Karma – 07

Chapter 7 – Power-Leveling Part 1

Author: Happy New Year. Please continue your support.

… Incidentally, this is but a pseudo-title; to be precise, this chapter is about the preparations. No battles yet.


The next day, Nellie and I headed to the Guild. I wanted to find a neutralisation job that would be good for levelling Nellie.

Noticing our arrival, Quirley, the healer of Govack’s party, called out to us, “Ah, Shino-san, thank you for yesterday.”

“Greetings. Is your party also here looking for work?”

“Ah, no. Govack and Quinn are still asleep. I was… that is, in the battle yesterday, it was obvious that I was out of my league—there was nothing I could do to contribute… So I was thinking…”

“To look for a commision you could solo to level up with.”

“Yes. Uhm, how about you and Nellie?”

“We’re also here looking to take requests. Planning to raise Nellies level to 15.”

“Eh?”

“Though I’ve dissolved her slave contract, its still such a shame that her Guilds class still has slave attached to it. Right as she told me, I thought, oh, we only need change her class.”

“Dissolved? Ah, now that you mention it, I no longer see the collar of compliance… Isn’t that just fantastic Nellie-san?”

“It is,” replied Nellie from behind me, peeking out her face.

So she was still a little scared of strangers, probably due to something traumatic while she was still a slave.

“But, levelling up isn’t that easy, you know.”

“True. If we were doing it normally.”

“…”

Suddenly, Quirley-chan was in deep thought. But putting that aside, I wonder if there are any requests suitable for our purposes on the board.

“Uhm. And what would a not normal way be?”

“It may be a tad spartan but… Ah, this one should work.”

*karma*
Rank C – Monster Parts Collection Request
Because the number of magic beasts in the western forest are increasing, we would like to seize this opportunity to procure some ingredients.

Objective:

  • Sickles of Blade Mantis (5+ sets)
  • Horns of Horned Wolf (5+)

Reward:

  • 3 gold coins, additional rewards available depending on quality and quantity.

*karma*

“… Thats C-rank you know?”

“It is indeed.”

“And Nellie-chan is still a level 1 F-rank, right?”

“What of it?”

“Th-thats too rash! C-rank requests are like, the same difficulty as the scale vipers from yesterday! Even if you would be okay—”

“Its not a problem,” said Nellie.

“Nellie-chan?!”

“If Shino-sama says it’ll be fine, then it’ll be fine… And should Shino-sama command it, I would gladly take my life.”

“Wait, you’re not her slave anymore, right?”

“Yes, the slave contract no longer binds us. However,” she said with her cheeks flushed, “we’ve already passed that stage and even did that… Contract or not, from now to all eternity, my soul belongs to Shino-sama alone.”

“What? Just what do mean by ‘that?’ Why are you blushing?!”

How misleading. All I did was show her ears and tail a bit of attention until she had passed out.

“Well, anyway, I’ll be around to make sure Nellie can gain experience safely. A few preparations are in order though.”

“Uhm…” Gathering her resolve, Quirley-chan asked as she looked up at me through her lashes, “Would it be alright if I were to join in on this request as well?”

How to go about this? Protecting two would be difficult, so lets take a look at her stats first.

“Hmm, do you mind if I take a look at your stats? I won’t be able to show you mine though.”

“Yes, its not a problem.” Setting it to revealed, Quirley passed her card to me. It was a pastel pink.

*karma*
Name: Quirley Toretto
Sex: Female
Age: 15
Total Level: 13
Guild Rank: D
Class Level: Healer – 13

Stats
HP
MP
Str
Vit
Dex
Spd
Int
Mid
*karma*
255
263
10
10
11
9
15
16

*karma*
Titles
N/A

Special Skills
Healing Effectiveness +5%

Type Affinity
Light +5%

Blessings
God Healing Feitas1
*karma*

“I see. What kind of skills and spells do you have?”

“Ah, to see that, you just do it like this,” said Quirley as she swiped the cards screen sideways, revealing a new screen.

… So you could use it like a smartphone.

*karma*
Skill Slots – 2
Equipped Skills:

  • Elementary Healing
  • Increased Healing Cast Range

Acquired Spells:

  • Elementary Healing (Minor Heal, Cure Poison)
  • Intermediate Healing (Shield, Resist Sleep, Illuminate)
  • Increased Healing Cast Range

*karma*

“Nellie, how many skill slots does one normally have?”

“You start with one at level 1. You receive an extra slot every ten levels for a total of five slots at level 40. It is said that the small fraction of those who have reached level 50 have a total of six though.”

So for my time in Sengoku Online, I should have ten skill slots plus an extra two because of my accessories for a total of twelve. I really was just cheating wasn’t I.

Judging from Quirleys selection, it seemed possible to have groups of skills occupy a single slot. For example, she had a group called Elementary Healing that combined Minor Heal and Cure Poison, so just by scanning, one couldn’t say for certain if any one skill was better than another.

“… Being able to perform AoE2 recovery should come in really handy for us. Alright, lets head out together then.”

“Th-thank you very much!” Clasping both hands together, her eyes gleaming, Quirley looked up at me. If Nellie were a kitten, then Quirley would be a puppy… I could almost see the tail wagging energetically behind her.

“Well then for starters, lets get our equipment sorted out… Is there an armor shop nearby that both sells and makes its goods?”

“Yes, uhm, Portes armor shop would likely be the closest.”

We went to the counter to claim the request I had set my eyes on earlier and then followed Quirley to Portes armor shop.

*Karma*

“Welcome, what might you be interested in?” asked the storekeeper, Porte. A sturdy, yet short man that seemed full of youthful vigor.

“What armor type can you wear Nellie?”

“Common slave is a lower tier class, so we’re limited to cloth armor and light weapons.”

“Cloth armor huh… Nothing here really seems to be good for you.”

“Sorry about that,“ said the owner, starting to trail off, ”I mean, we specialize in metal goods, and…”

“Ahh, excuse me. I hadn’t meant anything by it.”

However, it still didn’t change the fact that the store didn’t really have anything that great for Nellie. I opened my inventory, searching for what cloth armor I had.

“Hmm, I guess this is all I have.”

I positioned my body to block Portes vision, making sure to pull it out in the shadows:

*karma*
Silken Shinobi Vest
Level Required: N/A
Defense: 35
Magic Defense: 10
HP +120
*karma*

Quirley eyes widened, catching me in the act, “Eh, where did you just…”

“Owner, is there something like a dressing room around here?”

“Yup, you’ll find the door at the end of the hall over there.”

“Thank you, we’ll be making use of it then.” I steered my two companions to the dressing room.

Perhaps to allow the space for one to swing a sword around, the sett-floored room was twice the size of what I’d have expected from a normal dressing room, typically half-a-tatami in size in Japans clothing stores.3

“Nellie, if you don’t mind my hand-me-downs, would you like to try this?” I said, handing over the vest I took out earlier.

“Isn’t this silk! I-I’m to take s-such fine, delicate cloth to battle?”

“I did say it was an old pair. Don’t worry about it.”

“Al-alright… I gratefully accept it if you say so,” she said and started changing.

Mhm, her body trembles ever so.

As she finished, her stark, unobstructed skin shone like a jewel.

Ah, what an oversight, I still hadn’t yet bought her underwear. Most definitely not on purpose, okay.

“Sorry, we’ll buy you underwear soon.”

“Oh no, no need to apologize… But this vest really is amazing… The texture is extremely pleasant on the skin yet still really sturdy and easy to move in.”

Look at her fiddling with its every nook and cranny with that face full of awe.

“Isn’t it just~ It has more defense than some of the lower quality leather armor after all… And thats not everything, ha-ha-hah. Take a look at your status window.”

“Hmm? Okay…” She gasped and said, ”My HP is up by 120!”

“Yup, it grants a health bonus. Even if the stray attack hits you here or there, it should be no problem.”

“Enchanted gear! Amazing, so this armor has magic,” said Quirley, sounding unexpectedly excited. “Wearing magical gear is like the dream of any adventurer. Like a milestone even… Nellie-chan, I’m so envious.”

“Well, while we’re partied, I could lend you a set of something as well.”

“Eh? You would be lending me one too?! So you have that much extra…” said Quirley. Her eyes opened, gleaning in expectation.

“One sec, I think I had something perfect for a healer around here somewhere…” Opening my inventory, I took out:

*karma*
Hallowing Shrine Maiden Dress of New Years
Level Required: 5
Defense: 40
Magic Defence: 15
Chanting Time Reduction (Recovery spells only)
*karma*

It was one of the more eccentric rewards obtained from completing a New Years event in Sengoku Online. No matter the class or the type of armor they wore, once worn, it had the secondary effect of also changing the wearers appearance to that of a shrine maiden.

“I-I thought so—you really are pulling items out of nowhere…”

“Mhm, well, its just that I have this item with me that lets me do that pretty much. Leaving it at that, why don’t you try this one on and take a look at your stats?”

“Uh, okay…” she said, as if with a question mark above her head.

Aww, that look of confusion. Mhm, her sleek skin was too a feast for the eyes.

“Red and white, its really cute,” she said. Looking over her card, she then exclaimed, “Wa—what the!” unconsciously raising her voice. “Un-under my special skills, theres a ‘Chanting Time Reduction (Recovery spells only)’ skill.”

“Yeah, it’ll now take you half as long to finish chanting recovery spells.”

“Ah, amazing! Its really amazing Shino-san! You can’t find magical armor with this kind of effect anywhere, at least not on the regular market channels.”

“Mhm, so keep it a secret, okay? It’ll be a headache if word gets out.”

“Y-yes!”

“Then, next is weapons. Right.”

We returned to Porte after the two were finished changing.

“Owner, sorry to bother you again, but would you allow me to use the furnace?”

“The furnace? What for?”

“Nothing much, I just wanted to make something custom for this girl.”

“… I didn’t think we were both in the same trade.”

“Well, it was a long time ago when I was.” I placed a silver coin to hold to in his hand. “If this will do, I’ll be finished soon.”

“Hmm, well, if its only an hour.”

“Thank you, you have my gratitude.” When I left him a cheerful smile, he turned a bright red… A surprisingly innocent guy.

Now, the real question lay at the heart of my immediate plan. Would Character Change work? I hadn’t tried it yet.

I approached the blacksmiths furnace but had Nellie and Quirley stand back. “I’m going to do something a tad strange… It’ll be dangerous, so keep your distance, okay?”

“Okay,” they replied.

Opening my skill menu, I selected Character Change. The character selection window appeared, and I choose my level 60 blacksmith.

In a flash, my hair shortened from a pony tail to a bob cut, and my ninja clothes were replaced with an apron, giving an appearance reminiscent of a worker. Hmm, it seems that my memories, feelings, and personality are all collectively saved and shared between my characters… thank goodness. Checking my status:
*karma*
Name: Shino Kagura
Sex: Female
Age: 21
Total Level: 60
Guild Rank: D
Class Level: Blacksmith – 60

Status
HP
MP
Str
Vit
Dex
Spd
Int
Mid
*karma*
2180
N/A
18
18
18
12
12
13

*karma*
Titles
‘Equilibrium of the Cosmos’
‘Artisan of Worlds Elite’’

Special Skills
Character Change
Mana Release
Mana Transfer

Type Affinity
Fire +50%
Earth +20%
Wind −10%

Blessings
Worlds Unnamed Overseer
*karma*

Mhm, it seems everything was in order. Then everything should proceed smoothly.

“S-Shino-sama,” Nellie stammered. So it shocked her after all.

“Your short haircut look is also wonderful…”

Thats the retort after seeing what just happened?! And of all things, you only mentioned her hair…”

Yeah, but well, you did that job for her just fine, Quirley.

“Well, I have a lot of peculiarities… Just think of it as I can also switch classes when I change clothes.”

“Wait, so that means that you can make weapons yourself, Shino-sama?”

“Indeed.”

What a mystified expression. Though she had seen my profile before, blacksmith as a subclass wasn’t written anywhere. Anyway, let me set the ‘Production’ skill set.

Fine Dexterity Increase, Keen Edge Chance Increase, Light Weapon Smithing, Bladed Weapon Smithing, Armor Smithing, Weight Limit Increase, Magical Trait Enchantment, Physical Trait Enchantment, Enchant Success Increase, Retemper.

Because Nellie was still only level 1, I was limited to the lowest end of the spectrum for what I could make that she could still use. I’ll just have to make up for it with skill.

“For materials only the best fine jewel steel4 and white charcoal,5 then a Kagutsuchis Flame for the heat source and activate Light Weapon Smithing,” I mumbled to myself as I took out each mat out of my inventory one at a time and threw them into the furnace.

Normally, these weren’t mats to be used on just any low-level weapon, but it was all for my lovely Nellie. Let me spoil you.

The steel turned to liquid in an instant. With the Hammer of the Wrathful God, I struck it once, twice, thrice. Then, the form of a defined blade had already taken shape.

“I don’t really know whats going on, but I feel like making blades is not normally this easy…”

“It is Shino-sama after all.”

I further increased its attack with RetemperOh, I managed to use Retemper thrice in total.

Now to add the finishing touches with some enhancements. “Nellie, you had an affinity for Light right?”

“Yes.”

“Then I’ll add in a diamond for its Light attribute.” I took a diamond, an unpolished one about three centimeters in diameter, grasping it with a tight fist, and it began to let off a faint glow.

“Eh, dia-, what? A diamond?! Sh-Shino-sama, surely this now is going much too far for the likes of someone like me.”

“Ha ha ha, its too late to stop me now.” Shaping that light into a weapon in my mind, the weapon slowly began soak up the luminance.

“And its done!”

The result was…

“A kitchen knife?”

“A… kitchen knife, by the looks of it.”

“Ha ha ha. Its not just any kitchen knife. Useable even as a weapon, it is none other than the one and only super-knife, ‘Shino Mk. 1’!”6

The word ‘Shino’ shone brightly on the tang of the knife.7 Mhm, another excellent piece of work even if I do say so myself. Pulling from my large stock of lacquer and pouring, I furnished the knife with a hilt and gave it to Nellie.

*karma*
Yaminagi’s Kitchen Knife – Shino Mk. 1
Required Level: N/A
Compatible Races: Beastkin
Attack Power: 65
Magic Power: 0
Enables use of Lightball

Special Effects:
Increases the attack power of skills that use magic by 15%
Increased effectiveness against Water-type monsters x1.5
*karma*

“Uh, Shino-sama, I’m feeling a really strong aura of magic from this knife.”

“Basically, in terms of just damage, its about hmm… on par with the greatsword Govack was using yesterday. Then imbuing some magic will add 15% additional damage. Oh, and theres an increased effectiveness against water monsters too. Also, you can use Lightball without having learned it beforehand.”

“…” They both were speechless.

“U-uh, not good enough? But if its to be useable by a level 1, this is about the best that I can really…”

“What on earth is this ridiculous feature set,” said Quirley dumbfounded. “Isn’t this just an artifact-class weapon.”

“Shino-sama, is, this… for me?”

Cradling the knife against her chest, those eyes started to well up.

“Yeah, well, I’m glad if you’re happy with it. Even though it came out as a kitchen knife…”

“…”

“Nellie?”

“I… I wi-will treasure it.”

“Mhm.”

“I will treasure it, thank you so very much, Shino-sama.”
That smile. I nearly hugged her as her eyes began to well up at corner of her eyes, but barely stopped myself when I realized I’d catch myself on the super-knife.


1 Likely not related, but Feitas is a brand of pain relief band-aid-like pads.

2 AoE means area of effect, used in contrast to single target.

3 A sett floor is several mostly rectangular and similar-sized stone put together to form a flat surface (think paving). It’s mostly only important that it’s stone. Additionally, tatami are typically 0.88m x 1.76m. Go do your maths.

4 Jewel steel or tamahagane is made from a specific type of iron sand. There’s two types of iron sand: acome and masa. The latter is the higher-quality one and is presumably the type referred to in the text though it’s not specified. White charcoal is one of the two types of types of charcoal, and it is also used for tea ceremony.

5 Kagutsuchi is a kami, or god, of fire and a patron of the blacksmiths in particular.

6 The actual word here is not knife but deba bouchou. A type of knife primary used to cut fish.

7 The tang is the part of the blade (or the metal component of a tool) that extends into the handle allowing it to connect or itself serves as the handle.


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13 thoughts on “Karma – 07”

  1. Thanks 4 the chapters!

    So, this is set in the same world as Arachne, but are they in the same locale and era? Be interesting if the two MCs meet.

    Liked by 1 person

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