request come from?

"Well you see, a Succubus' wings are supposed to be erogenous zones. Wouldn't you like to find out if it's true for yourself?" Sumirena-san said, her eagerness to experiment in her voice.

"Absolutely not. I forbid it." I said firmly. I felt the hot water of the shower around my neck and running down my back while I hoped Sumirena-san wouldn't take liberties with my... wings? Well, yes I had wings now, and horns too since I was a Succubus. I wasn't just a girl now, although that was distracting enough, a beautiful girl too if the mirror hadn't lied to me, I had been reincarnated in this world as a monster of sorts, with wings and such. I didn't want first-hand knowledge whether those wings were indeed erogenous zones. At least, not so soon. I had to get used to the "being a girl" thing first.

I felt Sumirena-san's hand touch the towel I was using as an emergency blindfold. "I'm sorry, but I can't wash your back properly unless I use this towel."

"Isn't there something you can use to wash your body other than a towel in this world?" I wondered.

"Well there is Richy-chan, but I'd like to use this towel anyway."

"Don't do that, use another towel please." I said. "Why do you want to use this particular towel to wash my back?"

"Because it would be fun." Sumirena-san is the sort that won't take no for an answer when they get excited. I heard her giggle again as she started to wash my back with what felt like a towel. Another towel, to my relief.

"...That sounds like you're enjoying yourself anyway."

"I am enjoying myself." Sumirena-san confirmed. "To tell you the truth I always wanted a younger sister. A younger brother isn't the same thing."

"Erim would cry if he heard you say that." Poor Erim, his sister didn't want him. How cruel could she be?

"I also love Erim but he's my younger brother." Sumirena-san protested. "For that reason I couldn't share a bath with him like I am doing with you right now, could I?"

"Well, yeah but why do I have to share a bath with you in the first place...?"

I heard Sumirena-san sigh. "From now on you have to live as a girl, don't you? That's why there is no problem with us sharing a bath, you silly Succ- girl." I wondered if all women were like this, always flirting and being suggestive or whether Sumirena-san was an outlier, really a pervert.

"...Can I ask you something?"

"My erogenous zones?" She giggled again. "My third most sensitive place is my ears but the second and first place are secret for a reason. I want Richy-chan to find them for himself." My landlady was definitely a pervert.

"I wasn't going to ask that and I'm not going to look for them anyway." I was able to declare that calmly since I was blindfolded and I couldn't see her distracting naked form any more. She wasn't a woman to me, I erased the vision that had seared itself into my memory... well, actually I saved it in a folder in a corner of my brain just in case I needed to look at it again for some reason.

"Why did you trust me so much so quickly?" I went on. "You're treating me like part of your family. Why?"

Sumirena-san's examination of my underwear, her pantymancy, was incomprehensible and I still didn't know how she had found me acceptable after that. I wasn't wearing any panties at all, wouldn't that be regarded as more obscene than any kind of underwear no matter how risque or alluring? When she flipped up the hem of my skirt I was sure she would denounce me or beat me up or at least throw me out.

"Truthfully I was rather surprised when I saw you weren't wearing any underwear like a proper girl would." Sumirena-san said. "However, my reason for trusting Richy-chan, do you really want to hear it?"

"Yes, please tell me, I have to know." I begged. Something like trust and faith in a person aren't normally that easy to cultivate. I couldn't remember doing anything that would make Sumirena-san believe I was a good person. I didn't want to doubt her kindness but I had known her for less than a day and I had learned over the years of my hikikomori existence to be cautious around other people, possibly to excess.

Sumirena-san, Do you truly, really, trust in me? My mind wouldn't be at rest until I knew if she did, why she did. Sumirena-san stopped rubbing the towel across my back and I felt the tension rise.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Ch 108 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 108 -- The Forest of Ishtam

We stayed that night at an inn called "The Spinning Wheel", recommended to me by the Guild Master Rodolpho-san. In the morning I tried on the clothes I bought the day before. They felt really good, comfortable and easy to move in with a texture I had never experienced before. I wondered if I could ever go back to the sorts of clothes I had been wearing when I arrived in this world. My shopping expedition had been a definite success.

It was now time to fulfil Rodolpho-san's request so we got ready to head off to the forest of Ishtam to collect Venom Tarantula threads. I didn't want my new clothes to get dirty but there was no helping it.

"Fer, ready to go?" I asked.

"Uh huh." As usual I got on Fer's back with Sui in her bag on my shoulder.

"Okay, let's go." Fer ran off towards the forest of Ishtam.

* * * * *

"That seems to be the forest of Ishtam, isn't it?" I said as we paused for a moment, gazing at the gloomy forest spreading wide before us. It had a creepy atmosphere.

"Looks like it." Fer agreed. A low sound like creatures calling to each other, "Giii Giii" resounded from the forest.

"Let's go." Fer said, pacing slowly up a slope and into the forest of Ishtam. Although it was still before noon the darkness enveloping the trees was disconcerting.

"Oh, that's right. Rodolpho-san told us there are lots of poison-insect monsters here, can you handle them OK?" I said nervously, looking around. The darkness could conceal anything, after all.

"We have the Goddesses' blessings and my Barrier as well. Don't worry." True, Fer, Sui and I all had blessings from the Goddesses. But, I worried, I only had Deplo--, ah, Wind Goddess Ninril-sama's blessing (small), would that protect me properly?

"But I've only got a blessing (small)," I reminded Fer.

"Don't forget what Ninril-sama told you. Yeah, it's a blessing (small) but unless it's an instant death poison your blessing has the power of state abnormality invalidation so it will nullify any lesser poisons." Ah, now that he had mentioned it I remembered what the Goddess had said when she bestowed her blessing (small) on me so long ago. "From what I can detect," Fer continued, "there aren't any monsters with immediate death poison in this forest so you don't need to worry." I was glad to hear it. Safety first, after all.

"So, do you know where any Venom Tarantulas are?"

"Ah. I've got an idea where they're likely to be found. It's pretty deep in the forest. Let's go." Fer headed for the place he thought the Venom Tarantulas would be. Giant moths and other insect monsters like huge mosquitoes attacked us as we passed but they were dealt with casually by Fer's claw-slash magic without him even slowing down. It just showed how inconsequential he considered them as opponents, I supposed. Bad luck, insect-sans, to encounter Fer today.

However a bit further on Fer suddenly came to a halt. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"Something big's coming." As Fer spoke an enormous centipede appeared before us, at least a metre wide at its head and its seemingly-endless body receding back into the forest's darkness.

"Giiii-" it screamed.

"Hey, is that a Giant Centipede?" I asked worriedly. I had been warned about them by Rodolpho-san, they were A-ranked monsters and really dangerous.

"Yeah. Get off and wait behind me." Fer bared his fangs and faced off against the Giant Centipede which raised its head...

Pew. Thud. The Giant Centipede fell down sideways. There was a big hole in its head running from its underside all the way up through what was left of its brain and out the top.

"Yay! Sui defeated the big creepy-crawly!" Sui bounced around happily. Su-Sui-chan...? When did you get out of your bag? And how...? Fer was shocked that Sui had dealt with his intended prey.

"Uh, sorry, Fer-ojichan-" Sui apologised for butting in, a bit late perhaps.

"Humph." Fer conceded, not very graciously. Since the Giant Centipede that Sui had defeated was an A-ranked monster I put it into my Item Box.

"Right then," Fer announced, "We actually came here for Venom Tarantula, didn't we?" He looked at me. "Didn't we?" Yeah yeah Fer, the A-ranked Giant Centipede that cute little Sui-chan one-shotted through the head was a mere distraction and hardly worth your attention and you're definitely not annoyed she killed it before you got the chance to fight it yourself. Sure.

"Let's go then. Get on." Fer said brusquely, not meeting my gaze. I resisted the temptation to pat him on the head and say 'there there' as I climbed back on board after collecting Sui again.

"Is there something else to pew-pew where we're going-?" Sui asked eagerly. Fer's hackles rose.

"Ah, let Fer-ojichan do it this time, will you?" I said, trying to defuse the situation. For a country-destroying monster Fer's feelings were more easily hurt than I had anticipated.

"But, Sui wants to pew-pew some more-" she persisted.

"Help Fer with knocking them down but only if he needs it, OK?" I told her.

"Yeah, I got it-" Sui sounded disappointed.

I hoped there would be plenty Venom Tarantula-sans where we were going since battle maniac Sui wanted to go pew-pew a lot more. I got back on Fer and he ran off quickly. After a little while we came to a place where there were curtains of thick spider webs between the trees. I could see a huge spider with a blackish-purple body about 1 metre wide in the middle of the webs.

"Is that a Venom Tarantula?" I asked.

"Yup." Fer confirmed. I'd been told you can eat Venom Tarantulas but was that really true...?

"Rodolpho-san said we only needed two Venom Tarantulas to meet the request so go ahead and get this one for now." Fer could probably find another Venom Tarantula quite quickly...

"I'll get all of them." Fer said, immediately firing off his magic. What did he mean, all of them? I could only see one...

Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Lightning Magic? It was like a super-powered stun gun.

Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Splat. Eight Venom Tarantulas fell out of the webs. There had been some kind of hidden nest behind the one spider I could see where more of them were lurking, apparently.

"All done, no assistance required." Fer said with some satisfaction, glancing at the bag Sui-chan was peering out of.

"That was quick." I was a little reluctant to approach the spiders lying immobile beneath the webs. "Are they all really dead?"

"Uh huh. I fried their brains with electric shocks." Well, that was us finished the request then. Fer's a quick worker, I mused as I packed away the 8 Venom Tarantulas into my Item Box.

"Is it Sui's turn now-?" Sui-chan appeared out of the bag.

"Sorry Sui, next time maybe, yeah?"

"But Sui wanted to pew-pew and knock down the Bad Guys too-"

"Oh no, that's... ah," I struggled to avoid disappointing cute murderous battle maniac Sui, "Uh, you see, there's a dungeon in the next town we're visiting, you can pew-pew and fight a lot there. "

"A dungeon, is that full of Bad Guys Sui can pew-pew?-" Sui asked hopefully.

"Yes, that's right."

"Dungeon-! Dungeon, dungeon, fun~ " Sui bounced around happily. Sh- ... I never thought I'd ever agree to enter a dungeon again.

"Kukuku, you're committed to going into that dungeon now." Fer sniggered. Damn you, Fer, it's not a laughing matter but I couldn't deny darling Sui her chance to go pew-pew at Bad Guys.

"If Sui is looking forward to it I'll have to go with her. Make sure nothing bad happens to us, OK?"

"Hah, there's nothing to be scared of in a dungeon." Fer stated authoritatively, glancing over at Sui who was still eagerly bouncing around. "I'll make sure Sui doesn't get hurt." Uh, me too Fer, right? Right? I sighed, if Fer was with us I'd probably be OK too. I was his meal provider after all.

"Are we done here? Should we head back to Claire?" Fer asked. I think he was hoping to run into another Giant Centipede or two but I demurred.

"Yeah, let's go back." We had what we came for. I got on Fer's back and he started running back the way we had come until we left the forest. The sun was still quite high in the sky, it wasn't that late in the day.

"We got done really quick today, I'm surprised."

"Yeah, we've got plenty of time to get back to the city." Fer stopped and looked around at me. "I'm hungry. Let's eat something here."

"You think so?" I shrugged. "Okay, gimme a minute and I'll start getting it ready." The day's work was done, time for a well-earned snack.


Monday, 24 September 2018

Ch 107 Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Ch 107 -- The Guild Master is a Dwarf

The next day we arrived at the city of Claire as Fer had predicted. I presented my Adventurers Guild card at the  entrance to the town and got in without problems, well apart from the guards explaining that as Fer and Sui were my contracted monsters, if they caused problems in the city I'd get the blame and be punished appropriately for their misdeeds. I'd been told this before when entering other towns, of course.

The town of Claire is mostly a spinning and weaving town with dedicated stores selling yarns and woven cloth built next to shops selling finished items of clothing and the like.

"Fer, how about we go to the Adventurers Guild first?"

"Umu. Let's find out about the requests they want us to deal with." Fer still had the Dungeon City of Doran on his mind, obviously but I couldn't take my eyes off the shop displays here. However, business first so I asked a shop clerk in a store nearby and got directions to the city's Adventurers Guild.

* * * * *

All attention was on Fer when we entered the Adventurers Guild and I was roundly ignored as usual. I was used to it by now. Really. When I showed my Guild card at the counter the receptionist (a cute little Beastwoman with floppy dog ears) asked me to wait a moment before she scurried off.

"Oho, I've been waiting for you." A little old man with a mustache and a long flowing beard headed towards me, speaking in a loud voice. Was he a Dwarf? I had heard they existed in this world but it was my first time seeing one in the flesh.

"A message came from Willem of Carerina, saying you were on your way to us." Willem of Carerina? Oh yes, I remembered that the Guild Master of the Adventurers Guild of Carerina was called Willem. The Dwarf, although short and obviously not young had a strength and dignity about him that impressed me. He caught my frank stare.

"Ho, is this your first time meeting a Dwarf? I'm surprised, we're not that uncommon in this country. You're headed to the Dungeon City of Doran after you leave here, right? There are quite a few Dwarf Adventurers and blacksmiths there." So there are Dwarves who are Adventurers too?

In Carerina I'd caught sight of Beastmen Adventurers a few times but never a Dwarf. Johan-ojisan had spoken of elves but that was another race I'd not encountered personally. Maybe when we got to Doran, a much larger city, I'd run into more of the other races in this world. Elves, maybe, I had a vision of elves as handsome men and beautiful women. If possible, I'd like to make the acquaintance of beautiful elf women...

"Oh, I forgot t'introduce myself." the Dwarf said with a start. "I'm the Guild Master of the Adventurers Guild of Claire. Name's Rodolpho. Nice to meet you." Saying that, Rodolpho-san took hold of my hand and shook it vigorously. He may have been getting on in years but like Johan-ojisan back in Carerina he still had his strength, I thought to myself as I surreptitiously massaged my fingers to restore the blood circulation.

"Right, we can't talk here, let's go to my room." He turned and stumped off. We followed Rodolpho-san into what was obviously his Guild Master's office. I sat down on a chair opposite his desk while Fer lay down in a space beside me and closed his eyes. Rodolpho-san studied the pretending-to-be-asleep figure of Fer with a keen eye.

"Hmpfh. I had heard all sorts of rumours, about how someone had taken a Fenrir as a contracted beast, then Willem got in touch about you and your companion there." He shrugged. "I was still skeptical, I thought it was too unlikely to be true but... well, I can see that's a legendary monster, right enough." He looked at me. "And I've heard you've got a strong Slime as another contracted demon, is that so?"

If I had heard the same rumours I'd be incredulous too until I came face to face with the legendary monster in question. Of course the legendary monster was Fer, a cry-baby who hated to be washed, a glutton who ate everything in sight, a slave-driving black-company boss who dragged me into impossible battles, who... well. Sui, of course had been growing and evolving so fast I was as much surprised at her abilities as the Guild Master was.

"So, you just arrived and it's impolite of me to hurry things along but can I discuss the request with you straight away?" Rodolpho-san said, getting down to business.

"Yes, please do." I said.

"Actually..." he explained that the object of the request was from a business called Bruno Company, a major customer of the Adventurers Guild in this city. The aim was to obtain the thread of a Venom Tarantula. The request was complicated by the fact the Venom Tarantua's habitat was the Forest of Ishtam to the north of the city, a dangerous place. The forest harboured many dangerous insect monsters like the A-ranked Giant Centipede as well as Venom Tarantulas.

"Insect monsters have few materials that can be profitably harvested and no Adventurers want to go into the forest because of the risks of being poisoned for little or no return, especially if they ended up facing A-rank monsters like the Giant Centipede I mentioned." Rodolpho-san sat back in his low chair. "Bruno Company have been pestering me about this request for a while now and it's getting to be a real problem for us."

Clothing made with Venom Tarantula thread is said to be the highest grade, used for aristocrats' dresses and outfits. A sudden order came in from an aristocrat who was a regular customer of Bruno Company and they panicked when they found they had no Vemon Tarantula thread cloth in stock. Rodolpho-san had tried his best to collect Venom Tarantula thread to meet Bruno Company's needs but he was still a little short of the amount needed. So that was his request, basically. The Venom Tarantulas in the Forest of Ishtam had been left untouched until now because of the dangerous nature of the place but everywhere else had been picked clean, there were no Venom Tarantulas left elsewhere to hunt.

"So will you accept this request? Bruno Company is a regular and very lucrative customer of the Adventurer's Guild and we'd hate to disappoint them on this." Rodolpho-san looked troubled.

"Fer, what do you think?" I looked down at Fer who had opened his eyes. He had been listening to every word of Rodolpho-san's explanation, of course.

"Eh, bugs... I'm not fond of hunting bugs because they're mostly inedible. However the Venom Tarantula is one that can be eaten and they taste OK so that's something, and their bodies are huge too." Fer licked his muzzle, never a good sign when he was discussing large nasty monsters and the edibility thereof.

Edible spiders? "Can you really eat Venom Tarantula?"

"Well, as Fenrir-sama says," Rodolpho-san interjected, "insect-type monsters are not usually suitable for people to eat but among the edible types the Venom Tarantula is said to be the most delicious. Cooking it in salt is the recommended method of preparing them, apparently." Rodolpho-san thought for a moment before continuing.

"As I said earlier, there are only a few materials that can be harvested from an insect monster... Venom Tarantula's most important product is its thread of course but it also provides meat and there's a poison sac too, as usual in such an insect monster. The Venom Tarantula is B rank so there's no guarantee of a mana stone though." Rodolpho-san leaned forward. "Because the request is urgent the usual price for subjugation has been raised quite a bit. What do you say?"

It sounded like he was really desperate and I was keen to help out since I had just arrived in town but it would be up to Fer to do all the hard work.

"So Fer, is this a difficult request for you?" I asked Fer telepathically, already guessing what he'd reply.

"Don't be an idiot." He gave me That Look. "There's no such thing as a difficult request for me." He licked his muzzle again. "Anyway, if you're doing the cooking I'm expecting it to taste delicious, got it? Let's accept the request."

"It seems to be fine, we accept the request." I confirmed to Rodolpho-san.

"Oh, really? You've saved me." Rodolpho-san's relief was palpable.

"You sound like you're in a hurry so we'll get it done quickly for you." I offered.

"I am sorry to rush you but thanks for doing so."

I looked out the window of the office, it was approaching evening time. "Fer, how about tomorrow?" I asked him telepathically.

"Umu, that's fine by me." he confirmed.

"Well then, we'll go to the Forest tomorrow." I told the Guild Master.

"Wonderful. Come back safe, please."

"Oh, could you recommend us an inn where I can stay with a contracted monster?"

"Hmmm," Rodolfo-san thought for a moment, "I'd recommend the 'Spinning Wheel Inn' for you." He described how to find it and then after another knuckle-crushing handshake we left the Adventurers Guild.

"Fer, I want to have a look around the clothing shops before we head off to the inn." We had returned to the area with clothing shops I had visited earlier. As a city specialising in spinning and weaving the clothes on sale here were of noticeably better quality than anything I could have bought in Carerina. They were still quite plain in style and cut but the dyes and colours used were bright and solid.

"Oh, this looks good ... Fer, I will be in this shop for a while." An ivory shirt and dark-green trousers in a shop display had caught my attention. Everything I was wearing then was a dull brown-ish colour and the new clothes looked very desirable. Another thing was that all the clothing on display in this street was new, not second-hand as it was in other areas of the city and indeed in most clothing stores in other cities.

"Do you like them? One shirt is a gold coin and five silver coins, the trousers are 2 gold coins." the shop clerk explained. "If you bought our goods in another city they'd be twice the price but since they're made here they're a real bargain." He was trying hard to make the sale but I was ready to buy regardless. The cloth felt superior to the clothes I was already wearing, thicker and warmer too. The price seemed a bit high but I had plenty of money after all. I bought 3 shirts and 3 pairs of trousers in the end. The shirts were all ivory-coloured, the trousers were olive-green, a dark blue and a dark grey colour. It was impulse-shopping but I was quite satisfied with my purchases. I'd wear them tomorrow, I decided.