On top of the fearsome nightmare that was being chased around by formidable and burly men both young and old, I was chastised well into the night. Yet despite feeling somewhat pensive, I was, at the same time, in rather high spirits. Eh? Those are two completely opposite feelings? Whatever do you mean?? They’re not. I swear. After all, I got to experience something totally amazing, and yet it’s only going to go south from here on out. Hence this simultaneously pleasant yet melancholic feeling.
As for what that amazing thing was—it’s being officially recognized as Ursch-kun’s “fiancee”!! Even though I was told I’d have to wait nine years!! Wherever I went, rumors were rife in town: “That girl running around town, she’s the third daughter of House Rottenstein, and I hear she’s affianced to the Schneiver Company’s second young master, Ursch.” It seemed like everyone and their dog recognized our engagement. What’s more, even some of the Imperial Knights, Knight Corps, and Adventurers acknowledged it too! Not a single soul was unaware of our engagement!
And for some reason I wasn’t privy to, it had spread like wildfire. But thanks to that… I’d receive “Betrothal felicitations” everywhere I went. They came from people of all stations: nobles we had friendly relations with, the Head of the Order of Mages, the Head of the Order of Imperial Knights, and the Head of the Knight Corps. Furthermore, the news had travelled all the way out to the Counts in the borderlands. Then from there, spreading further… and further… all the way to the neighbouring kingdom’s King and Queen; my brother-in-law, the crown prince, and, my sister. People affiliated with the Schneiver Company and a bunch of other people I don’t even know had also caught wind of our engagement. In the end, people with seemingly zero relation to us— people I’d sincerely ask ‘Who the hell are you even’—knew of our betrothal.
Last but not least, my mother’s elder brother, a.k.a the King of the Rosereale Kingdom, also congratulated us on our engagement. That was the last straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back, causing my father to crumble under the pressure… well, more accurately speaking, you could say he was always crumbling under the pressure. It had already spread to such a degree that it was now undeniable, particularly since we were already receiving congratulatory gifts. And so, despite having yet to reconcile himself to the fact that his approval on the issue was now next to redundant, Father still went out of his way to draw up the official documents!!
So now Ursch-kun and I are publicly and officially engaged! It’s a good sign!! At this rate, I can keep pushing forward to a touchdown!! The good news doesn’t stop there. First, lemme refresh your memories! Do you remember our maid, Marie-chan? Her legs…were broken because of, well, me, thus she was not reprimanded at all. However, instead of facing the music, she was assigned to my side as my exclusive personal maid. As for the reason why she wasn’t reprimanded… the disturbance I had caused was of such epic proportions that it made Marie-chan’s transgressions seem almost cute by comparison. And there you have it.
But honestly, I think the reason the ruckus got so out of hand in the first place was because of my brother, Daemon! Why the heck did he gather so many knights to chase down a six-year-old girl?! I’d honestly thought I’d be killed once they got their hands on me, so I’d run like my life depended on it. Heck, there were so many times I thought I was going to die anyway!! Can I be blamed for it? So I’m not the one in the wrong here!! So there!!
……And when I’d retorted just that, Daemon simply grabbed my face with one hand and in that manner, lifted me off the ground without a word. I present to you all, the “Iron Claw technique”. I swear I won’t make light of such things again. Forgive me. I’m sincerely remorseful. I must say however, I still don’t think it’s a good idea to use that technique on a six-year-old little girl like Isabella-chan, circumstances bedamned.
But I digress; let’s return to the main topic. The next item is something that resulted in my being rather depressed…… True to form, my brother Daemon dunked me into the pond—hog-tied, of course. As I made short work of the ropes binding me, I managed to escape said pond, only to be re-introduced to it three more times throughout the week, courtesy of my brother. The next week, he tossed me into the Lycanthrope Unit’s training session where together, we had to march over a mountain before participating in a lake escape practice. The week after that, we tackled bigger waters, also known as the sea.
And in all that time, forget meeting up with Ursch-kun, I couldn’t even contact him! Someone, please!! Call Japan’s Child Protective Services!!
After enduring roughly a month of forced participation in the Lycanthrope Unit’s underwater escape training, which was harrowing enough to the point I developed an ulcer, I was finally able to pay Ursch-kun a visit at the Schneiver home. During the latter half of the month, as if underwater escape training wasn’t torturous enough, I was also strong-armed into an impromptu underwater battle practice more than once. Brother Daemon, aren’t you just forcing the people in the Beastman unit to babysit a six-year-old noble girl?
Well, I guess I did make good friends within the beastmen unit after a whole month of camaraderie, but you do know I have absolutely no intention of becoming a knight or soldier in the future, right?! I shall be a merchant’s wife and nothing else! Underwater escape and battle training aren’t techniques a Duke’s daughter is required to know, much less a merchant’s wife. Just what is going through your thick head, you muscle-brained brother?!
Anyway, right now I want nothing more than to have Ursch-kun soothe my seething rage!! He may be dark inside, but Ursch-kun is still my cure-all!! With this in mind, I hightailed it to the Schneiver house unaccompanied. Yes. Success~ But even though I had come all this way for a visit, it appeared that Ursch-kun himself was not home all that often. According to Father-in-Law, I would have better luck finding him holed up in his workshop happily tinkering away with new magical items. Apparently, I just had more fortuitous timing when we met up in town before.
And that’s how the servant who greeted me at the Schneiver residence ended up bringing a carriage around, escorting me from the town center to Ursch-kun’s workshop a little ways away. But really, having a whole workshop at his disposal at a mere six years of age……just what is going on here. And isn’t this workshop a little too big? You see, it’s big enough to house three jet fighters and carry out maintenance on them with space to spare. ……That example came from myself, but it is indeed hard to wrap my head around it.
At any rate, the workshop resembled a giant brickwork warehouse and inside… was a wooden two-story house. Yes, a building within a building. Currently, Ursch-kun was on the second floor hammering magic stones into smaller pieces. ……And it’s just the two of us here. After bringing me all the way here, the busy servant soon went back. How careless to leave two kids by themselves……
I mean, I’m still “technically” the daughter of a Duke, and Ursch-kun is still the son of a major merchant, you know? What are they going to do if someone kidnaps us for ransom? Isn’t that just a bit too dangerous? Faced with the two of us, wouldn’t potential kidnappers end up hopelessly overpowered and we’d end up causing a huge mess? Oh yeah, they probably wouldn’t even try. Nevermind.
“Oh wow~ You joined the Knight Corp’s Beastman unit for training…… Why would they make you……” Ursch-kun paused his hammering and took off his metal goggle-looking things to peer up at me. Even though this was supposedly a swords-and-magic kind of fantasy world, Ursch-kun looked like he’d stepped straight out of a steampunk universe. Well, it looks surprisingly good on him, so I don’t see a problem with it. Rather, he’s gone from a cute and comforting image to a stylish one. In other words~ I was doing backflips in my heart at this new-found discovery of Ursch-kun’s delectable side!! Which girl loves the manly figure of a hard-working craftsman-type? Yours ~Truly! Me!!
While attempting to suppress my inner excessively-heavy-panting self, I played the part of a mild-mannered noble lady by offering Ursch-kun freshly-brewed tea. “With that game of tag hanging above my head, I couldn’t do anything about my angry brother Daemon literally throwing me to the wolves. Say, I made some tea, but where are your teacups?”
“Oh, thank you~ Just put the tea in that over there. So that means you don’t know what happened in the royal capital after that?”
“What? Did something happen in the capital? What was it? I didn’t really hear about anything in particular. Ah, how much would you like? This much?”
“Yeah, that’s good…Well, all I’ve heard so far is just rumors. During your game of tag before, they busted a huge underground slave-trafficking ring. Using the hullabaloo you stirred up to their advantage, the military police and knight corps rounded them up from all over the metropolitan area and crushed them in one fell swoop. You need to be careful too, Isabella. You’re so beautiful that if you wander around by yourself, you might get kidnapped by some dangerous organization like that.” While making such an ominous prediction, Ursch-kun had flipped a chair around and sat with his front resting against the backrest.
Is he setting up some kind of event flag or something? Stop, kidnapping is scary! “Predicting such mishaps—what are you going to do if something scary like that really does happen, Ursch? Also, are you really going to drink tea from that? Isn’t that…a beaker?” Yep, a beaker. A glass container used to hold chemicals like you’d find in a science lab. Seriously, he’s going to drink tea from that.…
“Aha, so you knew it was called a beaker? And it’s fine, since I don’t have any cups sitting around here~” Ugh, in my past life you learned about beakers from elementary school science experiments, but now that I think about it, beakers do not ordinarily feature in the lives of six-year-old noble girls. There’s no reason I’d know anything about them. But at least Ursch-kun didn’t inquire any further, so that’s a relief at least.
But even so, considering he has tea leaves and a teapot but no cups, there was a high chance he had always been drinking from beakers all this while… For the son of a major trader to not have brought cups to his own workshop, it was clear that he considered them unnecessary. This must mean he’s the type to hole himself up for days on end working nonstop if you leave him to his own devices.
While an unkempt Ursch-kun immersing himself in his work for days had a certain appeal, his overzealous work ethic reminded me too much of my past self. I was breaking out in cold sweat just imagining Ursch-kun forgoing his meals to hyperfocus on his work. What if he ended up like me: starving, isolated, and dying all because of an obsession? That’s a scary thought.. I have to stop by and check in on him periodically to make sure he takes proper breaks.
“It’d be bad if you accidentally drank something weird from the beakers, so I’ll just put them aside.” I took out the lemonade cups that Ursch-kun and Father-in-Law had drunk out of previously from my【Closet】 . I hadn’t known what to do with the empty cups afterwards, so I’d simply ended up washing them before storing them back inside.
Ursch-kun noticed the cup, which was presently filled with tea instead, as he took it from me. “Oh, this is the cup that the lemonade was in, right? Lately, Dad’s been selling bottles of concentrated lemonade. That way people can dilute it with cold or hot water and drink it as they please~” That’s clever! In that way, they can drink it at home, and it’ll keep much longer.
Speaking of lemonade, that reminds me… Ursch-kun’s 《Appraisal》 and my 《Greed》(also an appraisal skill) seem to work a bit differently. “I just remembered. Back then when you guessed the ingredients in the lemonade, was that because you used 《Appraisal》 on it?”
Yep. Like I thought, it’s different. To be honest, as soon as I found out I had the 《Greed》(appraisal) skill, I also tried to use 《Greed》 on the lemonade. And the result of the appraisal was……
In the game, its description said it would heal “3 points of Sanity”, so it saying “Slightly recovers abnormal status ailment” here changed it to just a light and vague description. And although I didn’t quite understand how my ability worked, it was clear at least that it didn’t list ingredients and raw materials like Ursch-kun’s did. In other words, my《Greed》was a lesser version of his《Appraisal》…? Or something like that.
Now then, what should I do? I definitely won’t get anywhere just thinking it over on my own. Since I didn’t know the limits of the normal 《Appraisal》, I figured that asking Ursch-kun about his 《Appraisal》 would be the fastest way to find out.
“Do you want to take a seat, Isabella? If you have something you want to discuss, you might be more comfortable that way?” As always, Ursch-kun is quick to read my expressions.
There wasn’t any harm in accepting his kind offer to have a nice chat. You can’t go wrong discussing things with someone reliable. I sat down in a chair opposite Ursch-kun, and after figuring out what I wanted to say about this matter, I decided to start with, “Actually, I checked my 【Status】not too long ago, and realized I have a skill similar to 《Appraisal》. I say ‘similar’ because it’s not quite like your 《Appraisal》. That being said, I’m not really sure in what ways it differs or what margin of error it has by comparison. So that’s what I wanted to ask you about.” Alrighty, I think I got my point across…maybe? I’ll tell Ursch-kun about the 【Magic Eyes】 when we have come to understand each other a little better.
After listening to what I had to say, he pondered for a moment, then said, “Well, before I ponder further on your question, I need to ask you something else first, would that be okay?”
“Of course. What is it?”
“That ‘Status Check’ you got, ‘who’ did you get it done by and where from?”
Who? What does he mean who? I didn’t know you had to go to a specific person to check your 【Status】. “In my room, by myself……”
“Okay, that’s what I thought based on how you worded it earlier.”
Hm? What? What did I say? Did I say anything weird or wrong? “To sum it up, you, Isabella, used something called 【Status】 to take a glance at your abilities, meaning you’re able to inspect them ‘yourself’, right?”
Huh? ……What? Why’s he saying it like that……it’s almost like… “Isabella…… I don’t think you should tell other people about this. It’s not a skill that people normally have..”
W-what was that?! It can’t be!! “Eh? Huh? If people can’t do their own Status Check, how do they find out what ‘skills’ they have?” If they can’t see the 【Status】, wouldn’t that mean that they won’t really understand the concept of “skills”?
“People who possess the skill 《Analyze》 are called “Assessors”, and they’re the ones that evaluate your skills for you~ They offer their services for a sum at the Town Hall, the Adventurers’ Guild, or even a church. Also, twice a year, ‘Assessors’ evaluate the skills of ten-year-olds for free; they measure their skills and magic en masse, you see?”
I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere before…… I think my home tutor may have mentioned something similar. In this country, if ten-year-olds possess just enough magic to pass enrollment requirements during the inspection, then when they reach fifteen years of age, those equipped with magic exceeding a certain threshold must undergo three years of schooling at the Rosereale National Magic Academy…
“Rather than going out of their way to visit the guild or Town Hall and paying a fee for someone to use their 《Analyze》 skill on them every time, wouldn’t it be better for the adventurers to simply ask someone they know with the 《Appraisal》 skill?”
“Normally, 《Appraisal》 can’t assess ‘Skills’ and ‘Magic’, y’know? At most they can assess things like race and gender~”
“……Huh? 《Appraisal》 can’t detect ‘Skills’?” Doesn’t 《Appraisal》 in most games and novels usually give viewing access to one’s skills? Is it different in this world?
“That said, your ‘skill that’s similar to Appraisal’, can also appraise humans, right? I wouldn’t go around telling anyone else about that~”
What the hell!! This is so bad!! At this rate, I’m not going to be able to tell anyone about my abilities!! I have no choice but to either hide and live a quiet and unassuming life, or go all guns blazing and come out as an unrivaled powerhouse!! I’m absolutely awful at being secretive, but coming out as a powerhouse is definitely a no-no as it would surely be a one-way road towards carnage…
I just want to live out my life as an ordinary wife for Ursch-kun…… “I wonder if it’s impossible for me to live an ordinary and modest life after giving the Imperial Knights, Knight Corps, and Adventurers the runaround?” That’s right!! You heard it!! That commotion even made headlines in the neighboring countries!! It seems going incognito abroad isn’t an option.
“By the way, about your question from before, your ‘skill that’s similar to Appraisal’—wouldn’t it be a superior version of 《Appraisal》?”
“But my 《Appraisal》doesn’t go into detail the way yours does…… I can’t even get information about raw materials like you can.” Right, I sort of understand now that, compared to 《Appraisal》,《Greed》 is superior in terms of breadth of information, but fails to match up in terms of depth.
“Well, the thing is, my 《Appraisal》 is more like it ‘appears to be 《Appraisal》’. You see, we’ve never really been certain.” Hmm? What does he mean by that? “From time to time, the Schneiver family produces a child with the 《Appraisal》 skill, but that same child is unable to be assessed with the 《Analyze》 skill, so we don’t actually know all that much about it. I’m not even sure if this ability is 《Appraisal》 or not. Thus, even I myself am not able to find out what kind of skills I have~”
“If you can’t be 《Analyzed》, doesn’t that mean they can’t measure your magic to see if you qualify for the magic school?”
“In rare cases, even though the child would normally have been rejected, they’ve actually determined that if the child possesses a magic resulting in them being unable to be 《Analyzed》, that in itself is enough to qualify for entry.” I get it now; it never came up in the game, but it looks like there was such a gimmick in place before one is admitted into the school.
“The question should be: is the reason you can’t be assessed due to a blocking magical power, or a blocking skill?” If it was some kind of magical power, I’m sure it would block any attempts I make as well.
“We don’t know anything other than its ability to counter the 《Analyze》 skill; whether this comes from a magic power or a skill hasn’t been confirmed. ……Actually, the typical 《Appraisal》 can’t even determine raw materials like mine can.” …… Is this something he should be telling me? Well, I guess even if other people knew of his unusual skill, there’s not much else they can do about it since all that can be concluded is that 《Analyze》 doesn’t work on him. “Isabella, do you think your ‘skill similar to Appraisal’ can appraise me? It makes me feel bad that everyone else gets to know their skills upon turning ten, but I’ll likely never know for the rest of my life.”
“You know, on the off-chance I can 《Appraise》 you, you do realize I’ll be able to see everything in your 【Status】, right……?” I’m well aware that, generally, if one’s 【Status】 holds a certain distinguishing trait, one would do everything in their power to keep it under wraps. And Ursch-kun is okay with that?
“As long as it’s you, Isabella, it doesn’t really matter what’s hidden in there, right?”
Oh, he really trusts me!! Obviously I would never go around blabbering to other people about Ursch-kun’s Status!! “Since you’ve given me permission, I’ll try using 《Greed》, but no promises, okay?” Since there’s a possibility even 《Greed》 will be blocked. If someone with a cheat reincarnation like me can’t even get past the block, that’s scary enough in its own right. Then it’d really be a case of just who the heck is this Ursch guy?
“Yep. It’d be great if it works so I’m leaving it to you. Oh, if you are able to see it, it’d make me really happy if you could write it down on this memo pad.” After taking the blank memo from Ursch-kun, I activated 《Greed》. I’m begging you 《Avaritia》-san!!
Ursch-kun cocked his head questioningly at my apology. “What happened? Can you not see it?”
“That’s not it. I can see it but……writing it on the memo pad is going to be impossible. I’m going to list off everything now, so why don’t you take down the notes instead?”
“Hmm~? I’m okay with that, but is this because you won’t be able to see my skills anymore once you’ve taken your eyes off it or something? ”
“That’s not quite the case……it’s not that I can’t take down notes……I just don’t want to…or thereabouts.”
“Hmm? Hmm~? That’s fine~”
There’s way too many!! I can’t write all that!! It’s impossible!! I just can’t!! And what’s this?! It says《Accelerated Experience》and《Accelerated Skill Acquisition Rate》!! Quit getting carried away with all these cheats!! And what’s this supposed to be?! “Hereditary Special Skills”?! This is the first time I’ve heard and seen such a thing in both of my lives!! And I’m pretty sure that 《Eyes of Mammon》 thing is a superior version of my 《Avaritia》 skill.
Now I’m absolutely sure I’ll run into “Eyes of the Envy King” or “Eyes of the Pride King” at some point too!! You can bet on it a hundred and ten percent!! And if I’m particularly unlucky, it’ll be revealed that the person bearing such skills is one of the love interests!! Those guys were already ridiculously high-spec even in the game!! No matter how much of a cheat reincarnation I am, if even side characters like Ursch-kun have such high-spec stats, then if I do get stuck in a pickle, I’ll need to resign myself to an immediate bad end!!
I’ve made up my mind!! The decision has been made!! I have come to a conclusion!! I must absolutely avoid any and all love interests, as well as named characters from the game!!!
Whether he had noticed my inner turmoil or not, Ursch-kun continued nonchalantly taking down notes at his own pace before he piped up at random, “I wonder what the 《Eyes of Mammon》 are~ I can kinda grasp the gist of the other skills just from their names, but that’s the only one I can’t make heads or tails of. If I don’t have 《Appraisal》, then I wonder if this is the ‘skill that appears to be 《Appraisal》’……what do you think, Isabella?”
What do I think? Like hell if I know!! The more I learn, the more you look like a walking cheat, Ursch-kun!! Just what the heck are you even going for?! What are you trying to become in the future?! Oh right, he was trying to be a “Merchant” and “Alchemist”, wasn’t he? ——Then what the hell kind of merchant are you trying to become?! With all this, are you aiming to be a merchant bent on acquiring the entire world?!
Hey, hold up a sec…? If I really, really think about it, in-game Ursch-kun did make the “S Rare Items” in the gacha, all of which are like, Legendary-level stuff. Going by the game’s set-up, by the time Ursch-kun enters magic school in nine years, he would have already grown into an Alchemist capable of fashioning Legendary and Mythic-level magic items, wouldn’t he? So if we go by that, presently, Ursch-kun being this far removed from the rest of humanity actually isn’t all that strange.
It’s not strange at all, but Ursch-kun, the implications are……terrifying. There’s already this much of a power spike so early into my reincarnated life!! If the people around me continue to power-spike too much, then I can foresee myself barrelling straight towards “Villainess Isabella”’s “Condemnation Event” within a year after getting into school.
Although since I’m engaged to Ursch-kun now, I won’t be the second prince’s fiance, merely his “cousin”. And the other love interests will be the “Head Magician’s Son” and (soon-to-be) in-law. ……With that said, there’s no way we’d be complete strangers to each other.
Provided the game is operating under revised rules, since an obstacle is required to further the relationship between the heroine and the love interests, the possibility of a sudden plot contrivance culminating in the “Villainess Condemnation Event” where I’m maligned as a bully as per the game’s original plot can’t be completely ruled out. With the game’s revision, even if I try to avoid the “Condemnation Event”, if the chosen love interest and the heroine have too many cheats, I won’t be able to escape!!
“He~llo, Earth to Isabella~ What’s wrong? You were suddenly lost in thought……did something happen?”
Oh shoot, I became so absorbed in my own thoughts that I made Ursch-kun worry. After seeing the 《Eyes of Mammon》, my speculations kept getting more and more out of hand. Hmm? Wait, if 《Eyes of Mammon》 are a superior version of 《Greed》, doesn’t that mean he’d be able to see my status, too……?
No, it couldn’t be……Ursch-kun hasn’t found out my HP yet… has he? “…………Ursch, have you by any chance……seen my Status?”
“I haven’t? I usually have it turned off, so I don’t get the appraisal results for everything I see. Besides, if I appraised you without your knowledge and you found out, you’d hate me for it, right?” Oh thank God, he hasn’t seen how much HP I have!! Wait a sec? Turned off? What does he mean by that. Does that mean he can have it activated at all times if he so wishes?
“Not quite. This skill of mine seems to be the ‘constantly active type’, so basically the ‘default’ state is to always ‘be in use’, but if I let it be, all the appraisal results would be in my way and I wouldn’t even be able to see my hand in front of my face~ When I was still little I thought it was normal for everyone to be seeing that stuff all the time~ Once I realized how different I was from other people, I worked my hardest to be able to control every little aspect of it, and just last year, I was finally able to turn it off at my own discretion.”
If the initial setting is ‘constantly active’, just how depressing that must have been…… I wonder if it’s like having multiple computer pop-up ads or warning windows in your face all the time? Like, completely surrounded? That would make it so hard to see.
“Listen, if you’re okay with it, would you let me appraise you too, Isabella?”
Oh boy……I’m in trouble. It’s not like I’d asked him to look at mine, but considering he had just allowed me to see his status, it’s hard to refuse…… On one hand, Ursch-kun’s status is even more formidable than mine, so there’s really nothing for me to hide. On the other hand, the real problem here is my HP that would make one think “Are you even a girl?” or something thereabouts. “I don’t think you’re the type to spread rumors or anything, Ursch……so I trust you in that area, but……”
“Is there something on your mind?”
“My HP… isn’t really like a normal girl’s……so I wonder if you’ll find it repulsive, or if it’ll make you dislike me. Or rather, I’m insecure about it……”
“I wouldn’t dislike you over something as trivial as that~ Plus, I already had an idea that your HP was rather high from the game of tag we played with the knights that other time and how you didn’t need a single recovery potion throughout it all despite all that non-stop running…… So isn’t it a bit late to be worrying about this?”
Erk!! He’s right!! Apparently, Ursch-kun had already realized I possess an above-average HP. I should have at least pretended to drink a recovery potion!! As I was belatedly beating myself up over my negligence in that department, Ursch-kun crouched beside me and gently rubbed my back in circles. “You don’t have to worry so much, Isabella; I’ll accept everything about you. Even if you’re stronger than other girls, I won’t be disgusted or start disliking you, okay? I’ll always be by your side no matter what, so just relax, all right?”
Rather than simply being stronger than other girls, it’s more like being so far above the rest of humanity that I only see clouds when I look down… But the warmth emanating from Ursch-kun’s hand as he stroked my back was enough to dispel these frustrations. I really believed that he wouldn’t abandon me no matter how out of the ordinary I turned out to be. If it comes down to it, I’ll just make good use of this absurd HP by pulling the cart as the merchant’s wife. “It’s a promise, okay? You said it yourself, Ursch. No matter what you see, you’ll stick by me?”
“Of course!! I’ll never let you go~ ……………Even if you start to tire of me or try to run from me.”
Hey now. That last little whisper, I still heard it loud and clear, y’know? Just like the game’s heroine, there’s no way I would miss a single low whisper of such vital importance. “Ursch. What you added on at the end just now is totally in line with my own wishes. So next time, there’s no need to whisper, just say it out loud, okay?”
Ursch-kun looked a little taken aback by my words. Of course, even when surprised his eyes still appear closed. So cute~ But there’s really no need for him to be so alarmed at this stage, right? Just what is there to be surprised about? Maybe my sharp hearing?
Gazing intently at me while I was still lost in thought, Ursch-kun quietly entreated, “……Isabella, you must absolutely be my wife.”
Ursch-kun, did you not get the memo?! That’s been the plan from the beginning!! Even if it would have been in poor taste, I was fully prepared to utilise all sales tactics known to mankind to push for my marriage to you!! “Then let’s go?! What’s stopping us from marrying right now?! Why are you suddenly being so meek about it?! That’s so not like you!! C’mon!! I’m letting you see my Status, aren’t I?! So cheer up!! But once you see it, you must take responsibility and take me as your bride, got it? Okay?”
“Yeah. I’ll take responsibility and wed you~”
Well, all this talk of assuming responsibility or whatever…we’re just looking at my Status. If that was something worth taking responsibility for, then I’d have to marry Marie-chan. Aside from her Status, I had even peeped at her underwear with 《Lust》… “Okay, if you please. While you’re at it, I’d like it if you could tell me how it appears to you.” There may be things even I don’t know about hidden in the jungles of my Status.
“Sure thing~ Should I take some notes?”
Ursch-kun moved to sit in front of me, memo in hand, and stared at me as he began his appraisal. But not long after, he tilted his head in utter confusion. The suspenseful silence dragged on as Ursch-kun’s perplexed frown progressively deepened. What happened? What did he see?! After what seemed like an age, Ursch-kun’s troubled laughter broke the tension. “U~m? ……Isabella. May I ask you something?”
“Hmm? What? Go ahead, but……is there some kind of problem?”
“It’s not really a problem, per se…… When you looked up your own Status, what did you see written under ‘Social Position’?”
“ ‘Social Position’? Do you mean ‘Job’?”
“It’s slightly different. From what I can see, “Job Skills” and “Social Position” are listed separately. Myself, I’d probably be a ‘Merchant’, right?”
So from Ursch-kun’s viewpoint, the “Job” field is divided into “Social Position” and “Job Skills”. If that’s the case, listed somewhere in my job field would probably be the “Social Position” of a “Duke’s Daughter Lv.3”. When I relayed that to Ursch-kun, his confusion only intensified. C’mon, what is it? Just what are you seeing, Ursch-kun?
“I guess you’re right…… You’re a ‘Duke’s Daughter’ aren’t you, Isabella?” Could it be that my “Social Position” was something different? Rather than “Duke’s Daughter”, perhaps it was “Assassin”? My level in the “Assassin” position exceeds that of my position as a “Duke’s Daughter” after all. So it wouldn’t be odd if “Assassin” had supplanted “Duke’s Daughter” in the rankings. Though I honestly don’t remember anything like “Assassin” being a Social Position of any sorts.
“So…… What is it that you see? What’s my ‘Social Position’?”
“Hm~~? Oh yeah. It’s written as ‘[Something] Exceedingly Close to a Duke’s Daughter’.”
“Because I am a Duke’s daughter!! I am without question, a Duke’s daughter!!” Greed King, Great Lord Mammon!! Why are you being so difficult?! What’s up with that [Something]?! What happened to that overly pedantic side of you, huh?! Why would you say something like that and leave it as it is?! I am without a doubt a Duke’s daughter!! The only other thing that should be there is ‘Merchant’s Second Son’s Fiancee’!! You trying to sell me on a fight? You want me to buy that? I’ll pay the full MSRP!!
“Ye~ah. This is my first time seeing such a ‘Social Position’ before……”
“I’m sure it is.” I mean, it’s not really a “Social Position” at that point anymore, is it? Really, just what are you up to Lord Mammon?
“And there’s another thing, the HP you were embarrassed about—it really is amazing!! It’s my first time seeing any human with this much HP~!”
“I’ll bet.” I’m sure it’s much harder in the real world to raise your HP to the 999 cap. In fact it might be impossible to attain this much HP if one wasn’t from the game world.
“This HP of yours: 67,335…… it’s on par with that of a medium-sized earth dragon’s. ……Hey, Isabella, if we ever get into a marital spat in the future, let’s make sure it doesn’t become a physical one~ I’ll probably die…”
Oh no no. If we get into an argument or an emotional spat, it’s a 100% chance loss from my end. Honestly, I don’t think I can win against Ursch-kun in anything other than a physical altercatio…wait, whut—? Hold on just a moment there. That…just now…what was that strange number that just……came flying out of his mouth? “Ursch, did you just say ‘67,335’? What number was that associated with?” Please. Give me a break…it can’t be…no way.
“Huh? Your HP, right? Large earth dragons have about 70,000 HP, so yours is closer to a medium-sized one, no? I mean, I’m just guesstimating here……Is there something wrong?”
Hey now. Why does it exceed the upper limit……The upper limit should be 999, right? So why…?! Lord Mammon, sir, please, I need an explanation. I’m begging you on my knees.
As I sat with my head in my hands, Ursch-kun tried to console me, offering a rough speculation of what this might mean. Like maybe the 【Status】 I was able to see had certain rules attached to it? Something like that? And that maybe this rule also applied to using 《Greed》 on others. As for the 【Status】, since it was similar to the way statuses were displayed in-game during my past life, perhaps it was still subject to the rules of the game? Since I had the 《Greed》 skill while playing the game in my previous life, it made sense that it too had to follow the game’s rules.
That must be it. I’m pretty sure Ursch-kun’s speculation is right on the mark. Also, in the game, the HP and MP were capped at 999, because ultimately it was a limitation that could only be imposed in “the world of the game” as such. However, a clear and definite “You can’t raise the number beyond this point. The buck stops here.” isn’t how things work in the real world. That is to say, had there been no standard values and level caps set by the game, my HP would have actually increased all the way to “67,335” back then?
“Isabella, if it’s all right with you, I have one more question.”
I was so preoccupied with how HP was calculated that I was only brought back to reality upon hearing Ursch-kun’s voice. “Sure. What is it?”
“It’s about your ‘Title’?”
What “Title”? Did I have something like that? “When I looked at my own 【Status】, I didn’t see anything like a ‘Title’ so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to give you an answer, but by all means, ask away.”
“I see, you can’t see the ‘Titles’. Then you might not know what I’m talking about. So the thing is, about that title you have, it is……”
“Something called ‘Reincarnator’. I wonder what that means?”
I planned to reveal everything to Ursch-kun in due time, but now you’ve gone and outed me, Mr. Mammon! And so, the big reveal came about much sooner than expected. Fine, Mr. Mammon. I get it, Mr. Mammon. I’ll tell him, Mr. Mammon. In the end, I’m sure I was doomed to be unable to keep anything from Ursch-kun anyway. And the result of that whole SNAFU was……
“Let me see if I’ve got it right. In your past life, you, Isabella, thinking it was all a game, defeated dragons and the like, conquered dungeons and plundered them of all their treasure. Upon reincarnating here, you were able to take everything that you’d acquired in that past life, including your past memories, with you to this world—that sound about right?”
“Um…that’s not quite right? I didn’t engage in any actual combat with real dragons or the like; I just defeated them in the game. Also, although they were called dungeons, their main function was serving as minigames where traps were merely puzzles you’d solve. And the treasures? They were simply rewards for clearing minigames. I didn’t actually plunder anything.”
“Treating dungeons’ traps as merely minigames to clear, your ability is quite remarkable~ Isabella, what was your Job in your previous life? An Adventurer?”
“You’re wrong!! It wasn’t like that, it really was just a minigame!! Also, I just told you, my previous job was something like a receptionist. The game was just a hobby at most, it wasn’t a business or a Job!”
“Ri~ght, you did mention that before, but……’A receptionist who can interact with people far and wide all over the country without even needing to see them face-to-face, using only your voice to perform your receptionist duties’ was your real job. Whilst on your breaks from that job, you’d defeat dragons in the meantime as a hobby……You know, Isabella, wouldn’t you have received better compensation for your hard work if you’d swapped your primary and secondary jobs?”
I just told you: it’s differe———nt!! What kind of receptionist goes around hunting down dragons on her break like some kind of game?! Someone help me!! With my lack of vocabulary and awful explanation, I can’t explain anything about my past life properly at all!! And there’s an especially huge misunderstanding about the minigames I played to earn game points!!
It’s also partially due to my ridiculously high HP and MP in this life. That’s why it’s easy for Ursch-kun to see me defeating dragons and other huge monsters without breaking a sweat!! Even though I use the term ‘game’, in this world, that term carries the connotation of something akin to a sport or a bout, so I just can’t get my intended concept through to him!! Please someone!! Is there anyone in the audience who could kindly expound on 20XX Japan and Japan’s isekai subculture to him———?!
“U~m…… it doesn’t look like I’ve gotten it at all.”
“Oh no, it’s not……It’s my fault for not being able to explain it any better.” If I’m not even capable of conveying to him what my normal everyday life was like previously, then things such as capitalizing on my experience in my past world with a knowledgeable cheat and/or a domestic affairs cheat like what reincarnators do in all the light novels are probably impossible for me to explain.
“I won’t be able to get the meaning across if I’m the only one blindly making these clumsy explanations. Ursch, how about if you ask me any questions you have about anything in my explanation that piqued your interest, then I’ll try to formulate a proper answer? Hopefully, that might help you better understand what I’m saying? What do you think?”
“Sounds good to me~ Let’s do that. Then~ Isabella, regarding your past life, let’s start with those several chains of events you mentioned will happen in this life.” He’s referring to the Otome Game routes. That helps since that’s also the most pressing concern I have regarding this life as well. I’m not confident in my ability to fend off my destruction route by myself, so nothing would be more reassuring than knowing Ursch-kun is here to back me up.
A few hours later, after Ursch-kun had finished following up with all his questions, he skillfully and efficiently processed all the information. ……I may have been hitting thirty in my past life, but I can’t help but admit to my inferior intelligence when compared to this six-year-old boy’s.
“There’s still a lot I don’t know, but right now, what Isabella fears most is that thing which you call a game scenario(?)—some sort of compelling force guiding the eventual realisation of a future vision, right?”
“Yeah, that’s right. Calling the “Game Scenario” a “Future Vision” is pretty close to the truth. Even if I try to deviate from the game’s set course, if this world does have a will of its own at work, you and I may not be able to marry as planned. Rather, that’s what I’m most worried about.” Yes, that right there is the problem. The worst thing that could possibly happen, without a doubt, is being unable to marry Ursch-kun.
“I see~ ……Heehee. I think it’ll be fine? I’ll never let something like that happen. I definitely don’t want anyone else to get a hold of you, Isabella.”
“Thank you, Ursch. I humbly thank you for your cooperation in ensuring that I get safely married to you.”
“By the way, I do have one last question to ask—would that be all right?” As the words fell from his lips, Ursch-kun approached the chair I was sitting in. He knelt down before me, tenderly cradling my face in his hands and staring unwaveringly up at me.
Ursch-kun, you’re so close!! Your face is so close!! I’m elated!! I’m being rewarded!! But why is the aura around him kind of intimidating?! Is he mad?? “W-w-w-w-what is it?”
“Isabella, between the future me you saw in your past life and the me here in front of you, who do you like more?”
“Huh? ……O~h. The Ursch right here I think?” I started liking him because of the memories from my past life, but even accounting for the ever-increasing glimpses of the dark side to Ursch-kun’s personality, I’m pretty sure I like the flesh-and-blood Ursch-kun more? SImply put, I feel like the affection generated in my past life has been added onto my affection and understanding of him accumulated in this life. And so, I can say with certainty that I like the current person known as Ursch-kun before me. Not as the game character, but as the real Ursch-kun.
“Is that so? I’m glad~ Sometimes it felt like you weren’t seeing the real me but rather someone else through me. But now I’m glad I cleared up who that was. You were looking at my future self…… Still, it’s perplexing to think the future me is my rival in both alchemy and matters of the heart. It’s still a battle against myself after all~”
“About that alchemy part……I was able to bring with me some things that Ursch had made in my past life. Would you like to see them for reference?” It’s kinda daunting to think of how he could further modify and/or improve on them with magic, but they’d be good learning tools I think.
“I don’t quite get that either. Why do you still have the items you bought from the future me in your past life here with you in this current life? I can’t wrap my head around it. These items defy the logic of time and space.”
“Even I don’t know the answer to that…… By the way, that lemonade which I had offered to you before—that was also made by the Ursch in the game.” What a truly bizarre conversation this is, talking about a past Ursch-kun drinking something made by a future Ursch-kun.
“Isabella, I guess I’ll just have to live with assuming your magic 【Closet】 is capable of bringing items across space-time boundaries……” If it’s Ursch-kun, I’ll bet you he could actually master space-time magic. He’s endowed with that sort-of-kind-of-actually-really-unfairly-overpowered Accelerated Skill Acquisition Rate skill of his after all. “Also, while the idea of acquiring knowledge from my rival, a.k.a my future self, doesn’t sit very well with me, since you already have them, I suppose it would be a shame if I don’t at least take a glance at what future me created, I guess?”
So without further ado, I pulled out some of future Ursch-kun’s masterpieces belonging to the “S Rare” and “Rare” category. In addition, I gave him heaps of duplicates as presents. In order to thoroughly examine and study the artefacts, it would be necessary to have a few extras on hand to disassemble at will. Plus, I can’t currently use any of these items since that would elicit suspicions of how I had gotten ahold of them in the first place. But! If the present Ursch-kun can recreate them, no one would bat an eye at my otherwise questionable inventory. I bet I’d even be able to use them out in public!
I took one magic item after another out of my 【Closet】for Ursch-kun’s scrutiny. He was reduced to a nonplussed state by just the “Rare Items”. “Hey, Isabella…… did I really make all of these in the future?”
“That’s what I said, didn’t I? I mean, just look at all these multiples I have here. If you think about it, there’s no way I’d be able to have that many on hand or sell them if I had to be the one to make them all myself. I’m completely incapable of such a feat.”
“Is that so……… Heh……Heh heh heh. I’ll definitely surpass him. That guy my Isabella liked, I’ll definitely surpass him.“
Ursch-kun, stahp, please. “that guy” is you in a parallel universe, you know? “J-just take it easy, okay? Right now, right here, I really do like the current you, Ursch, so you needn’t push yourself so hard, okay?”
Soon after that conversation, my brother Daemon, having discovered I’d secretly snuck out to Ursch-kun’s place, stormed in and unceremoniously dragged me home.
TL: Solistia Cosmopolitan
Editor: Aoibheall Makgeolli & Midwinter Gimlet
QC: Midwinter Gimlet & Solistia Cosmopolitan