Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Volume 3 - Chapter 1 - Poison


The three of them quickly react, Kun and Bell retreating gradually while Rick runs up to Till’s fallen body.

“Don’t move her! Find out what’s wrong first!” The remaining group of vipers hiss coldly at Kun. Signaling with his eyes, Bell dashes off to join Rick as he acts as the rearguard.

“Till? Are you okay?” The girl is unresponsive even though Rick is giving her a light shake. “Um… Umm… what do I do?! The party screen says she’s paralyzed and poisoned!” Rick is panicking as he looks Till up and down. Her eyes are misted over while her mouth opens and closes slightly, trembling.

“Move it!” Seeing the youth being useless, the felinoid roughly shoves him away as she starts checking the girl’s neck, arms and legs. “Damn it! She got bitten!” Without a second thought, Bell leans down and starts sucking on the bite wound on Till’s right ankle.

[ED:This treatment method has been proven to be outmoded by recent modern medical science, suction applied to a snakebite wound just a few seconds after it occurs will withdraw only a negligible amount of venom - while ALSO presenting a hazard for the person giving mouth-suction, as it can enter through the mucous membranes of the mouth. Also it exacerbates the wound itself by leading to necrosis/infection of the wound site if they survive the venom (most snake bites are not lethally toxic, just really shitty to experience (snakes dislike wasting venom) - those snakes that are lethal, and choose to inject venom, cause a medical situation that can only be rectified with immediate hospitalization. The only currently accepted methods of treatment are compression bandages to seal off the bitten limb’s lymphatic system from the vital organs, and antivenom)]



The girl moans a bit, after a few moments, the felinoid spits towards the ground behind them. Grabbing a cloth from her bag, she rips it into a dangling strip with a *piri* and tightly wraps it above the ankle. Hesitating for a just moment, she sucks the wound a second time.

“Rick! Get over here and check their body for antidotes, one of them was asking for it from their comrades earlier!” Kun struggles as he faces off against the vipers alone, without the support of Till and Rick, he has to be extra cautious to avoid being bitten.

“«Flame»!” Grabbing a pair of copper daggers from his leather harness, he imbues them with Fire mana, setting them ablaze. In the blink of an eye, he covers the distance between himself and Kun. The vipers, sensing the two new intense sources of heat, back off warily, giving Kun the chance to take a breather. “Shit, how the hell are we gonna get to the bodies? The snakes are all over them.”

“Cover me for a bit!” Stabbing the improvised torch that’s his rod into the ground, the young man furrows his brows while he moves erratically, as though he’s trying to dance to an odd rhythm that only he can hear. Rick, in the mean time, is spinning and slashing low to the ground, keeping the vipers at bay. Whenever the vipers get too close, a short jet of fire will burst forth from his daggers, scaring them away.

“Got it! «Starlight Fireflies!»!” Thrusting out his right hand toward the burning rag on his staff, he uses the flame as a focal point, filling it with mana. Similar to how he accidentally create the Fire Devil in the [Field of Ashes], he drains bits of fire from the torch and compresses them into tiny specks of light. In addition, he’s fueling the flame with some mana since the makeshift tallow-covered torch would not be able to provide enough power alone. As a result, a few faint, winking specks of red light start drifting up from the rod, like ash from glowing embers. As though a dam is bursting, the first few specks of light are followed by a stream, then a torrent, all of them spiraling from the flickering fire from the top of the rod, forming a slowly rotating sphere above.

[T/N: 星明かりのほたる - shouldn’t it be written as 星光のほたる? Someone please enlighten me.]


“What are you doing now, Kun?!” Rick is panting slightly as he focuses on the vipers in front of him. Unlike either Bell or Kun, he doesn’t have the stamina to keep attacking for a prolonged period of time; the ragged breathing and the sweat drenching his face and clothing, giving him a miserable impression.

“Trying to scare these guys off…” Kun’s eyes glaze over slightly, a drip of blood slowly rolls down from his nostril, leaving a single red trail to his lips. “Go!” The globe of light scatters in a semi-circular arc towards the vipers, dyeing the jungle in a warm red-orange glow as though it’s been set ablaze. Each speck of light drifts towards the nearby vipers slowly, like a ship seeking harbour returning from the sea.

*bika* *bika bika bika bika bika*

Upon touching a viper, the red sparks gives off a small burst of light and heat.

**sii** *****ssiiiiiii*****

The vipers, confused by the dazzling sources of light and heat that threaten to engulf them, flee in confused terror as their sight becomes overwhelmed.

*goso goso* *goso goso*

Without a moment’s delay, Rick dashes out toward the users’ corpses, rummaging through their belongings. Without checking, he grabs every single vial off of the bodies and shoves them in his bag. He quickly runs toward Till as soon as the bag is filled, hoping that one of the vials is the antidote.

*haa haa haa*

Kun is slumped on the floor, his left hand holding onto the middle of the rod to support himself, his right hand covered in blood as he tries to block the steady flow of blood dripping from his nose. Rick stops mid-step in his run as he looks at him with concern. Waving his right hand, Kun gestures to Rick to take care of Till first. Giving a curt nod, the youth runs with an audible *doa doa* as the vials collide softly in his bag.

“Here, I don’t know what is what though.” Rick drops his bag gently next to Bell, who immediately digs through it.

Ignoring all the known [Health Potions] and [Mana Potions], she arranges the various vials quickly on the ground. Since those men must have planned ahead of time to lure the monsters, it is only reasonable that they prepared antidotes ahead of time. Making a snap decision, she pops open the cork off a light green vial, gently lifts Till off the floor and feeds it to her.


*koho* *koho*

The girl coughs weakly in her arm, before becoming unresponsive once more.

“No change, the screen is still showing the same status!”

“Shit!” Grabbing a different type of vial, Bell feeds it to her once more.

“Still no good!”

“Damn it!”

After trying out all the vials, the [Status] remains unchanged on the [Party] screen. In her haste, Bell nearly fed Till poison if Rick hadn’t stopped her in time.

“How is she?” Kun appears silently from behind them after a while, having recovered, giving them a small fright.

“Damn it! Make some noise when you walk!” Rick jumps a foot in the air from his standing position, agitation seeping into his voice.

“We tried almost everything, nothing worked. Might be better just to kill her and have her respawn.” Bell says with resignation.

“Where’s the wound?” A pale looking Kun leans down, getting on one knee, with dried blood and filth caked all over.

“Right here.” The felinoid turns over the ankle with two obvious red dots, showing them to the young man. He inspects the wound closely, frowning all the while.

“Rick, can you grab me one of the viper’s corpses with its head on please?”

*sha sha*

With a rustle, Rick runs off and quickly returns with a dead snake, head intact, in hand; a disgusted look on his face. “What do you need this for?” He hands the carcass to the kneeling Kun.

“Just making sure of something.” Grabbing a nearby stick, Kun opens the viper’s mouth, revealing its fangs. “Damn it… I knew something was strange.”

“Wait, what? What’s going on?” The blond youth leans over and tries to peek at the snake.

“Let me see that.” Bell reaches over and inspects the fangs as well. “Gah!” She looks to the side with a guilt-ridden expression. “What do we do now?”

“We need to bring her to Lilyheim and see if the healers there know anything… Or we can just kill her off here and have her login later and join us.”

“Damn it, that was a careless mistake.”

“First aid should still be about the same though, so good job either way.”

“Um… guys, hello? What’s going on here?” Rick looks at the two with confusion, not understanding what just happened. The two turn toward the youth, looking up from their position. They turn back to look at each other, then back at Rick again, giving him an uncomfortable feeling.

“She got bitten by something, but not a viper. The width between the fangs and the shape is too different.” Kun is the one that speaks up while Bell turns to the side with a *tch*, still being angry with herself.

“What the… there were other venomous mobs here?”

“Doesn’t matter now, we need to decide on a course of action.” Kun scratches his hair helplessly. “Although dying is never fun.” He recalls the painful burning sensation from when he was swallowed up by the Fire Devil, he shudders when he begins to think what it would be like if the system’s pain blocking mechanism didn’t kick in.

“You know what, might as well. I’ll leave you guys to clean this place up, PM me when you get to the camp. I will leave most of my bags with you guys.” Bell gets up and starts adjusting her gears. All of the sudden, she stops. “Right, Kun, can I borrow that rope of yours?”

“Ah! Got it! Give me a few minutes. Just keep an eye on her for now. Rick, come give me a hand.” He pauses for a moment as he is about to get up, putting his right hand to his ear. “Gui, stop whatever you are doing and head back to camp, we will head back soon.” Resuming an upright posture, he heads toward the tree where he had hidden his packs.

“Eh? I guess…” Rick follows Kun with a clueless expression as the young man skillfully climbs up the tree and retrieves everything in a snap.

With practiced hands, Kun cuts up a low quality piece of leather into four large squares, a long rectangular strip and numerous small thin rectangular strips with his skinning knife. With the rough shape complete, he starts making even, careful cuts about 10 cm away from the two parallel edges of the squares. Afterward, he grabs the long piece of rope that he always keeps with him, looping it into various knots, with loops sticking out, on one end. He then hands a square of leather to Rick, “Hold here and here, Rick. Keep the leather taunt.”

“Damn…” The blond youth curses in admiration at the speed in which the materials are quickly converted into whatever it is that Kun is making.

Within minutes, a crudely made contraption appears. It looks simple on the ground, a piece of rope with a U shape, the bottom of the U wrapped in a long piece of leather, that’s about two meters long. The rope running parallel on both sides is set about half a meter apart. Four pieces of leather are woven into place in two sections near the bottom half, two pieces of leather stacked on top of each other making one section, held in place by knots in the rope.

The two quickly bring the contraption over, causing Bell to raise an eyebrow with a small smirk. Rick tilts his head at her reaction.

“You never cease to amaze me, alright, help me with that thing.”

“You should meet Uncle Hank, apparently he’s a master at this sort of thing.” He places the thing at Bell’s feet. “Step into the loop, bring it to your waist and then squat down.” Turning his head around, “Rick, can you bring Till over?”

“Got’cha.” Rick’s expression softens, revealing lights in his eyes, finally understanding what it is that Kun had made. He quickly picks Till up in a princess carry, bringing her over toward the squatting Bell and then gently easing her onto the felinoid’s back. “Guess Bell is getting some early practice for being a mom.”

Kun tries to suppress the smirk on his face while turning his head. Bell on the other hand was giving Rick an evil glare, her neck rotating to its limit, trying to turn in his direction without moving her body.

“Alright, stand up, I’ll strap you in.” Bell stands up with Till on her back, the pieces of leather supporting Till’s buttocks and back. The two ends of the rope are over her shoulder, held by Kun. After fastening the long ropes underneath the leather-covered loop resting snugly on the felinoid’s waist, Kun inserts the thin strips of leather into the loops near the leather section supporting Till. 6 pieces of leather wrap across Bell’s torso, firmly holding onto Till in a piggyback.

“Damn, nice, I can use my hands if it’s like this.”

“Yep, give us a message when you reach Lilyhelm, we will head back to camp first.” He hands over her halberd that’s laying nearby before tying one of his waistsacks filled with [Mana Potion]s from the loot and their original stock, setting it on the left of her waist.

“Got it, see you guys in a bit! NYYAAAAAA!” Bell’s leg muscles swell in size, as she dashes off at an unbelievable speed. With halberd in one hand, [Mana Potion] in the other, it was a strange sight to behold. To make it even more unsettling is the gracefulness and sturdiness in those powerful strides that leap over puddles and other obstacles, barely rocking Till an inch with her explosive motions.



“When the hell did she improve enough to do it like that?” The two look at her in a daze before Rick finally makes a remark, causing Kun to shrug.

“This is going to be a pain.” Kun turns back towards the jungle where corpses of the users and snakes are, with a complicated smirk on his face. Small particles of light drift up from the clearing, as the bodies from the first of the users to die start to disappear.

* * * * *

*haa haa haa*

Rick is panting painfully at the campsite, taking in air with big gulps while making a 大 on the cleared ground. A partially filled pitcher of water lays nearby as well as an empty mug with traces of water within.

[T/N: I was thinking about changing 大 into spreadeagle, but further research shows that they are different. Once again I’m stuck with keeping the original as I couldn’t find an appropriate equivalent in english, sorry :P]

*kan* *kan*

*pyu* *pyu*

The sounds of battle can be heard in the background as the students proceed to finish off the horde of monsters that followed Rick from within the jungle. Let’s rewind back in time for a bit…

After collecting all the loot and stripping the equipment off of the users’ corpses that had yet to to disappear, there were simply too many items for them to carry. In addition, they had to carry Bell’s and Till’s baggage. In the midst of sorting out the goods, they found the squirming bags that the users were carrying. Curious, Rick opened up the sacks, releasing a torrent of small vipers which fled in every direction. A few of the snakes squirt something onto him before escaping through the leaf litter. The non-squirming sacks are filled with fist-sized eggs with green speckles, which are added onto the loot pile as a food item. After carefully selecting the best equipment, leather, meat, and other loot, they slowly and carefully made their way back to camp. As for the rest of the loot, stories about finding equipment in the trees of the Norman jungle will appear in the future, but that’s a tale for another time.

Less than halfway through their trek back to camp, Bell confirms that Till was fine and was getting treatment. It appeared she was bitten by a Shikanigumo. They aren’t dangerous by themselves, but their venom is known to be extremely potent. Fortunately the spider is well known and antidotes are readily available. Of course, users have no clue about the spider since it isn’t in any bestiaries.

[T/N: シカニグモ drove me nuts, there’s no furigana, I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be aside from being a spider cause of “gumo (グモ)”, shikani doesn’t mean anything, there’s the crab spider that’s “カニグモ”, but “shika (シカ)” means deer, making “Shika Niku (シカニク)” deer meat. There’s also “shi = 死” which can make it a Death Crab Spider (strange that the kanji isn’t used though). There’s so much possible word play that I’m not sure which one it is or simply made up (or worse, it was intended to all of the above and more). In this case, I’m just going to be keeping it as Shikanigumo until I get a reply, I spent wwwwaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy too much time researching this and other things xP]

Gui linked up with them about three quarters of the way to the camp, as the students were pestering him with absurdity, all of them were fighting near the campfire for the rights to groom him. Right then, disaster struck, several groups of mongoose-like creatures -half a meter tall and thrice as long- start chasing them. More specifically, all the gazes were on Rick - likely due to whatever substance the snakes have squirted on him, alerting their predators. Knowing that Rick is the target, Kun and Gui decided to stall them while Rick returns to the safety of the camp to get help. Dropping the bags in the jungle, he makes a beeline toward the savannah where the camp is. Of course, the creatures wouldn’t just let him go even if Kun and Gui can stop a few of them.

An idea flashed through his mind, reminding him of his various tools. He changed his path abruptly, moving sideways until he can see a straight path outside the jungle. Once located, he ran straight toward the bright light of the sun. Halfway through, he started silently dropping his caltrops behind him. Additionally, he threw Fire imbued wooden daggers to the left and right, hoping to set the side-paths ablaze and force them down this straightaway.

After running for his dear life for what felt like 10km, he finally reached the camp with the mongooses-like monsters hot on his tail. Fortunately, the students were battle-ready with the duels happening at the campfire. Rick collapsed on the spot as soon as he reached the site while most of the students rushed forward to engage in battle as he’s taken care of by the younger students, leading to now…

“Rick, are you still alive?”

The youth takes a few more deep breaths, thankful for the daily training he had undertaken, otherwise he’s sure he would’ve died there and then. With his breathing stabilized, he puts his hand on his right ear, answering the PM. “Yeah, just caught my breath. How is the situation?”

“You…” A short silence follows as the sounds of battle fills the air, “might want to come and take a look.”

“Huh?” Rick gets up from the ground and stares at the blood chilling scene playing out before him. Checking the creatures’ information screen, he realized that these are level 80 Spiked-tail Mongooses [釘尾マングース]. The mongooses that should outnumber and outlevel the students are herded like cattle in a circle. The students, on the otherhand, are in constant motion as per their training. Unexpectedly, they are extremely versatile, switching to slings when they are far away, rushing in in waves as soon as one mongoose tries to step forward to break the encirclement. Their bodies are in constant motion, circling around - like whales rounding up a school of fish, except for the strange reversal in size. Their attacks are like windmills, coming and going, the different demi-humans never attacking twice in the same way, rotating their close-range attacks with hit and run tactics before switching into slingshots while the previous ranged attackers switch roles seamlessly.

“What kind of training did you give the kids while we were gone? They can probably give the Feian guard a run for their money.” Kun was only vaguely aware of the details of the games Rick accidentally shared. Hearing about it and seeing the results are completely different things. Of course, none of them realize the power of boredom. In a society where life is mainly work, sleep, and eat, with scarce entertainment all around, the concept of games is a highly sought after luxury, perhaps even more so than gems and treasures. This was abundantly clear in their previous duels, be it with Rick and the Feian Captain or the friendly match against [Atonement], every single native that was present paid sharp attention. It’s fair to say that, aside from Gui, they are slaves to boredom as well. None of them can claim that boredom wasn’t a factor in their decision to join Second Phantasia in the first place.

“This is just like how the Feian guards deal with monsters- wait, no. This is LEVELS better than the guards. The Tactics class is gonna have a field day about this… But these guys were just playing games…”

“Eh, games you say?” A hint of intrigue seeps into Kun’s voice. If Rick wasn’t so focused on the one-sided battle, he would notice the odd, sinister smirk on Kun’s face. One has to remember the tricks Kun had set up with Hank at his training facility, the shrewd method of motivation to turn greenhorns into training machines merely scratches the surface of his cunning in using human psychology without conscious thought. And this has just given him an idea.

“Yeah, you should try it some time. It’s quite a famous sport here in the Atlantic Union.”

The two chat idly as they watch their pupils decimate the supposedly powerful mongooses in no time; there are only a few scratches and a broken spear from an overeager student. Unceremoniously, two students start skinning the corpses as though it’s second nature. The others went to gather the carcasses and loot, including what they can find of the caltrops, the few still usable daggers on the trees and the packs that Rick abandoned in his bid for safety. The two look on warmly, recalling their battle with the wolves months ago, sharing similar actions.

“Glad you are feeling better, Till.” Rick and the rest are sampling the various snake dishes being served at the recommendation of Bell, with Kun’s execution. The sky is turning dark, with stars winking into existence in the clear sky.

“Thanks, Rick-ni~” The little girl is viciously tearing into a roasted python fillet with her teeth and hands, a look of satisfaction on her face.

“What did it feel like being poisoned like that?”

“Hmmm… I could hear everyone, but I couldn’t move at all… I thought it came back…” A distant, dark expression fills her face before she shakes her head, resuming her attack on the fillet. “OOoooohhh~! Was this what you were talking about, Bell-ne~?”

“NYAHAHAHAHAA, you are feeling it right?!” The felinoid is enjoying a bowl of viper stew, made with shredded fungus, root vegetables and some spices. “Snakes make your body feel strong where I came from, it seems it’s the same here! NYANYANYANYAH!”

“But you didn’t have to drink the snake blood like that…” The youth mumbles meekly before reaching forward to grab another piece of the roasted python.

“Ha! It shouldn’t be the first time you see something like that! And aren’t you enjoying this a little too much? Isn’t that your fifth piece?” Bell reveals a happy smile with her teeth showing before drinking another bowl of stew.

“Don’t worry, we’ve got so much meat, I think we will probably have to sell some… we can’t finish them in time before they rot, anyways.” Kun is busy coaching the students who want to learn how to cook as well after sampling from the first batch of food he made. Since there’s nothing like striking while the iron is hot, Kun immediately jumps into his training mode, teaching the students. As a result, a constant influx of food fills the campsite. Slightly hidden away is Gui who hid himself near the jungle enjoying his food, away from the students. They went from wanting to groom him to wanting to feed him, causing him to feel even more annoyed.

The group chatted, Bell and Till being surprised at the students’ prowess while praising them. The girls share the information they gathered about the 1st Princess within Lilyheim; it seems she went out on a self-declared mission to fix the kingdom. Talks went from one thing to another, idle banter filling the air with liveliness. The other students are bragging about their fights amongst themselves, while others are quietly savouring the food they haven’t had before.

“We shall try and meet again soon, guess we will stay around here in the meantime. Good night!” Kun is the first to log out with Gui to eat dinner. Soon after, everyone parted ways, their bodies hidden within the makeshift shelters within the campsite.

* * * * *

“Ahhh, that was fun…” Kun gets up from the bed with a satisfied expression. “Huh…?” He reaches up to his face and touches the part between his nose and lip. “Blood?” Small grains of crusty, dark red, dried blood crumbles onto the floor from his fingers.


  1. Replies
    1. Your guess is as good as mine at this point. Even the people nanodesu couldn't figure it out. I'm waiting for a detailed description of the spider/the 2nd dude to email me back. Legion made a good point that the name might be done this way to keep the reader guessing, unfortunately that doesn't really work when you have to translate it. ><

  2. Thanks for the chapter and the trivia.

    It seems that mental damage is carried over to real life.
    Could this be the something that was hinted in the side story?

    1. @Kensei that works though ever since the intro with the Leviathan CEO and talks he had it sounded as if Amoaltz is a real place like another world and the players are living in the world like in the movie Avatar

  3. That was intense. How does that magic work?

    Medium: torch + mana
    Loop {
    Action: siphon fire mana(small)
    Action: compress fire mana
    Action: direct mana into semi-random cloud and disperse

    did I get that right? Sounds pretty freaking complicated to pull of on the spot and without magical tools.

    ....I've also forgotten what they were even doing in the forest. Time to backtrack.

    1. If I have to fix that, it'd be

      Source: torch + mana
      Loop {
      Action: Designate proximity/focal point
      Action: siphon + compress fire mana(small)
      Action: Direct burst direction + Weak Homing on multiple targets

      If you recall when he first used Star Rise against Bell during the duel/lesson at the Academy (in chapter 1 where they were just learning about mana), he mentioned that's there's limit to how much he can do since going above that would be too much.

      His methodology is more like puzzle pieces than solving on the spot. Especially since he had experiences doing almost the exact same things (Star Rise technique and the Fire Devil incident), he's just tacking on an extra action over his limit at this point. Bell is one that was going the complicated route (same chapter in volume 1) ;)

    2. *in volume 1 where they were just learning about mana

      oops, bad typo

    3. Right, right. Also forgot to mention: the first ED note is a just a bit small, there. Could you change the font size a bit?

  4. Thanks for the new chapter after so long! :D
    Starting reading this 3 days ago and now caught up, I gotta say it's amazing!
    So the mental fatigue of just the magic in game was carried over to his real body, even though physical damage doesn't but just leaves a sensation? Crazy...

    1. The last chapter was only like 8 days ago! T.T

    2. Oh yeah! Sorry. :P
      It just somehow feels later cuz I wasn't able to read what happens next.
      Still major thankful for your hard work in each chapter!

  5. I think it's showing that doing something that stresses the brain to it's limit has the ability to damage it in reality. Which should be common sense, but since it's a game, no one really thinks about what will happen when you overdo it.


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