Proofreader: ramna27, Orion Dye
Next day, breakfast.
I’m currently holding Kyou-san’s hand while eating, this certainly will cut some time, even though I’m not that good at eating left-handed. The other two are sitting on the opposite side of the table.
Ara-san’s picking at her food ill-tempered, she’s all moody today. This might last a few days. So periods really varies to person to person, Ara-san gets moody after the bleeding starts. I’m kinda shocked how calm I can take in that info.
“There is something I’d like to talk about today.” I put my cutlery down. “Now we got the ‘Increased XP-gain’ from the WP-store, and even though we’re able to get ‘Increased XP-gain II’ after accumulating more WPs, I’d like to put a stop in grinding these for a while. For some tests.”
Usually, Ara-san would surely cut into the conversation, but I can hear only a small groan coming from her.
Rine’s eyes are wide-opened, and she looks at me like an abandoned puppy. I just turn my head to Kyou-san, who’s next to me so that I won’t be tortured by Rine’s eyes.
Kyou-san is looking at me as if I’ve said, that I’ll drop out from school to run a fast food stand. I don’t even know where that analogy is coming from. “What does that mean?”
“I’d like to set out today at noon to a small journey. Just a few days, probably. I’ve classed-up, and it’s the first real opportunity to try some things out with the curse, without taking risks regarding Kyou-san.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That I can’t help but worry about leaving you behind since you’re prone to be kidnapped.”
“That happened only once, and you were practically there.”
“Yes, and it ended up that I had to set out to rescue you.”
“Do I really have to explain you, what your ‘plan to rescue me’ led to?”
“Well, it wasn’t optimal, but-”
“It made everything much worse!”
“Kenta, Kyou! Stop it! You made Ara whine.”
“Katarine-san… they’re just too loud. My head hurts, my special place is unpleasantly wet, my limbs are aching, and I feel sick.” Please, no details, Ara-san.
But Rine is right. This leads to nowhere.
So Kyou-san and I apologized to Rine. Not to each other. But if we don’t apologize, Rine will make something which we won’t like.
“Back to topic… I want to separate from you girls for a while and simply hunt some monsters around here. We’ll get some XP in the process, and we can see, how the curse will affect us.”
“…I’m for it.” Ara-san would never say no to an experiment.
“Considering the fact, that I won’t see Ken a few days, this is a good idea.” Kyou-san also approved.
“I’m against it!” Of course. It’s Rine after all.
“So three for it, we won democratically.”
“I learned, that democracy only functions in small communes.” … I totally forgot, that Rine got something like an education and she may be right, considering the fact, that we’re living in another world.
But it’s Rine after all: “And we’re four people, a small commune by its finest.”
“I see.” Yep, totally worked.
Of course, there were some risks involved, but Ara-san most likely doesn’t care about them, as long as there is new knowledge involved and Rine won’t even consider any risks. The biggest problem that could occur is some irreversible effect which comes unannounced, but when Kyou-san was taken away by the fourbirds, there was a time-frame involved and a message to announce it. But that leads to another question.
“Kyou-san, back when you were caught by the fourbirds, did you got a message-window?”
Kyou-san continues with her meal. “Yes,” she answers curtly. There might be something she wants to hide, but she shows me, that she won’t answer any inquiries.
That is answer enough: She got a message and there was something about it, she doesn’t want to tell me. I have a few ideas, but I’ll ponder about this another time.
I’ll just eat my meal, for now, get all the WP possible for today and make my preparations to go on a journey.
A few days without the girls. That will be paradise!
Noon. Leaving the forest of Aroahenn behind, I take a deep breath. Then I begin my walk out to the other forests around this region. Time to hunt some mobs. I already hunted some of them as part of my [Ranger]-training, but it’s the first time, I’ll explore some of the forests further back.
And with every step, I feel how some weight is lifted from my shoulders.
I leave several things behind: Kyou-san’s constant verbal abuse, Rine’s clinginess, Ara-san’s bad humor, it’s all gone now. No need to be bothered by periods, bad learning habits, childishness, it’s just me and nature. If I swapped nature with a dimly-lit room and a PC, it would be really paradise.
The first day is practically hunting monsters and farming some XP. It’s still only a fracture since they’re divided by four. But instead of 100%, it’s now 120% thanks to ‘Increased XP-gain,’ so I get 30% of the XP-kills.
Additionally, when I lay down to sleep, I didn’t need to wait for Kyou-san, so that we can find a sleeping position, both of us are comfortable with, and there was no fear of Rine stealing herself into the bed.
Just lay down, use [Dormunal] and next morning, I wake up with no one beside me. It’s almost like a dream!
But the meals aren’t quite as good. There was an option to let Kyou-san put a meal inside the [Inventory], so I can pick it up there, but I want to do this first test with the least possible interference.
It’s around noon on the second day when I got a message.
|You have no interactions with your wives for a whole day. There are two days left, until the curse will gradually reactivate.|
So if someone steals a ‘wife,’ the first curse-penalty will show itself in less than a day, while being away gives me three days time to reunite. Well, Kyou-san was the only ‘wife’ back then, but I guess the same would happen if anyone of the girls is kidnapped. It’d be typical for this strange curse.
I write a note and put it in the [Inventory]. In the afternoon, I got one of Kyou-san’s meals and a letter from Ara-san, which tells me, that there was a message this noon, which told her, that she would be affected by the curse if I won’t return within two days.
I’m sure, Kyou-san got a similar message, when she got kidnapped back then. Why did she keep it a secret?
Well, it’s Kyou-san. Most likely she didn’t want to tell me, that she will be fucked up as well if she’s separated from me. This is typical for her. It’s like she’s some sort of control-junkie.
Whatever, I’m above that. Or more like, being away from her makes it easier for me to not care.
Next point. When I ate Kyou-san’s home-cooked meal, nothing happens. No message-window, no WP-gain, nothing. Doesn’t it activate, unless Kyou-san is within a certain range? How far is this?
Time to ask Kyou-san something with another note. The answer came quickly, so she’s slacking off, even though she should study. Well, I got the information I needed: None of the girls got a WP-message for Kyou-san’s meal.
I write her back, that she has to study properly and that I know, that she kept the fact, that the curse can afflict her as well, a secret. This won’t teach her but will get under her skin.
So some sort of proximity is a condition to get WP, while the shared XP are unaffected. It’ll be better to not stray off too far for now. I don’t want the curse to reactivate again, and the sooner I come back, the more WP I can get. I’ll just try to make the best out of it.
I’ll only check if there is a message tomorrow morning as well and if it changed.
The result: There was one and the changes were minor.
|You have no personal interactions with your wives for two whole days. There is one day left, until the curse will gradually reactivate. Hurry back to them, they surely miss you.|
Well, one of them certainly. The other one maybe. And the third one absolutely won’t.
I want to make the most of the time alone, and it was almost noon, when I pass the border of the forest of Aroahenn, saying hello to Oro’hekk and the other guards, and return to Ara-san’s home.
Sighing, I look at the tree, which serves as the house: “Phew, the good times are over.”
Something assaults me from behind: “KENTA!!!”
|You gain 1 WP.|
|After a long time of separation, you get greeted with a heartfelt hug, isn’t it great?|
Yes, it’s not great.
Rine, you’re choking me, you know? And stop pushing these breast at me, they feel too good.
“You’re back! You’re back! Kenta *nuzzle*” Why are you inserting your own sound word into it? And stop smelling me!
“Phew… Rine, let go of me.”
“Rine, there are only two outcomes to this, if you won’t concede: You’ll either let me go, or I will try to break away, which will lead me being shoulder-thrown by you, causing me great pain and injury. If this happens, you’ll make me unhappy. Do you want to make me unhappy?”
“So let me go.” Slowly and reluctantly Rine loosens her embrace. “Thank you. Phew, seriously, every single time.” At least this strategy still works. “Anything noteworthy happened?”
“I don’t know.”
“Because I camp outside the house.” So it wasn’t Rine’s usual luck, which made her meet me the moment I came back. YetI didn’t hear her coming since she’s using her usual imba-feats.
The only question remains: “Why?”
“Kyou is only studying now, and Ara is not fun anymore, she got worse.”
“Phew.” Maybe I’ll better camp outside as well. At least until one of them snaps out of it.
Looking at Rine, I think, it might be better to camp somewhere else. Her eyes are even more sparkling than usual, and I can see, how her hands are twitching as if she’s about to touch me again and can’t help it.
Seriously, why did I come back? Ah, my life depends on it in the long run, and even though it may take a month for me to finally die from an active curse, the way to this point is only a sorry one.
Usually, I’ll just go in, for delaying important tasks will invite even more trouble, but if Rine was so fed up with it, it might be really critical inside. At least she got her instincts.
As well as her hopes, she looks at me, as if I’m a kind of savior. I’m not. I’m just some gamer, who like to avoid any trouble with people I meet in real life.
“Phew…” I could stay away from that house until either Kyou-san got her class-up or Ara-san is over her menstruation. We still have a few days, until the elder will ask us to leave.
We may have helped to protect the village, but with Rine – the runaway princess of Feuerberg – here, the alfar will face other kinds of problems in the long run.
It may be unthankful, but it’s not like I can’t understand. Even I would throw out Ara-san, Kyou-san, and Rine if I have a choice. Well, technically, Ara-san could stay, but there is no data what happens if I only reunite with one ‘wife’.
Wait a minute.
“Rine, let’s relocate the camp position. I can lead you through the forest.” Without [Spirit Magic], the forest itself will use its inherent magic to make you lose direction and lead you into a trap. But as a [Ranger], I got [Spirit Magic], so there is no problem with me around. “We may crash at your mentor’s place.”
The former princess is now trying to get the [Tailor]-class. Since she wants to be useful to us but also likes to attain a ‘commoner job,’ something she admired since long ago. I don’t even have an idea, where that is coming from, but the [Tailor]-class will sure be useful, since clothes tend to tear during fights and traveling, and even if I got some spares, somehow I’m getting caught up in more deadly battles lately.
“She will not be pleased.”
“I don’t care. Like, at all.”
|Even after reuniting with Katarine von Stolzherz, you’re still away from your other wives. The curse slowly returns. You’re forced to be in the [Student]-class.|
“Phew.” What a morning. After crashing into the tailor’s place, there was a lot of time needed to persuade her to let us sleep here. The place is tiny, so there is almost no space, resulting us sleeping in the store on the ground.
Even after we, that means Rine, were able to get permission, I was barraged with questions regarding my relationship with Rine. The first one was: “Do the two of you pork?”
I hate alfar.
Rine is already up. I can see how she works on a piece of clothing. She’s really concentrating on it.
She always puts all of her heart in the things she does. For good and bad.
I stand up and pinch my belly. Definitely [Student]-class. I almost forgot how it feels like to be in the natural state.
So reuniting with Rine bought me less than a day. I went sleeping as a [Ranger] and the [Dormurnal]-skill was active, so maybe twelve hours or so, hard to tell. But the fact that I didn’t hear Rine waking up tells me, that I’ve changed class before morning.
So this is the limit. This is my amount of freedom. Three days on my own, plus half a day after reuniting with one. Being near the others didn’t counter the curse, but I’m sure they got the WP-messages. So they already know, that I’m nearby.
Someone knocks at the entrance door of the store. Rine is too focused on her work to notice, so I peek outside the window. It’s Kyou-san and Ara-san.
Ara-san looks out of energy as if she has recovered from a deadly condition. I check her status, the bleeding-condition vanished, so she may be now over her menstruation. Though this was obviously taxing for her.
Kyou-san is also different. I can’t tell why exactly.
I also check her status. Class [Herbalist]. I look at her again, inspecting her arms and legs, which are in tights. I think she gained some more muscle, nothing bulky, more like a girl, who does something like regular light exercise. Not even that much, it’s just that Kyou-san was so weak before, that it stands out.
So she finally got it.
Wait, shouldn’t she be [Student] as well or are other rules working for them? Maybe they get the curse only after it returned to me at full power.
“KEN!” I guess either the guards told Ara-san where I am or maybe they came to the conclusion by themselves. At least Ara-san is somewhat clever.
Well, I can’t open the door. I’m [Student], so I have no [Spirit Magic] and the tailor didn’t give us the same permissions for her house as Ara-san.
There is nothing I can do. So I’ll be standing around, grinning.
“Momo, let me.” It was a short time, the door quietly opened. Ara-san entered and found me right away. Then she suddenly embraces me.
|You gain 1 WP.|
|She really miss you and confer her feelings, while giving you a hug.|
“I got that WP.” Without even blushing, she separates from me. I only feel the uncomfortableness I always feel after getting too much physical contact. Somehow this is like a professional relationship instead of a close one.
“Ken.” Kyou-san looks at me with her worst smile. “I gained the [Herbalist]-class with my own power.” Her eyes are really looking bad, a bit feverish. Did she put some all-nighter into it? Well, if she cares about rubbing this under my nose, then I’ll let her. Not that I bother, whether she got the class-up or not.
The commotion also got the attention of Rine. “Great, Kyou!”
“Thanks, Rine-chan. How is your [Tailor]-class going?”
“…” Rine tilts her head. “Ah!” I get it; she totally forgot to check if she can select it. She almost does nothing with the hero-system, so it shouldn’t surprise me. Most likely she was able to select the [Tailor]-class for days.
While I understand it, I can’t help but grind my teeth.
It’s obvious that Rine selects the [Tailor]-class, as her well-defined, hard to see muscles vanished. Now Rine is all soft and squishy, almost like Kyou-san. So she’s also ready to go.
There is only a little time left before we have to leave Aroahenn, but somehow we’re almost at something like a new starting point.
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