153-fox-ear performer

'Thank you. Next time I'll prepare some sweets.'

'Okay! See you later!

 After I finished chopping wood at the calm lady's house, I greeted her as cheerfully as I could and left her house.
 Checking the quest form against the map, I went around endlessly chopping wood, for about four hours from noon. Having finished chopping wood at the sixth house, I walked through the village toward the next house.

'Heh ......, I don't know if it's because there are basically a lot of older people, but they treat me like a child ......'.

'I'm 21 years old.
I'm not sure if it's because I'm old or because I'm not.
I'm not sure if it's a good idea to treat her like a child or not.
I've heard that Lady Amber is over 50 and a young woman.
"Sukuna's doing his youthful moves.
I'm sure you're right.

I'm sure you're right.

 Even the gatekeepers in towns and villages have names and personalities. Each NPC has its own history.
 Rather than ...... containing AI, it's as if a person's soul really resides in them.
 Since players have their own consciousness in their virtual avatars, it's possible that NPCs also have a person inside them.

'Oh, by the way, I've been quietly chopping wood all day. ...... I can do it because I have experience, but isn't it boring for everyone else?

"It's more fun than you think.
I've been doing it for a while now.
"It's almost like background music for work.
"It's not often you get a chance to watch someone chopping wood for hours on end.
"There are games that are all about clearing mountains.

I'm not sure what to make of it.

"It's a pain in the ass, that's for sure.
"It's an abuse of power.
"It's an abuse of power. "I can't allow it!
"It's really grass.
"Do it yourself.

 In open-world crafting games, clearing a mountain, or digging it down to make a flat area, is not that uncommon.
 If I were asked if I wanted to do it in VR, I definitely wouldn't, but in consumer games, it's a fairly common activity.
 If you dig up a mountain, you can get materials for it. It may not be efficient, but it is not a waste of time.
 Well, most of the time it's just a sudden idea to get a sense of accomplishment.

 Incidentally, Rin had the maids help her when she was planning to break down the mountains in the field and level them.
 Rin was scolded by Toki-san for slowing down the maid's work.

 As with such land clearing work, chopping wood also brings not only experience, but also a few items called "Moonlight Tree Wood Chips".

 It could be used for fuel or something, but for now it was just a trash item with no apparent use.

'Let's see, the next one is over there, ......?

 As he checked his map for his next destination, he saw a white fox walking through the village.

'Hey, there's a white fox.

'It's true.
'It's cute.
It's cute. It fits in like a stray cat.
You're a rare character. I've heard it appears in the demon village once in a while, but I've never seen it before.
It's really white.

'Rare character?

 Hmm, that means you're lucky to have found it. If there had been other players around, I could have seen their reactions, but unfortunately there were only NPCs around me right now.
 From a distance, at least, it didn't look like a demon.
 The inhabitants of the village would only occasionally follow it with their eyes, and their reaction would be that of a person who found a stray cat, as the listener said.

 They're cute, but I think they'll run away if you approach them.
 I was born with a constitution that makes me afraid of animals.
 To tell the truth, I've never been in contact with animals, to the extent that it was a miracle that I was pampered by a water dragon in Trillia some time ago.

'I want to touch it.

'Let's go.
'I'll comfort you if you run away.
'Don't kill it, okay?

'I'm not going to kill you.

 I wouldn't kill an animal that didn't attack me!

'Okay, let's go!

"Sadness ......
"Before the memory of the Wolf's slaughter comes back to me ......
'A tragedy that would be told for years to come (I assure you).

'Isn't everyone betraying me too soon!

 Just a moment ago you were talking about comforting me. .......
 I ignored the listener's teasing and made my way towards the fox, which, to my surprise, noticed me and made its way towards me.
 When I crouched down to meet the fox's gaze, it sniffed eagerly as it circled around me.
 I knew that in the game, animals are not afraid of me. Just as I was feeling a little happy at the thought, something extraordinary happened.

 It did a spin in the air. Just as I was thinking that I was being trained to perform a trick, I heard a poof and a puff of smoke, and then the fox turned into a beautiful woman.

'...... smells good. A person who smells very, very good.

 A pale blue kimono embroidered with snowflakes. Her hair is lustrous black and her eyes are a beautiful jade.

 They don't have ears in the same position as humans, but instead have two fox ears standing on their heads and a soft tail around their hips.
 So-called kemo-ears. And beautiful. A beautiful woman with a visual that would sting anyone, she was smiling happily.

'What's your name?

'It's Sukuna.

'Yes, my name is Sukuna-chan. I'm Sekka. Nice to meet you.

 When I shook the hand that was offered to me, I was entangled in some suspicious hands.
 I've been getting a lot of skinship through hands today, like this guy and Akagane.
 I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's a good idea.

'It smells very good. It's a very pleasant smell.

'Yes, ...... does it smell that much?

 WLO is a great game that reproduces smells, but I've intentionally cut out about 90% of my sense of smell, so I don't know what my own smell is like.
 But there is no sweat in the game. The player's smell is probably just the smell of dirt, dust, and iron.
 When I asked him about it, he said it was a mistake to take it seriously.

'Yes. You smell really good, Sukuna. Very good ...... smell of money.'

'The smell of money.

"I'm laughing my ass off.
"You have gold, don't you?

 I couldn't help but reply in katakana.
 As I watched the listeners laughing out of the corner of my eye, I sighed softly, wondering what I should do about the fox ears in front of me who were so enraptured that they were almost drooling.

I'm sure you'll agree.

I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's worth it.

 I'm not sure what to do with the fox ears in front of me.

'Yes. The demon tribe and the vixen tribe get along well, so they let me come and go as I please. Especially since I'm a 'magician', I come to the village to sell spell marks on a regular basis.

'Cryptographer......I see, that's what Amber said.

 I'd forgotten all about it, but when I first met Amber, she used the "magic" to protect me from magic.
 I didn't pay much attention to it at the time, but I remember that Amber told me that the demon tribe and the vixen tribe have a friendly relationship.
 I remembered now that I had wanted to buy one when I arrived at the demon village.

'Do you know Master Amber, Sukuna?

'Yes, Amber is the master of the demon dance.

 I think I've heard the name Amber a lot since I came to the village of demons.
 I guess it's natural that she's an important NPC with a lot of settings, such as being a princess of the demon village and a descendant of a family of divine children with demon blood.

'So you do know about necromancers, right?

'Only a little. The only thing I know is that anyone can use magic if they use a talisman made by a magician of the fox tribe. ......

'Hmm, that's pretty much right. This is not exactly a talisman, but a "spellbook". It doesn't matter what you call it, so you can call it whatever you want.

 What Yukika took out were five spellcards of different colors and patterns.
 I see, it's true that these are different from the talismans you see at ...... shrines. It's just a feeling, though.

The "magic" is, Sukuna-chan. It's an occupation and a skill to put all kinds of arts, ancient and modern, into spell marks and give them shape. The contents of the spellbook are mostly sorcery, but depending on the user, even magic and warding arts can be made into spellbooks.

'If it depends on the user, does that mean that ...... is just a profession that creates spell marks, and not that the magician itself learns magic?

'Exactly. It's not that you can't use it, it's that you can't use it. The foxes are a race of sorcery, not magic, so their spells usually contain sorcery.

 Hmm, so that's it. If the wielder is a sorcerer, he can create sorcery spells, and if he is a wizard, he can create magic spells.

'What's the difference between magic and sorcery?

'Using MP is the same. However, sorcery is more skilled at twisting things than magic. For example, this spell.

 Yuehua pulled out one of the spells she was holding and blew on it with a puff.
 At that moment, smoke began to blow out from the spellbook.

'A spellbook containing a rudimentary sorcery called "Yoen". It can be used to escape from monsters or to surprise your target without it noticing you.

 It's too expensive to use for a bad hunt," she said, crushing the burned-out spellbook.

'Magic is basically a combat-focused technology, so there's not much 'play' in it. There are some fun techniques in sorcery that seem rather useless.

 As he stroked the newly retrieved spellbook, snowflakes flew around the store, this time centered on Snow Flower.

'This is "Oboro Yuki". It's just an illusion, but isn't it beautiful?

'Yes, it is. I can't really touch it, and it's not cold.

'It's just an illusion. Well, this is a technique that can only be used for fun. ......'

'That's true.'

 It's beautiful. However, it seems to be difficult to put it to practical use in battle. At least if it's a hallucination of fire, there's a use for it. .......
 But still, sorcery. Compared to magic, it seems to be more Japanese, but since it uses MP, it can't be used against demons. This may be the first time I've felt disappointed that my magic skills are so low.

'You said earlier that sorcery is good at luring, but don't you have any for attacking?

'Of course I do. They're just not as versatile as magic.

 He didn't demonstrate it, as if he couldn't use offensive sorcery indoors, but the new spells he pulled out were probably the same.

'Then it's time to do business. Sukuna-chan seems to be very rich, so we'll have plenty to choose from.

 Yuehua operated the menu card, and the empty shelves in the store were lined with spells.
 There are more than a hundred kinds. It's not like there's only one of each kind, so if you look at the number of cards, there must be many times that many.

'The number and quality of items in this store depend on who comes to sell them. Sukuna is very lucky. You're very lucky that you were able to visit this store on the same day I did.

 This me,' she said smugly, 'is just a disappointing beauty who likes money because of the impression I got when I first met her.
 When I gave Yukika such a look, she smiled and handed me a menu card.

 Basically, only you can operate the menu card. The status displayed on the card and the list of items in your inventory are also invisible to others.
 However, since this is only a privacy issue, you can set the contents of the card to be visible to others. Only you can operate the card, though.

 When I received the card, thinking that there was something you wanted to show me, my eyes widened involuntarily when I saw what it said.
 The status of Xue Hua written on it, even though it was a simple display, was still enough to surprise me.

''Highest level magician ......, Xuehua of the "Zethria" ......?''

 The displayed level was 221.

'Hmph, my spellbook is a bit expensive, you know?

 Seeing the surprised expression on my face, Xue Hua smiled like a child who had successfully played a prank.