New chapter for today.
Chapter 11 – Black Mist
“Do you believe in God?”
“As I said, do you believe in God? I’m asking a question.”
“…You trying to get me to join a cult?”
“Then let’s just say that I do believe in the existence of God, but not in a religious way.”
“Oh? You believe in the existence of God, then?”
“Of course! I can’t beat the shit out of him if he doesn’t exist!”
“Wha ― beat!? You want to beat up a god?”
“Damn right! I want to beat them until I’m satisfied!”
“What did God do to you?”
“A temple priest who worshipped God abducted me and threw me out here into this terrifying forest.”
“Isn’t that the priest’s fault…?”
“I’d say God shares a big part of the responsibility by neglecting to punish the priest for his actions, isn’t that common sense?”
I believe there has to be some kind of godlike existence, since this is a different world. When I was in Japan, I never felt or believed in any existence that could be called God, but I after I got kidnapped and thrown into this magical world, I started to believe in it.
I can’t possibly accept a fantasy world setting like this to be real without the existence of a god. God is obviously the reason I ended up out here in the first place. God allowed the hero summoning to occur, God forgave the corruption of the priest, and God forgave the humans of their arrogance, and as a result, here I am. That’s why I’m going to give that god a beating!
“There is a God! And I plan to beat the crap out of him!”
The sword laughed, quietly at first, then with gusto. “I see! You wanna beat a God, huh!”
“If you’re going to stop me, I’ll fight you too, you know?”
“No, I won’t stop you. On the contrary, I’ll cooperate!”
“I thought so… God is your enemy too, huh?”
“Hmm? Why you think that?”
“Isn’t it obvious? It’s because you’re a creepy sword, isn’t it?”
“Don’t call me creepy!”
That’s how this creepy sword recognized me as the holder. I’m not sure of the details, but this sword seems to have some kind of resentment against God. Let’s not ask about it too deeply; this is the compassion of a samurai.
“Hold me, and imagine a sword worthy of your might.”
“O-oh. Like this?”
I held the handle with both hands and started imagining the sword I wanted. Picturing a sword is more difficult than I thought. I’ve never actually done it before, and I never had a sword while I was still in Japan.
Is this good?
The sword shone brightly again. M-my… my eyes~!
“Hey, if you’re going to shine, tell me first!”
“Don’t be so angry, you’ll go bald quickly.”
I’m not bald! I’m not bald, I just have a wide forehead!
“You can open your eyes now.”
I trusted those words, and looked. In my hand was a sword ― no wait, not a sword, but a katana, about 80 centimeters in length, with a beautiful hamon like a curvy wave rising slowly.
But what I admire most is the jet-black blade. The contrast between the hamon and the blade is great. It’s not a sinister kind of black, like earlier, but a black that somehow feels sacred.
The sword acted embarrassed for some reason. Well, it might be a mistake to say that to a sword, but is there something different about her now?
“H-how about my name? Give me a name!”
“A name? Oh yeah… how about Black Mist?”
“Black Mist… Alright, that’s a good name!”
Name : Black Mist (First Form)
Skills : [Unbreakable] [Sharpness] [Purification] [Evolution] [Special Move (1)]
Attributes : HP [EX] | MP [S] | STR [G] | INT [S] | AGI [G] | DEX [G] | LUK [S]
Title : Grim Reaper Sword
Suddenly, Black Mist’s status appeared. With the exception of myself and monsters, it only ever showed a basic description, even with [Detailed Appraisal], but the moment I named the sword Black Mist, I could see her status. Maybe it was because she had recognized me as her wielder.
I took a good look at Black Mist’s status. Two of her skills, [Evolution] and [Special Move (1)] were worrisome. Because the description has “first form” next to its name, I have some idea of what the [Evolution] skill is, but…
“Hey, what’s this [Special Move (1)] skill?”
“It can trigger a super powerful technique if you put magic into me!”
“Super powerful, huh… How powerful are we talking?”
Black Mist chuckled. “Just wait until you see for yourself, it’s going to be fun!”
“What, you can’t just tell me right now?”
She didn’t tell me anything else about the [Special Move (1)], so I moved on and checked over the rest of the displayed stats, particularly the unusual attributes. Considering the normal range of [S] to [G], the [EX] on its [HP] is definitely just shorthand for extreme, right? But this is the first time I’ve seen anything with [EX] other than me.
“Hey, in your attributes, there’s [HP (EX)], but what does [EX] actually mean?”
“Huh? Attributes? What attributes are you talking about?”
“The ones in your status, right? It displays your attributes.”
“What are you talking about? The status only displays name, job, and skills.”
“…Hey, do you know about the [Detailed Appraisal] skill?”
“I know about [Appraisal]? This [Detailed Appraisal] you’re talking about is new to me.”
“In [Appraisal], do you see the same name, job, and skill as the status plate?”
“Isn’t that obvious?”
Obvious, she says. Well, since I have yet to be acquainted with this world’s common knowledge, I was grateful for the information.
After that, I asked Black Mist about various things. However, all I figured out was that when a Chef uses [Cooking] on monster meat, it doesn’t allow one to learn skills from the monster, or improve one’s attributes. I have no idea why I’m the only one who has that special effect. It also turned out to be abnormal for one’s level to exceed 200.
“There’s a condition to level up past 100: You need to have defeated something 100 levels higher than yourself. To go past level 200, you need to have defeated something 150 levels higher than yourself. In other words, since you’ve defeated something more than 100 levels higher than yourself, you’ve accomplished what people refer to as limit break.”
Okay, I see now. My first encounter in this forest was that Musk Leopard, the first time I thought I was going to die. I was still at level 1 at that time, and the Musk Leopard was probably around level 230. In other words, I think I’ve defeated a monster more than 200 levels higher than me.
“Hey, what happens if you defeat a monster 200 levels higher than yours?”
She chuckled. “That’s impossible, but some theorize there’s a third stage limit break. Supposedly that’s from killing something 200 levels higher than you, but I don’t know where they got that from.”
“What would happen if I fulfilled the conditions of this third stage?”
“I think they said the level cap would be removed entirely.”
I silently considered the implications of that. Black Mist chuckled. “Well, it’s impossible anyway. Even past demon kings and heroes reached some kind of level cap, despite limit breaks. A first-stage limit break to surpass level 100 is already amazing.”
Would she believe me if I told her I might have already cleared the condition for the third stage?
But what’s going on with my skills, anyway? There are a lot of skills that even Black Mist couldn’t understand from her common knowledge about this world. It’s likely no one knows about attributes either. What the hell has happened to me?
“Now that I think about it, does that mean the monsters in the Great Borf Forest also cleared the conditions for the second stage limit break, since a lot of them exceed level 200?”
“No, monsters have a fixed level from the time they’re born. It can start out high, but it won’t grow no matter what. I don’t really know why that is.”
Having that level from the time you were born was abnormal, wasn’t it? With this leveling system, we can gain experience and grow stronger, yet a monster’s level was already high from birth… that’s pitiful. What a boring life, just existing without experiencing the thrill of growing stronger. What an unpleasant system for the monsters. I’d never want to be like that.
After asking a lot of questions, there were still a lot of things I didn’t get good answers for, but I decided to keep moving. I’m not like a primitive man anymore, since I’m wearing a coat. Of course, I’m wearing almost nothing underneath the coat, so I’m still in a very precarious situation, but as long as I don’t take it off, there won’t be a problem.
“To be honest, I never thought anyone could enter the Great Borf Forest alone. Moreover, you can even survive so deep in the place! I’d expect nothing less from my wielder.”
“I didn’t go into this forest because I wanted to. I was tricked when I was sent through the transfer gate, that’s why I’m here now.”
“You were tricked into coming here? I guess someone really hates you, Tsukuru… maybe they thought of you as a hindrance.”
“It takes a lot of magic to use a transfer gate. Sending one person to this forest doesn’t seem worth the expense.”
“Certainly, it’s better to just secretly throw me into jail.”
“As far as I know, there’s no better place to exile someone than the Great Borf Forest, and other than you, there’s never been a survivor.”
I continued silently down the river. I soon realized that even when there were monsters nearby, they didn’t notice me. I don’t have a skill for hiding my presence, so I was a little confused.
“It’s the effect of the Hermit’s Coat.”
“Man… what an amazing coat.”
“Of course! It’s one of the highest level items with a stealth effect, you know!”
“Ohh, is it really that good?”
“Items have classes too, you know! There are seven item classes: Lower, Intermediate, Advanced, Special, National Treasure, Legendary, and Mythical.”
“I see, seven classes, huh… so what class is this Hermit’s Coat?”
“Whoa~ I see. So, what about your class, Black Mist?”
“I’m Mythical!” (Smug Face)
Just from how Black Mist said that, I felt like I could picture her clearing her throat and posing proudly. She’s just a blank, faceless sword, but somehow I could sense her emotions.
In the first stage, if you defeat an opponent at least 100 levels higher than you, the level cap is raised to 200.
In the second stage, if you defeat an opponent at least 150 levels higher than you, the level cap is raised to 300.
In the third stage, if you defeat an opponent at least 200 levels higher than you, the level cap is removed.