After we gathered ourselves, Ume gave me the IEB back and I spoke with Ms. Obina privately. Since she knew we needed to get back to the others to start the day, she tried to make things short and gave me a quick rundown of what I can do now with the IEB and its shop as follows.
First, Affinity Levels and Skills. As I was guessing before, the closer I’m connected to my acknowledged party members/partners, the higher my levels with them increase as well as my Total Affinity Level (TAL). With higher levels of each partner, I gain certain abilities, bonuses, and what are called Affinity Skills in battles that use Affinity Points (AP). I didn’t even notice it until it was pointed out, but while my red HP bar and blue MP bar are in my lower right peripheral, the upper half of that side now has a yellow AP bar already at full power with 5. Getting this as full as possible is done by defeating enemies, supporting my party, and finally, ‘skinship,’ as in holding hands, hugging, kissing, having sex, the more intimate, the better, especially with no articles of clothing between us. Apparently, with Ume now having ‘AP Boost,’ she can help me get it full faster than before, not that I’ve ever noticed it up to this point, anyway. Affinity Skills use AP for unique actions and effects in the field that are unlike regular skills using HP and MP. The problem is what they do. Ume’s ‘Dragon’s Blessing,’ Ren’s ‘Werewolf’s Fangs,’ and Erizora’s ‘Ogre’s Rage,’ not even Ms. Obina knows what any of them do until activated, which she explained to me how.
Honestly, if Champions are the only ones who are capable of doing these things, it would be better to not use them at all unless under dire circumstances so I wouldn’t give myself away. I especially don’t want to do it if I had to do something so shameless out in the open to activate them, and I was already embarrassed enough after Nyra brought up my dark past.
Second, the Immortal’s Blessing Shop (IBS). Since I’m starting out as a black-ranked adventurer and I actually saved a city [twice], I got a lot of new things I can select in the store now. Disposable items, weapons, gear, materials, skills, spells, abilities, and other things. I got a lot more to choose from now, but I decided to look through what I can get later.
The only strange thing is that since I can immediately use a new Null Spell after just learning the name and what it does, Ms. Obina had to remove those items from my selections, stating if I want to learn a new Null Spell, I’d have to describe to her what it is I need and she gives me the options for a price. Apparently, Champions aren’t even supposed to learn new Null Spells that quickly until they buy it from the shop, so I’m basically some sort of anomaly being able to do that much. I wonder if my race being a ‘D-Human’ plays some part in that, but since she’s trying to run some kind of business, I understood the actions she had to take and just went along with it.
Finally, and this is what I brought up to her myself, my race as a ‘D-Human’ and why I’m able to use a racial skill like ‘Devil Eyes.’
Annoyingly enough, she can’t tell me anything under either of them, and she couldn’t tell me as to why that is.
When I asked her why even reveal my ‘D-Human’ race at the Immortals’ Monument and not show it from the very beginning, she only mentioned how the Immortals have to follow protocols in revealing the subject’s true inner self when they have their Innate Stats evaluated. She honestly thought it wouldn’t make much difference to me in whether I was a regular human or a ‘D-Human,’ hence why my status displayed my race as ‘Human’ up to yesterday. I couldn’t really accept that reasoning for an answer, but since she won’t tell me anything further on the subject, I had to give in for the time being.
It’s bothersome, but I guess I’ll need to find the secrets of ‘D-Humans’ and how I’m able to use the ‘Devil Eyes’ on my own.
I finished my talk with her by then before I brought up the idea with Ume to take a commemorative picture with me on the hill using my smartphone. Since she wasn’t aware of it doing that before, I had to show her how it worked so she wouldn’t be wary of it. Ume quickly grew an interest in it at that point after I took a few test pictures. Once I did a few more tests, I had Ume—both in her Dragonoid and Lizardman Forms—and I took a few affectionate, intimate pictures close together using the tendrils from my ‘Darkness Manipulation’ skill as our ‘personal photographer.’ Ume also wanted to see pictures of us naked together as well, so we stripped again and did some additional poses with those.
I never had a photogenic smile with my scary looks, so I was really surprised how decent I was that time around. Ume was overjoyed to see how well they turned out and I made a mental note to find a way to make physical pictures of these for her to keep some copies, but on the bright side, I got some sweet material to work with in case I get bored and by myself. I made separate folders for ‘those’ pictures, another for all of Ume in Dragon Form, and one more for my experiences in this world.
If given the chance, I want to brag and show off how beautiful Ume is if anyone ever questioned me even being in a relationship. Along with a punch to the face, I want to see how my former work partner Kazumi would look when he sees me having such a sexy woman as my wife.
Ah … I have truly degraded myself into the normie I resented so much every time I saw happy couples being lovey-dovey in public back home, that thought crossed my mind for a brief moment.
Finally, with our business finished and clothes back on, we realized how hungry we’ve gotten, and so I used [Portal] to get us back to our room at the Cantering Dreams Inn. When we got there …
“Why is there a dead horse in our room?” Ume asks completely unfazed.
“Wait … that’s Ms. Gallofree in a slump!”
“Ah … Master Kotori and Lady Umeiyon, good morning to thee both … wonderful weather we art having today, is it not?” Ms. Gallofree says monotonously with her back toward us while not even facing the same direction to where the windows are, lying on her side on the faux-tatami mat floor. She seems to be wearing some casual clothes this time around, a plain button-up short-sleeve beige shirt and navy-blue skirt (or drapes?) covering her horse lower body. I then notice a bronze band over her right arm.
Hey, isn’t that one of those Armory Armlets like Eugus has? Has she always worn one?
<“Yep, that certainly is, a bronze one at that. Knowing her uncle’s the guild master of this city’s guild, it would make sense he afforded that for her. It wouldn’t be surprising if you didn’t see it under loose clothing though, as some may aim to steal it if their guard’s down.”> Nyra speculates.
“What are you doing lying on the floor like this? And wait, ‘Lady Umeiyon?’” Ume asks.
“The two of thee have officially courted as husband and wife, yes? My congratulations to both of thee, and since Lady Umeiyon now stands on the same level as Master Kotori, I must address his wife with proper respects.”
“Really~? Well, not like I didn’t already know how amazing Jin is, but it’s expected that I’d also receive the same treatment as his wife … hehehe~.”
Ume, I know you’re happy, but please don’t get too full of yourself.
“As for why I am like this, well … it is to be expected that a pathetic Centaur such as myself would be stooped down to this level, utterly defeated …”
“She’s been like this all morning today.”
“Whoa?!” I jump from the sudden new voice, only to see Lili standing in the corner playing cats cradle. “L-Lili! When did you get here?!”
“I’ve been here the whole time? I was on my way here to offer my greetings when I saw Kalline like this. We ran into Ren and Erizora who told us the situation and they offered to pay for our breakfast, which they left with some of our money to do so not too long ago. Ah, and congratulations on your courtship, too.”
I left some money for Ren and Erizora along with the note Ume left in case they got hungry while we were gone, so I wonder if they had already eaten.
“Ah! Master! Lady Umeiyon! Good morning!”
“Speak of the devil,” Lili says as we see Ren and Erizora coming back inside.
“We just got back from ordering Ms. Lili’s and Ms. Gallofree’s breakfasts while we haven’t gotten anything yet. Oh! And congratulations on your official courtship, Master!”
“Yes! Congratulations!” Erizora and Ren exclaim respectively.
“Ume, did you write in the note how we were basically having our own little wedding?” I ask her, unaware of what she wrote before we left.
“Y-Yes, but it’s starting to get embarrassing receiving all of these praises and being referred to as ‘Lady’ now …”
“How come you haven’t ordered anything for yourselves yet, you two?” I ask Ren and Erizora.
“We thought it’d be better if we enjoyed breakfast together when you came back, considering all that’s happened yesterday,” Ren answers.
… Ah, they’re referring to that crazy morning with Ms. Tephalia in her manor, are they? And last night’s dinner was amazing with everyone there. Actually, I need to talk with Ms. Tephalia about my plans like I promised yesterday. “Thank you for considering us, you two. Sorry if we kept you waiting long,” I say.
“N-No! It’s no trouble at all!” Ren exclaims in a fluster.
“Would you two like to join us as well? Ms. Gallofree, you can tell us how things went with your uncle during that time.”
“I am not worthy of such a generous offer and not in my lowly place to do so, but since I have to explain the results anyway, I suppose I will have to go along with it …”
Sheesh, she really doesn’t sound all too hot.
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Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.
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