SMW – Chapter 3.

Translator: Haruto.

Yesterday, I went to sleep right after sunset, and today, I got up as soon as the sun came out.

Without much external illumination at night in this world, it seems most people follow that same kind of schedule. Thankfully, I used to go camping all the time in my previous (?) life so it’s nothing new to me.

After starting my morning with a quick breakfast, I decided to go check out those “dungeons” I asked about yesterday.

It appears there are three dungeons near the town of Tolson, among which two are classified as F-rank and one as D-rank. Dungeon ranks are directly related to adventurer ranks, which is why it is highly recommended that F-rank adventurers should only dive into F-rank dungeons. But here’s the thing: when they say “F-rank adventurers” they don’t mean solo adventurers. They mean “F-rank parties.” A party is composed of three to five people, so they’re basically saying, “Only F-rank parties of three members or more should enter F-rank dungeons.” Hence, I’m going to limit myself to doing some reconnaissance today. Besides, even if I did feel like going in, I still haven’t gotten any skills that could help me kill monsters, and I can’t even swing my mace well yet…

I leave town and follow the trail markers as I walk. After an hour or so, I finally spot a massive boulder in the fields with a large hole in the middle that serves as the entrance of the dungeon. There are already a few parties around, checking their equipment and getting ready to step in. As I get closer, I catch sight of the young man I met at the inn’s dining room yesterday and his party. They’re supposed to be E-rank adventurers and yet here they are in front of an F-rank dungeon. I guess they must have a particular reason to be here. For a moment, I considered striking up a conversation with them, but I decided against it in the end since you probably shouldn’t bother warriors who’re raring to head into battle.

I keep observing all the various parties as they go in one after the other…

“Maybe I should take a little peek?”

I’m planning to practice wielding my mace after this, and perhaps taking a look at the place where I’ll be fighting in the near future will help with my training.

I approach the boulder’s three-by-three-meter entrance and peer in. It looks like a sort of cave with a downward slope. There’s also light inside, which I was told is considered to be one of the dungeons’ great mysteries and renders torches unnecessary.

“Hey, if you’re not going in, do you mind getting out of the way?”

Uh-oh! A new party has arrived.

I offer a quick apology to the jacked guy who talked to me and leave the premises.

Alright, I’m done with my little reconnaissance, so I’ll now look for a place where people won’t see me train.

I follow the trail back to town for a while until I come across a copse of trees and step into it. Here’s where I’ll be practicing my swing.

Something I discovered when I participated in the baseball matches that my company used to organize years ago is that even something as basic as swinging a bat properly can prove too difficult for a beginner. It might sound obvious considering that even professional players have to work on their swing constantly, but for someone like me who had never practiced a sport seriously, it was honestly quite a revelation.

That’s one of the reasons why I knew throwing myself into battle right away would be a terrible idea and that I should focus on practicing basic swings with my mace for now.  

I put down my backsack, and hold my mace in my hands. My new weapon is completely made of metal and its head is comprised of a few flanges.

I try swinging it a few times.

Strangely enough, my mace doesn’t feel as heavy, and I’m able to move my body more smoothly than before. I can’t help but think about how much damage this mace can deal each time I hear the sound it makes when I swish it through the air.

I keep practicing my swing nonstop for a while. My body truly feels in top condition despite my age. I suppose that’s one of the effects of the so-called “Awakening.”

After swinging my mace a few hundred times, I’m suddenly struck by a weird feeling. Even though my technique was still rather clumsy just a second ago, I can now wield my mace in the most natural way possible. It’s not like I gradually learned how to handle it or anything like that. It felt more game-like—as if I had just leveled up and my stats changed.

“I see. I must have gotten a new skill.”

This is actually something I read about at the Adventurers’ Guild. Apparently, the “awakened” can obtain what’s known as “skills” through repeated experiences. It’s not like when normal people practice a certain activity for a long time and eventually get good at it. According to what I read, skills are powers bestowed upon you by god.

In game terms, I must have received the “Mace Lv.1” skill.

“Man, this really is amazing…”

I try imagining there’s an enemy in front of me and begin swinging my mace from various angles. Each movement feels completely natural, as if I had years of experience, even though it’s my first time moving my body this way. What’s more, despite having practiced my swing hundreds of times, I still have plenty of energy to spare. Never in my life have I had such high cardiovascular endurance or felt as physically strong as I’m feeling right now.

An hour flies by as I keep enjoying my training, and as soon as the idea of stopping finally pops into my head, my skill levels up once again.

I’ll just stamp it in my memory as “Mace Lv.2” for now. I heard there’s a system or something like that to verify the skills you’ve obtained, but it’s not available in Tolson.

“Okay, now let’s try getting other skills.”

After confirming that my swings have improved again, I try changing my method of training a little…

I finished my first day of training trying all sorts of things until sunset.

Back at the inn, I had dinner, and now I’m resting on my bed. My fatigue has finally caught up to me after all that exercise. At least I managed to get myself some new skills in return for my hard work, as you can see here:

Weapon Skills:

Mace Lv.2, Dagger Lv.1.

Armor Skills:

Buckler Lv.1.

Physiological Skills:

Stamina Lv.2, Strength Lv.2, Speed Lv.2, Power Burst Lv.2, Reflexes Lv.2.

Sensorial Skills:

Vision Lv.1, Hearing Lv.1, Smell Lv.1, Touch Lv.1, Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA) Lv.1, Detection Lv.2.

The only one that is not that self-explanatory is the “Buckler” skill, which refers to how well I can handle a small shield. I obtained it after I tried moving my shield around a bunch, protecting myself from the attacks of an imaginary opponent.

The “Detection” skill refers to my ability to detect the presence of animals and other beings. I dove into some bushes to look for insects and other small animals, and eventually, I was able to pinpoint their location—that’s when I knew I got it. According to the Adventurers’ Guide, it acts as a safeguard against surprise attacks from monsters, so it’s one of the skills I wanted the most.

Today was a very profitable day for me. Not only did I receive new skills, but I also realized that to acquire a specific skill, my training must be closely tailored to the nature of the skill I’m aiming for. It can perhaps seem self-evident to people with a basic level of education in modern Japan, however, it was not mentioned in the guide. In other words, it’s either so widely known that there was no point in even adding it, or it’s a completely revolutionary idea in this world.

Well, no point in delving deeply into it right now.

After all, I’m just a rookie on his second day in another world. All I must think about is continuing my training tomorrow, and diving into the dungeon the day after. I would love to go in with a party, but I’m still hesitant about establishing deep connections with people whose culture and customs differ so much from mine. My abundant experience as an active member of society has taught me that interpersonal relationships can be considerably dangerous.

On another note, I asked the young man from last time a few things at supper today, and he told me that the higher areas of the dungeon are actually not that hazardous for solo adventurers. According to him, one weapon skill is enough to make in there, and all I need to do is level it up for one more day. He strongly advised me to bring a potion with me, though, so I’ll buy one just in case. It seems he’s nicer than I imagined…

As such thoughts coursed through my mind, my consciousness began to drift away…

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