Only Sense Online WN 115
My deep running concerns end up giving me a shallow night’s sleep. I squint at the dazzling morning light just like always and swallow down my emerging yawn. We crafters didn’t ban the guilds [Force Hound] and [Flame Prison] for no reason. Their derogative comments towards others flamed our fury. Particularly bad was their daily hounding towards developing only one item.
We crafters take pride in providing items to players. It’s what connects us to the community. During our sharing of information about raw materials with each other, we also shared the information about those players lacking in decency. This let us coordinate our restriction of service towards them. Restoratives, consumables, weapons, armor, items that strengthen equips, materials that improve durability, and researching new items for them were all cut. We even stopped purchasing raw materials from them.
We stand firm in our ostracism towards them no matter how much in game currency they show us. While there are crafters who still trade with them, they’re stray crafters who aren’t part of the network. There are lots of stories about them taking advantage of their prey and crushing them1. Those black rumors disincline the general players from having to do with the stray crafters.
Right now, those wicked players are making do with N.P.C. bought goods and rare equipment from quest rewards. That sort of support isn’t of good quality, so their game progress seems to have hit a snag.
This backlash is because of their overbearing attitudes. The friction they caused is scrapping them. It’s karma stemming from the consequences of their own actions. They tightened the nooses around their necks.
Just, what about everyone who’s being hunted down…? I still remember that time I was P.K.ed. My spine felt like it was freezing over. I’m got lucky and ended up being rescued, but having that malice and hostility pointed at me was terrifying. Knowing something like that could be targeted at my friends is even scarier.
Miu says, “That’s a long face, Onii-chan.”
“Ah, my bad. I was thinking about yesterday.”
“Right now, you aren’t in the game. Think about something else.”
“You’re right, I forgot.”
I bring out a self-deprecating smile. I’m disqualified as an older brother for making Miu worry. I have my concerns, but in truth, a lot of righteous players are taking vigilant action against those scum. I think more than ten have already been blacklisted? They’ll disappear sooner or later.
I say, “There are plenty of dependable people already on this.”
“Right, right, so we don’t need to think too deeply about it.”
“Also, we still need to get through the second day of the school festival.”
“And then comes the long awaited compensatory holiday!”
“Wait, that’s what you want most!?”
I tsukommi my unshakable little sister and then grab the brochure so we can look over it on our way to school. There were places and events with special stages set up that we couldn’t see yesterday. Therefore, we walk while suggesting places for each other to visit.
Miu says, “Thanks, I’m gonna have fun today.”
“Right? I hope you enjoy the school festival.”
I part with Miu at the school gate only to end up getting abducted midway to my classroom. I think my kidnappers are actually fellow classmates. It makes me wonder what all this is for.
They are quite skillful with carrying out the abduction. They treat me very gently as they bring me to an empty classroom.
I say, “Huh… why’re you doing a dogeza2?”
Usually, the abductee dogeza to the abductors.
The young man and school girl raise their faces to say, “We’re sorry! We’re here as representatives for everyone else.” There are tears in their eyes. They’ve been completely driven into a corner.3
I say, “Wh- what business do you have with me?”
“We earnestly request your cooperation so we can transform you!”
“In that case, I refuse!”
Not letting the other side take the initiative is critical in situations like these. As far as I know, you’ll gradually end up dragged along and be forced to take charge of something if you don’t.
“Then, just hear us out!”
“No way, besides, isn’t this the school festival? Start by getting approval from Endo-san of the executive committee.”
“We’ve received her authorization! All that remains is your consent!”
Endo-san, why did you grant these people permission…? I place my hand against my forehead and look up towards the ceiling.
“Okay, I’m gonna start heading to the classroom now.”
“Please, wait, Shun! Doing this is very important for you too!”
“What do you know if something’s important for me?! That’s for me to decide!”
The young man tries to stop me by grabbing my uniform’s trousers. If worst comes to it, I can make him let go with a kick to his head, but I’m not that much of an oni. Instead, I’ll make my way to the classroom and drag him along with me.
What he says next stops me.
“It’s for the sake of your physical safety.”
“…What do you mean?”
“Start by looking at this.”
He presents a report to me. The contents on the sheet are above my comprehension, but it seems to discuss issues that arose yesterday during the cultural festival. Not everything is presented to me, but the text underlined in red is enough.
I read, “… ‘Immediately after the start, an emergency inspection was carried out on the already suspect literary club. Seized were prohibited materials that should have been collected in advance. They were making preparations to sell said contraband materials. The mastermind escaped. At noon, the escaped mastermind conspired with the computer research club and arranged to increase production of illicit materials. We were able to secure the original script and the backups stored on the media, but the mastermind once again escaped. At two, the mastermind was apprehended following the victim. The mastermind was intending to create more contraband material. However, due to insufficient personnel, a repeat might happen on the second day of the school festival…’”
I don’t really understand what this report is about, but I recall hearing disturbing remarks about the literary club not that long ago.
I say, “This…”
“Yes, you and Takumi are the victims. We wish to hide you out of the potential fear that a section of the literary club will mindlessly hunt you down.”
“I see… No, I’m grateful for the warning, but what exactly are you getting at?”
“In other words, we want to disguise you for the rest of the day.”
“And that means…?”
“Honestly, stealing you from the café is too much of a blow to the fighting strength of our class. Endo-san says there is also the possibility that class next door we want to shelter you in will refuse.”
“Then there’s no plan? I’ll be going then.”
I shake him off and slide the door open—
“Fufu, ro- ro- ro- ro- rotted children. If there aren’t any, then just make them yourselllffffff— —” 4
Before my eyes is a group of girls who could be mistaken for ghosts solely because of how they’ve styled their hair. They give the impression of being the type who’ll chase after any school boy unfortunate to pass by before them. I can picture their bloodshot eyes. They just scream insanity.
I ease the door shut and turn around to face the empty classroom. “What was that!? What, what!? Them!”
“They aren’t the undead. They’re members of the literary club who’ve gone rotten. With they’re help… ahm. I can’t say it.”
Just what’s going on? I’m overcome by uneasiness as I look left and right. I’m gonna cry if this keeps up.
One of those girls says, “Those people with vile eyes, Shun-kun needs a disguise so he can slip past them.”
I say, “You want to trick them?”
“Since time immemorial, boys have customarily worn disguises to keep from being spirited away. There’s no problem.”
“Th- then this’ll be something like that?”
“Would you prefer being hunted down?”
Like they say, I don’t want to be chased by a mob. Also, disguising myself and going someplace else isn’t that bad. The class next to mine is a haunted house. This is probably just make up and clothing for that.
“I understand. So, how are we doing this?”
“For now, come this way. Everything is already prepared. Just sit down, close your eyes, and relax. We’ll do the rest.”
Well, if I’m going to hide out in a haunted house, then blending in is only natural… Although, I’m not very good with places like haunted houses.
I shut my eyes and drop down on a stool.
Someone says, “First, we’ll steam your face.”
Something is put against my face. A steamed towel? It’s so warm and comforting that it makes me sleepy.
Also, the moment I close my eyes, a sweet fragrance catches my nose. It’s light, but when coupled with the towel it makes me even sleepier. It’s like I’m being lapped by small waves of sleep.
“Now, the next time you open your eyes, you’ll be in for a shock.”
I hear a voice, but can just barely respond.
T/N: I can’t wait to read the next chapter.
- I think rotted blue berries has a special meaning in Japanese?? 腐り爛れた青い果実が無いならば