Prologue - The Mine and EX-Skill
"With this, it's finally 100 huh..."
It was the dim entrance of a mine; for the past few days I'd repeatedly come to this mine, searched for a bit and went back.
"If I progressed deeper, I'd find more mining points, but since there's no deadline on this quest it doesn't matter. I don't need to hurry with collecting them."
What I was undergoing now, was a Sense-based quest for 【Smithing】 and 【Craftsmanship】. Previously, my 【Craftsmanship】 level hadn't reached the required level and I wasn't able to receive the quest, but after satisfying the conditions it was possible for me to undertake it, as I am now.
"Even so, the accomplishment criteria of this quest——to gather 100 pieces of ore in the mine eh."
At the entrance of the Mine dungeon near the third town it could be mined safely, as there were almost no mobs placed there.
Among the items mined, there weren't only ore-type ones, but also large quantities of materials such as Stones or Soil which I brought back instead of discarding.
And that monotonous work ends today. I went back to the third town while carrying a pickaxe I had borrowed for the quest. My destination was the tavern in which I had received the quest order from. There I spoke to the quest-giver NPC.
"I've collected them all. 47 pieces of Copper Ore, 31 pieces of Iron Ore, and 22 pieces of other ores."
"Hmm. Then I'll acknowledge you as a full-fledged miner."
"Fuhh, the quest's finally complete..."
Although it wasn't long, I finished a tedious quest, then I recalled the time I received it.
"Hmph, the obstinate one's back again."
"Yeah, this time I've properly raised my level."
"Then try hitting me. If I take even a step back, I'll acknowledge you."
The male NPC quest-giver spoke a fixed statement initiating the quest.
This man was the NPC who chased me out when I came to this tavern for the first time. He said various things to me, like 'you're not strong enough' or 'as if you could do smithing with such thin arms!' and like that I was forced out while being unreasonably scolded, but I was able to receive the quest like this eventually.
And after the exchange of words for undertaking the quest, I hit the NPC's belly. And something like this happened.
His abdominal muscles were as hard as iron. If I normally punched it, I would most likely hurt my hand, unable to make him move an inch or deal any damage.
"Is it really okay to hit with all my strength?"
"Yeah, a man doesn't go back on his word."
"Is that so. Then I'll go with all I have."
This was the exchange we had when I was receiving the quest for the second time. This time, my 【Craftsmanship】 level exceeded the requirements and I should be able to undertake the quest. However, I wasn't satisfied with just that.
"Here I go. 《Enchant》——Attack!"
Including my anger for the unreasonable scolding he gave me last time, I punched him with all strength I had.
This time, it was all my strength. I used the self-reinforcement from the 【Enchant】 Sense I had, increasing my physical attack power. Moreover, on all the fingers of my right hand I used to punch him, I had rings with ATK increase which further raised my attack power stat. The man opened his mouth, wanting to say something, but I didn't bother with it and punched him.
That's when I used the accessories I held on my clenched hand like a knuckle, and put into practice the tips for punching I learned from Magi-san. Stabilizing m
y lower body, and while rotating my arm I released a straight punch.
*Clang*, *dingg*. Despite it being the result of my own actions, I let out a silly voice. The punched NPC's body bent into a shape similar to a 'く' character; drew a beautiful arch, and only stopped on a wooden table, knocking off glass bottles lined up on it. Although I had raised the power and damage a little, I was stunned by this unexpected result.
"...heyy, are you alive?"
"Yeah, I acknowledge your strength. However, that's merely the entrance of 【Smithing】."
As if nothing happened, the male NPC stood up. His rugged face made an even more grim expression, feeling pressure for a moment I made a step back. However, the man's legs were trembling like those of a newborn fawn, I understood that he properly received the damage.
"Now then take this pickaxe, go to the nearby mine and collect 100 pieces of ore. After finishing it, you will be acknowledged as one of the miners."
While saying so he passed a bit worn-out pickaxe, which I received. With this pickaxe one could mine only in the specified location. In other words, it was something quest-limited.
I managed to safely receive the quest, let's immediately head to dungeon and start it.
And as I headed to the exit, my shoulder was grabbed from behind.
"...Miss. Reimburse the table and liquor."
The Tavern's dandy manager smiled at me, but there was a blue vein visible on his temple as he spoke. When I looked at the person; who was taller than me, I felt a little scared, obediently nodded and reimbursed him.
Also there's one thing I'd like to reassert, although this dandy manager called me 'miss', I want to correct it. I am a man!
"Ahahaha, Onee-chan, you went too far, even if you were asked to punch an NPC for the quest, to knock him over and be charged with the shop's repair costs is..."
After finishing the quest and successfully obtaining the EX-Skill I came back to my shop, 【Atelier】. There, I met with Myu and explained the quest sequence to her. And after hearing that Myu was currently holding her stomach and laughing.
"M-my stomach hurts, I laughed too much. But getting fired up like that instead just clearing the quest for reward is very much like you, Onee-chan."
"I said already, don't call me 'onee-chan'. I'm your brother."
Good grief, I let out a sigh and confirmed my own appearance.
My body has gained curves and my black hair grew long giving off a feminine impression, but in real, I am without a doubt a man. During the character edition, a correction is applied to balance the body. In my case, for some reason I was given a feminine modification and my appearance turned out like this.
"Sorry about that, but as long as you're having fun. So, what did you get for that quest?"
"Oh, a 【Mining】 EX-Skill and the tool for it, a pickaxe."
While saying that, I took out the pickaxe from my inventory and showed it to Myu. It was surprisingly heavy and required one to get a knack for it in order to swing it down straight.
"Hmm. Maybe I should learn an EX-Skill too."
"That's fine I guess? But, the requirement for this quest is to have either 【Smithing】 or 【Craftsmanship】 level 25 or above."
"Then I give up. Now then, do your best, Onee-chan."
I said so ending my conversation with Myu, and greeted a player who just entered 【Atelier】. Myu was still looking and touching the samples installed on the wall unbothered and touched the little beasts who were occupying comfortable spots in the store warmed up by daylight.
After the summer event's camp which finished the other day, a few customers have started visiting the 【Atelier】.
"Excuse me. Sandwiches for take-out."
"Sandwiches are supplied by the clerk over there."
I answered politely with a smile. I was happy to be selling my merchandise, but deep inside I had a very delicate and complex feeling as the only thing that sold were Sandwiches.
In the store, although it wasn't constant, a decent amount of visitors was entering and purchasing what they required. From time to time, there were players who didn't understand the NPC's, Kyouko-san's explanation and came directly to me for one. In cases like those I explained how to utilize an item by myself.
"But... why am I being asked to explain about food and young beasts."
Originally, 【Atelier】 was a shop dealing mainly with consumables like potions and antidotes. However, after the satiety system was introduced in order to improve the 【Cooking】 Sense right before the event, the food items had influenced it like this.
"I'm happy that the food items are being evaluated well, but why is such reverse phenomenon happening?"
Although I prepared Sandwiches as a hobby and added it to 【Atelier】's line-up, they have become a hot-selling product comparable to Potions.
Then, another female player came as a customer.
"Hello. One 【Nanny】's smile please."
"That article is not for sale. Hurry up and go home."
"Eeeh?! Then five Sandwiches and three Blue Potions, also, three Antidote Potions."
This time, accepting a proper order Kyouko-san removed items from the box under the counter and placed them on top of it.
I felt like asking a question to the female player in front of me who had a slovenly, smiley expression and was looking at the corner of the store.
"Hey, can I ask you something?"
"Yesyes. What is it?"
"Um, 【Atelier】 is a store dealing with consumables like potions, what do you think about it selling sandwiches? I thought I would ask."
I want to ask for your opinion, the girl in front of me opened her eyes wide and while waving her hand in front of her mouth she emphasized.
"You lack self-awareness! A broad-minded motherly figure holding the nickname of 【Nanny】, instead of being proud you stay humble. Your inner beauty is overflowing when you're in contact with young beasts. As proof of your purity you own a unicorn which spurs your popularity even further! A sandwich handmade by a beautiful girl like that! It's a product which is a collection of romance for both men and women! Among OSO's players there's many who have earned a nickname through either combat or crafting, but having one given because of one's personality, that's extremely rare!"
I was the one who asked, but I'm sorry. Please forgive me already. I appealed while using an instant-blush technique when I heard the machine gun-talk.
Probably satisfied with seeing that reaction of mine, the girl responded with 'thank you for a treat', and with a smile she left the store.
Some of the players remaining in the store listened to the long lines which could be called lavishing with slightly disrespectful praises and left the store with uncomfortable expressions.
When the last customer was leaving, along with Kyouko-san I called out 'thank you very much', sending them off.
"What's up with that. It's beyond the level of 'embarrassing'."
I covered my face with both hands and tried to cool it off, but it didn't go too well.
"That's why I told them not to call me 【Nanny】."
"Ain't that fine, 【Nanny】 sounds wonderful. Makes you seem caring."
To that voice, *bam*, turned around reflexively and with my elbow I hit Myu who was still in the store. She probably heard those compliments from before, I covered my face with hands again, embarrassed.
Seeing me like that, the young beasts that were waiting in the corner, a unicorn Ryui and a black fox Zakuro has come to me and rubbed their heads against me, comforting me.
"Sorry to make you worry. If you just waited for a moment I would have calmed down."
"Nicknames usually don't come so fast, so you should be happy about it. Or maybe you wanted to get a painful one instead?"
"Either of those are beyond my acceptable range though."
I responded like that to Myu's words. 【Nanny】 was a nickname I was given against my will.
There were various reasons, but after the event, that's what people started calling me. The tamed mobs I have gained as comrades during the event were still insufficient as fighting force, but their loveliness characteristic to young animals was very popular.
"Since Onee-chan looks like she's considerably heartbroken, it's about time I perform a tactical retreat. Now then, see you at dinner."
She said so, stroked Ryui and Zakuro who were beside me and left.
While seeing Myu off, I stared at her with a reproachful gaze for severely making fun of me, but I gave it up after two seconds.
"Good grief, there are too many things I can't deal with that it's troubling."
I murmured so, and when I tried to log out, a lively *pon* sounded and a small icon was displayed at the menu's end.
"A friend call, it's from Magi-san."
Accepting the friend call, I started a conversation with Magi-san.
『"Hello, Yun-kun. It's about this time's tea party, will you come?"』
"A tea party? And where is that?"
『"At Lyly's place. Members are the same as the event party's. Us crafters and the young beast partners of ours all together, okay?."』
Hearing the voice from the other side, I could easily imagine her appearance winking lightly.
Although I didn't see her, I made a small smile and responded agreeing to it
"I got it. Its fine to come now?"
『"Nope. It's not now, is it fine if I contact you in a few days? This time it's Lyly and Cloude that are organising it, so I don't know any details either."』
"Is that so. I understand."
『"Now then, let's look forward to the day itself."』
And there, Magi-san's call ended. Now then... I have once again started the log out, and from OSO's world I have returned to the real one.
I was lying down on the bed. I removed the VR gear attached to my head and stretched grandly. So, a tea party with Magi-san and the others huh. While I looked forward to it, I was anxious wondering if they'll make a coming-out with something strange, mainly with Cloude as the culprit. Still, I did look forward to it, I muttered in my mind.