We arrive at Dondegarm’s church a couple minutes later. I gotta admit, I was skeptical when I heard something as religious as a church existing here, let alone have some in an area where radical followers from Earth would most likely frown on, but seeing the establishment before my eyes that’s similar to the few I’ve seen back home, I was now convinced. I guess it makes sense they’d be here as Immortals like Ms. Obina played a part in creating this world, and so they must be revered and paid respects to as one might.
I never followed a religion back home, and even now after seeing an actual goddess in person, I’m still not really sure what to think of them. Maybe I haven’t seen enough of them to really get a full picture of what the Immortals really are.
When we get there, Ms. Winny places her hand on the ground and concentrates before a yellowish-white magic circle appears.
“I call to thee, Holy, I require the sound beast that flies from the waters, Aqua Fenghuang Sage of Humility, Summon.”
At Ms. Winny’s chant, a large, light blue bird rises from the light, spreading its wings as if stretching out after a long nap. Upon seeing Ms. Winny in front of it, the flashy, graceful bird bows to her.
“You have called for me, Milady?”
“Holy crap, it talks,” I mutter. And wait, Fenghuang? Like the Chinese Phoenix, Fenghuang?
<“What’s a ‘Chai-niis?’ It sounds like a sort of tea,”> Nyra comments.
“Yes, Plume. I’d like you to find my brother and tell him there’s someone who wishes to fight him for the ‘Battle Evaluation Ranking.’ If he accepts, please tell him to wait at the guild until we return.”
“At once, Milady.” The Fenghuang who goes by ‘Plume’ flaps his wings and takes off to the skies.
“So, uh … was that a familiar?” I ask.
“Yes. Do you not have one, Master Kotori? Are you capable of Holy or Curse Magic?” Ms. Winny asks.
“Uh, no, and yes.” I decide to not tell her which of the two kinds of magic I can do yet.
“If you’d like, we at this church provide assistance to set up Familiar Contracts for those who are able to do those magics. It will be 5,000 karos per try, as the material for it is expensive and the preparations needed for it are meticulous.”
“Huh … I think I’ll wait on it tomorrow.”
“But of course. We can get to it after you settle your lover’s quarrel.”
Winny said that with such a bright smile on her face that I don’t know what to make of it, but I feel really disgusted in myself somehow.
“Now then, let’s get to your ranking, shall we?” Winny asks before she opens the door and leads the way inside the church.
I’m not cuffed, yet I feel like a prisoner about to meet his sentence.
<“A prisoner of what is rather hard to say. Love? Lust? Curiosity? Commitment? I’ve never been to one, but I heard there are these things called ‘brothels’ back in my day. Is that still a thing at this time?”>
There are brothels, but I’ve never been to one.
<“Well, aside from a few bad eggs, I’ve gotten around so well with everyone that bumping uglies had become a greeting for me. I just don’t understand why the other races had to make it complicated. ‘I’ll only bear children for the strongest!’ ‘More than one wife is for the upper class.’ ‘Wives are better than concubines.’ ‘How could you sleep with another woman?!’ If I was asked how I could I sleep with another man, I’d say this: If I feel like fucking and you’re not around, then I find a fuck buddy to fuck with instead. It’s not like I stopped liking the person and not want to see them anymore. Can’t people call themselves a ‘couple’ while having fun with others if their main partner isn’t around or too busy?”>
… Nyra, I would love to spend a day living the kind of life you had back in your hometown.
<“Oh, dude, the place was great. I’d have totally shown you around, but if having sex with you is as ecstatic as it is when we fight together, I’m not gonna lie. I’d take that one day of yours and have you all to myself doing all kinds of shenanigans in my old place.”>
Well, there’s part of the answer to your earlier question.
By the time Nyra reached her epiphany, we stand before a large slab of stone with murals and scriptures engraved in it, as if there’s a story being told with only one picture to tell it all.
“Is this your first time seeing an Immortals’ monument, Master Kotori?” Ms. Winny asks, to which I nod. “I’ll try to keep it brief, then. These monuments that are scattered around the country of Padimon, the entire world of Raiza, are fragments of the combined power from the Immortals as they were creating it and the lives that dwell on it. With the Immortals having connections to these monuments, they use their divine powers to evaluate one’s capability through the ‘Innate Stat Ranking;’ provide a protective field around a designated area where sentient lives aren’t taken immediately by murder, unless the damage is too great to be prevented like decapitation, of course; and finally, to give the sentient beings the chance to grow as individuals, whether it be in battles or in the livelihoods of their choice, by granting them classes that determine their fighting styles and the boons that come with them. The monuments also show the progress of where the sentient beings stand to promote themselves from a Novice Class to an Advanced Class and how to get there.
“There are also the Champions, those who were brought to this world to represent a specific Immortal, who use these monuments as a bridge to transport themselves to where the divine dwell, the Sacred Realm, to speak with him/her in person.”
So, not only can I change my class, but I could go back to that place where Ms. Obina was and speak to her in person. Still, when she said ‘those who were brought to this world,’ in what context does she mean by that?
<“We have one back home, too, but we never built a church around it. Ours was a shrine that we use for everything Winny described. I guess what’s built around these monuments depends on the culture that surrounds them? Also, what do you mean ‘in what context?’ She meant how they were born after some sweet sweet sex like everyone else. How else would we even get here?”>
R-Right, of course … I forgot that Nyra could listen into my thoughts and quietly say ‘be careful’ to myself.
“If I may ask, Master Kotori, what class are you?” Ms. Winny asks “I at first thought you were a powerful Sage with your strength in magic, but showing us those monsters proved you have quite the fighting capabilities, too.”
“Oh, I’m a Brawler.”
“Surely, thou jest, Mr. Kotori?” Eugus asks. “To get this far without even giving up thy race’s default class for something greater, that is just preposterous.”
“Oh, no, it’s very true,” Ms. Umeiyon says. “I saw it myself, and … well, if this ‘Innate Stat Ranking’ doesn’t show how powerful he is, I don’t know what will.”
“Mmm … I would not jump to that conclusion so soon.”
“Really, Guild Master? Thou did the same thing with Sir Kotori before he put a knife to thy neck,” Ms. Gallofree quips while furrowing her brow at her uncle. I wonder if she’s only calling him ‘Guild Master’ out in the open and call him something else when they’re alone.
“I admit, that was my err as I was having a difficult time myself, but ‘tis different. I have heard back in my day people with peculiar skills, abilities, and items who can change how their status appears in public. They could flash their status to them however many times they wish, but the reality comes when they are on the battlefield, if not evaluated by the immortals.”
“… I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but if I find this different than what you showed me, I will demand you give back more than what I gave, as you might understand, Jinma Kotori,” Ms. Umeiyon growls in my ear.
I may not have anything to worry about, but knowing who I’m dealing with, I admit I was still afraid with how she delivered that threat, and there are only so few things that I truly feared most in my life, and that’s great heights, my mother when angry, and her closest friend, my first aunt, when she’s the same, in that order.
It’s really because of those two women that virtually no other person would ever scare the living daylights out of me before a fight, as they don’t even compare to the terror those two bring when infuriated, reflecting their past days as yankees in high school.
“All right, Master Kotori, step forward to the monument, lower your head, and open your heart to the Immortals who watch over you,” Ms. Winny says.
“Okay …” I step up to the spot where Ms. Winny gestures me to. I lower myself to a knee before my head follows while closing my eyes. I feel the warmth of what I assume to be Ms. Winny’s palm placed on my head that spreads from there to my toes as if she’s lending me energy to revitalize myself.
“O, great Immortals from the realm of above and beyond, I call to you for your assistance,” Ms. Winny says. “This man who’s opening his heart to you wishes to know his true worth. O, great Immortals, I beseech to you as I stand with this man, show us all what innate capabilities Jinma Kotori bears!”
Through my eyelids, I could see the space getting brighter, most likely due to the monument that sits in front of me if they’re imbued by the Immortals’ powers as Ms. Winny explained.
After a few moments, a collective gasp sounds throughout the sanctuary after I see the light die down.
“W-What in the world … is this?”
Following Eugus’ question, I look up in their direction and could quickly guess what the big shocker is, but I’m confused about what I’m even looking at.
[Jinma Kotori, D-Human, Brawler
- Humans: D
- Demis: A
- Demons: SS
- Other: S]
“So … what do these mean?” I ask before numerous notices appear in front of me.
[You have achieved the ‘Almighty’ title!
[You have now learned ‘Weight Defiance*’!
[You have achieved the ‘Erudite’ title!
[You have now learned ‘Caculation*’!
[You have achieved the ‘Masterful’ title!
[You have now learned ‘Skill Bonus*’!
[You have achieved the ‘Unwavering’ title!
[You have now learned ‘Body Temperature Stability*’!
[You have achieved the ‘Debonair’ title!
[You have now learned ‘Seduction’ LV 1!
[You have achieved the ‘Loved by Non-Humans’ title!
[Conditions met: the ability, ‘Black Charisma,’ is now revealed
[Other skills associated with newly acquired titles are now available to learn]
Uh … should I be worried here?
<“That depends on how you view whatever this ‘Black Charisma’ ability is. What does it mean being now visible? Could you have something like this all along and not know it? Also, what the hell is this ‘D-Human’ race? I’ve never seen something like that among the previous humans I possessed.”>
Your guess is as good as mine.
“A D-Human … I’ve never come across something like that in the books of my studies,” Ms. Umeiyon mutters.
If Ms. Umeiyon is as long-lived as I would think Dragons are, then this ‘D-Human’ business must be something highly confidential that hasn’t been released to the public for quite some time.
“… Master Jinma Kotori, Guild Master, would the two of you please come with me to the confessionary?” Ms. Winny asks calmly as she takes the window of my Innate Stats and shrinks it down to the size of a business card with her magic.
“Of course,” Eugus answers.
“Sure, but why the sudden change in formalities?” I ask. “And I’ve been meaning to say this for a while, but you can just call me ‘Jinma’ since you’d be my senior in this adventuring biz.”
“Absolutely not. I am not in a rightful position to address you in such an informal, casual manner, but if it truly bothers you, would you allow me to address you as ‘Master Jinma?’”
“I guess that’s … okay.” Sheesh, is it such a big deal that I have to be addressed so formally?
“Very good, then, and you may address me as ‘Winny’ if you wish. The rest of you please stand by until our return, and remember that nothing that was seen or heard here today will leave these walls. Understand?”
“Y-Yes, Ms. Winny,” Ms. Gallofree answers while the other two girls just nod.
Winny then leads us to a room in the back of the sanctuary where a stone mural takes up an entire wall. There are numerous cushions of varying sizes set at a corner that Winny goes to first. She picks up two of the largest cushions for Eugus-san to sit on the floor with and was overly meticulous with setting up one more for me to use before she gets the last one for herself.
“Now then, I will explain the meanings behind the rankings to Master Jinma’s Innate Stats that we just witnessed,” Winny starts. “Keep in mind that what we saw isn’t what’s entirely reflected in the current stats of your status that has numbers. The rankings show how capable you are using your trained body in reaching those numbers, and even beyond that. You could say some of the numbers in your stats are the ‘average’ of what you achieve with your powers in battle that could also be applied to your daily life. The Immortals put in a lot of complicated factors as they judge your prowess before coming to a suitable rank for each category.
“From the bottom, we have F, then E, D, C, B, A, S, SS, and finally, ‘☆.’ To put the values into comparison, ‘C’ would be the average among any individual, no matter what race or class they are. Anything under ‘C’ is below average and might not walk away from a battle with a weak monster by themselves. A small handful would reach ‘B’ and ‘A,’ which is what one would expect an adventurer to be while as a red and even violet-rank. ‘S’ is what ranks some of the strongest and most capable of handling difficult quests on their own as black-rank adventurers, and there are currently 32 who are registered as such. Those in ‘SS’ rank are even smaller in number than the black-ranks, but they make up the bronze, silver, and gold ranks. Note that these don’t mean they make you into those ranks. You could say those are the average ranks of what one has while in that standing as adventurers.”
“And the ‘☆’ rank?” I ask, suddenly getting nervous about where this is going.
“… It is almost unheard of, as it’s in an entirely new level that’s beyond our understanding and measurements that the Immortals give us. You’d very well stand alongside the Demon King, a few of the greatest Champions known in history, or even possibly Dragons.”
Ms. Umeiyon comes to mind at the mention of ‘Dragons,’ along with what she mentioned after seeing my status back in that field.
“This is … incredible! To not only have such an ability that derives from our race, but have twice the defenses as a normal one would! My expectations of you have been blown to smithereens!”
So, I’m tougher and more durable than a fucking Dragon?
<“I heard of a saying among blacksmiths. ‘You know you’re facing a Dragon if you chip the blade from their skin.’ If a steel sword clashes with you, I wouldn’t be surprised if the thing breaks off and not even leave a scratch on your hot bod,”> Nyra comments.
“It is the first in my lifetime to even witness one bear such a rank in even one category, let alone two,” Winny continues. “And for you to actually still be a Brawler, you may jump to whatever Advanced Class you choose. I have not witnessed the Demon King’s power, but your Vitality shows you could stand toe-to-toe with her attacks. Do you not agree, Guild Master?”
“I admit that thou hast shattered what I would expect from a human and I would have a difficult time defeating thee even if the attacks art one-sided on my end; however, at this point in time, I can only start thee off at the bottom of black-rank adventurers under my authority as a guild master. Thou would have to prove thy strength among the other black-ranked adventurers and complete enough quests to be able to go up in the ranks while I notify the association about this discovery. Thou can rest assured that this Innate Stat Ranking will not be released to the public, but it must be addressed to the higher-ups before we send word to all the guilds about your debut should you choose to register as an adventurer. Do I have thy permission to make this possible?”
“… Will I be bugged about taking seriously difficult quests?” I ask.
“Indeed, quests that art specifically addressed to thee art what we call ‘Assigned Quests,’ and while thou dost hast the choice of declining, it could take a toll on thy rep depending on who thou art rejecting.”
“So damned if I do and damned if I don’t, huh?” I ask before sighing. “Well, as long as the specifics aren’t released to the public, I guess I have one less thing to worry about, and I don’t know what else I can do to make a living with my current circumstances.”
“It is decided, then! Allow me to be the first to welcome thee to the ranks as an honorary adventurer! I pray that thou will work together with us well in the coming future!”
“Sure, same here, Guild Master.”
“Please! A man of thy caliber may address me as Eugus.”
“Then, you may call me Jinma,” I say before Eugus and I shake on it.
“Dost thou hast any further business to attend to before we head back to the guild and I set up thy card while an examiner evaluates Umeiyon’s rank?”
“I do have something I need to ask Master Jinma in private,” Winny says.
“Then, I shall go on ahead and set things up for thee. When thou and Umeiyon are both evaluated and registered, I would like to speak to thee in private about a special quest that may give thou a good start in thy new job having it being thy first.”
“Sure, I can listen to what the quest is, at least, but I have a question.”
“What is a ‘D-Human?’ How come I’ve never seen that in my status until now?”
“… I am not familiar with ‘D-Humans,’ but have read that there be a being on the same level as the Immortals that manages how we see our statuses today. We do not know the name or even the gender of that being, but with their cooperation with the Immortals, they decide what in thy status can be revealed to thee at the time. Thou can bet there art those who have passed on without ever knowing who they truly were. Perhaps, when thou prayed to the Immortals in front of the monument to reveal thy true self, they decided the time to reveal thy true race would be then.”
I see, it’s like when ‘Stealth’ and ‘Black Charisma’ were revealed to me. Certain conditions have to be met before I was ready to see what’s really in my status. Whoever’s doing this that’s associated with Ms. Obina must’ve decided now would be a good time to reveal who I truly was … but, does that mean I was a ‘D-Human’ this whole time? Even back home? And why reveal it to me now? Just because I was kneeling in front of the monument?
While lost in my thoughts, Winny passes my Innate Stats in card form to Eugus before he stores it in a unique black case that he pulls out.
“I will let thy acquaintances know what is going on and move on ahead. Winny, I entrust thee in bringing Jinma back to the guild after thy business is finished.”
“Yes, Guild Master.”
Eugus then gets up and heads out the door before shutting it behind him, leaving me and Winny by ourselves.
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Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.
I not only like to read novels of many kinds, but I also like to write them. The stories published here will be in webnovel.com as well, so if you can, I'd appreciate it if you could support me on both platforms. I also like to read any professional critiques people may have on my works in order for me to become a better writer.
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