The Latest Game is Too Amazing - Chapter 23
Reginalt looks up at the sky. His usual easygoing nature is nowhere to be seen, and instead, there’s a serious look on his face.
‘I knew it wouldn’t work.’
He knew that the selfish Friedrich wouldn’t stop even after Reginalt advised him to give up on Alexia. That’s why he tried to bring his reckless master at least a bit more under control and keep him from crossing the line. However, it seemed that he was worrying needlessly, as Alexia’s party avoided the danger with their peculiar strength.
Seeing their greatness with his own eyes, he determined that they could easily handle things even if they were met with force, so as long as he dealt with his master’s recklessness every now and then, it wouldn’t be a problem.
‘In time, he’ll surely realize he doesn’t stand a chance and calm down,’ he thought.
However, in the short amount of time he took his eyes off him, his master made his next move. And in the worst possible way. He’s too late. There’s nothing more he can do. His master is already on his way to them. It’s impossible to stop him now.
He can’t suppress his feelings of regret for having misjudged the situation. But he can’t let it end like this. If he can’t stop him anymore, he just needs to predict how things will develop and move accordingly.
Another World has a function that allows you to have a sense of taste so that you can taste potions when you drink them.
Therefore, eating is also possible. In Another World, you can obtain various effects from eating, such as getting temporary buffs from food or using it as a substitute for healing items. However, it’s not as effective as a Healer’s support magic or specialized potions (only a few percent as effective in comparison). If anything, people seem more interested in the simple joy of eating than its effects. Of course, eating in the game doesn’t fill your stomach in reality, but it’s great that we can enjoy the food. …Hm. Hold on, this would be perfect for people who are dieting, you can eat as much as you want without getting fat. VR dieting. This’ll totally be popular. There’ll be an increase in female gamers. Well, I’m pretty thin, so I don’t have much use for that.
Alexia invited me to go out to eat with them (Irene was strongly opposed but lost the argument), so now we’re walking over to a restaurant near the Adventurer’s Guild. All I do is hunt all the time, so it might be nice spending time in the city like this once in a while. Fortunately, since I’ve been hard at work completing quests, I have plenty of extra cash, so I can mess around and waste money just for today.
It looks like the restaurant also has a bar, and there are alcohol bottles lined up across from the counter seats. The tables can seat about a dozen people, so this place is bigger than I thought it would be. It’s clean and pretty classy. The waitress guides us to a table. It’s a bit before noon in-game time, so maybe that’s why there’s not many people.
It seems like some new customers have arrived at about the same time we took our seats, so a different waitress will be waiting on us. It looks like it’ll be more crowded from here on out.
“Welcome, may I take your order?”
Let’s see, the menu is… I can’t read it.
“I’ll have a rye bread sandwich and potage soup.”
“I would like the summer vegetable salad and the bacon and spinach spaetzle.”
Huh, these two can actually read it? And what’s a spaetzle, anyway? What do I do, should I order the same thing as them? Oh, maybe I can ask the waitress.
“What do you recommend?”
“I’d recommend the potato gratin, the sausage platter, and the cream of mushroom soup.”
“Then, I’ll have the gratin and the soup.”
I watch as the waitress heads into the kitchen, and then I ask Irene one of the things I was wondering about.
“Ah, you may not be familiar with it, but it’s a type of pasta.”
Oh, so it’s pasta. This world’s aesthetic is based on medieval Europe, so I guess the food is also European. There are lots of types of pasta over there. Now I’m sort of regretting my choice. Maybe I should have tried something new. But if I gamble and end up with something so weird it’s inedible, that would be a problem. There could be recipes that use monster parts as ingredients.
Meanwhile, Alexia seems kind of fidgety.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, it’s my first time coming to a place like this, so I’m just a bit curious.”
Yeah, even if it is kinda classy, this place does feel like a tavern that caters to the masses. I might be biased, but it may be a bit unfitting for a young lady. It’s not quite the same, but it’s sort of like a young lady eating at a family restaurant or a fast food place.
“Lady Alexia, please calm down a bit. This is why I advised you not to dine at a place such as this.”
“No, Irene. This is also a part of my research into what sort of foods the townspeople are eating.”
In real life, Irene’s comment would likely be seen as interfering with their business, and Alexia’s statement is kind of an absurd perspective. ‘Townspeople’…? I thought she was an upper-class young lady, but she might actually be a ridiculously rich girl. …Even a young lady like that plays video games, huh?
As we make small talk, the waitress brings us the food we ordered. The spaetzle that I was curious about are pale yellow, macaroni-like noodles that are somewhat short and soft-looking. That does look delicious. The sandwich is black, round bread filled with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and other classic sandwich ingredients. The gratin I ordered is steaming hot and smells amazing. It looks really delicious. I scoop it up with the spoon and put some in my mouth. The savoriness of the bacon and the sweetness of the potatoes and the white sauce spread all throughout my mouth.
“This is really good,” the words naturally flow out. Is this really virtual reality? Is it even possible to reproduce such subtle flavors? And food is only one small part of the game. The creators are too uncompromising.
“Teacher, you’re eating too fast.”
“Chaos, I know that it’s delicious, but this is just embarrassing.”
Apparently, I was shoveling it in my face without even realizing it. They giggle, staring at me as if they’re looking at something charming. This is embarrassing. My face is filled with a different kind of heat than the heat from the gratin.
But if the gratin’s that good, I have high hopes for the soup, too. To think, I was playing Another World without even knowing about this. I’m really glad they invited me today. I get started on the cream of mushroom soup. This is delicious, too. It’s delicious, but… Huh? Something’s off. Not with the taste, but with my body. It’s periodically vibrating. Hold on, am I taking damage? And it seems like DoT damage, too.
When I open the status window to take a look, I find that my HP is steadily decreasing. There’s no doubt about it, this is poison. Just as expected, there’s “Poison” displayed in my status. When did that happen?
I’ve got it, it was the mushroom soup. In Another World, food can buff or heal you, but there are ingredients that have a low chance of causing status ailments. Cheese, for example, heals a small amount of HP, but has a low chance of inflicting Poison. Considering the contents of the soup, it’s probably caused by the mushrooms. The flavor of the food was so perfectly reproduced that it got me thinking that it was like reality, but this part reminds me that it really is a game. The thought makes me smile wryly.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
In real life, it’d be a huge problem if a restaurant served poisoned food, but this is just a game. I can’t really get mad at an NPC, and it’s delicious aside from the poison. Fortunately, the damage isn’t high enough that I’ll die immediately, so I’ll be fine if I just take an antidote with the emergency use function. And now, I’ll enjoy my food.
In a good mood, I continue eating when suddenly, I feel someone watching me. When I look over at them, I make eye contact with some familiar-looking men. Those are the guys that came in after us, but they’re… Ah, they’re those pick-up artists! Did they follow us here?! Stalking people in a game, just how desperate are they?! For now, I’ll just give them a warning and glare at them.
“Young lord, I’m tellin’ you this for your own good. You shouldn’t mess with that guy anymore.”
The ruffians who looked triumphant earlier now look pale. Hearing this, Friedrich turned red with anger.
“What is the meaning of this?! What exactly am I paying you all that money for, you b******s!”
“Even if we threaten him and pick fights with him, we’re no match for that guy. You should know that better than anyone, young lord. And if even this didn’t work, what else can we do?”
Going back to several hours prior, Friedrich was desperate to destroy Chaos, the nuisance at Alexia’s side, and was running out of options. He was well aware that this wasn’t an opponent that he could defeat with violence. Even if they tried to threaten him, he was rarely alone and they didn’t know his background or his weaknesses. They were at a stalemate. And so, it came down to their last resort.
“Did you prepare what I asked for?”
“Heheh, don’t worry, it’s ready. But young lord, how do you know where to buy things like this? Have you done this before?” one of the ruffians said, showing him a small bottle filled with colorless liquid from his breast pocket.
“Hmph, that’s not something you need to know. Or, perhaps you want me to cut off that loose tongue of yours?”
“No, please don’t. If you just give us some money, our lips are sealed.”
The method they were using was poison. They were planning to remove him from his place at Alexia’s side by murdering him. Inside the bottle was a tasteless, odorless, fast-acting poison so strong that a liquid with even a single drop of it mixed in was sure to leave him flat on the ground in an instant.
“But how do we get him to drink this?”
“It’s simple. Since the way they fight is like torture, they make heavy use of potions and mana potions. All we need to do, then, is switch out a potion in the tools shop with a poisoned one.”
“Damn, you think up some scary stuff, young lord.”
They smiled at each other without a hint of shame or guilt. The chamberlain who acted as his deterrent was absent and unable to put a stop to his recklessness.
However, their scheme didn’t go according to plan. It seemed that today in particular, they showed no sign of leaving to hunt. In fact, listening in on their conversation, they seemed to be going out to eat. Friedrich’s hatred for Chaos deepened. There wasn’t a moment to waste. He changed his strategy and decided to mix the poison into Chaos’s food instead.
Entering the restaurant after them, Friedrich cleverly distracted the waitress while one of the ruffians snuck into the kitchen and mixed the poison into the soup Chaos ordered. All they needed to do now was wait for Chaos to keel over. Friedrich began to grin, seeing that his plan had succeeded.
However, even when Chaos drank the soup, he showed no sign of collapsing whatsoever. On the contrary, he even finished his meal. Seeing this, Friedrich was skeptical and the ruffians were terrified. Hence, the ruffians are all urging Friedrich to leave Chaos alone.
“Is this really even poison? It didn’t appear to have any effect at all.”
“It’s the real deal. You can test it on some animals if you want. We even made sure to check it earlier when we bought it.”
“Then, why didn’t it work on him?”
“Most likely… He’s from the underworld.”
“Underworld? What exactly do you mean by that?” Friedrich asks with a dubious look on his face.
“There are underworld guys who specialize in assassination. They assassinate people using all sorts of methods, including poison. But at the same time, those guys learn about poison and train to be unaffected by poison from a young age by acclimating their bodies to poison and becoming resistant to it. That might be why the poison didn’t work on him.”
“In other words, he might be a pro assassin. If you think about it that way, I can see why their fights are so intense.”
It’s true that, considering the intensity of their battles, it would make sense if he had some sort of special training. Rather, it would be more strange if he hadn’t.
“We’re also underworld, but we’re no match for a pro. That guy’s a genuine monster.”
“That last glare was probably a warning. I bet he was telling us, ‘You were the ones that did it, weren’t you? I’ll overlook it this time, but next time, I’ll show no mercy.’ Sorry, young lord, but we’re giving up on this job.”
“Hey, stop right there, all of you!” Friedrich tries in vain to stop the ruffians from getting away, but his efforts lead nowhere.
“Where exactly do you intend to escape to? You people don’t know when to give up,” says a chilling voice, and both Friedrich and the ruffians stop in their tracks. This voice is familiar to them.
“…Reginalt,” Friedrich just barely manages to choke out the name of the voice’s owner, his own chamberlain.
“I never imagined that you’d stoop so low this quickly, Lord Friedrich,” Reginalt says with a stern expression. He seems to be overflowing with anger. Friedrich knew that Reginalt would be the first to object to him using these sorts of methods, so he excluded him from this scheme, but he seems to know about it somehow.
“Reginalt, you knew about this?”
“Yes, most of it. As I warned you, Lord Friedrich, these thugs are shunned quite a bit in this city. If they act, it stands out immensely. If you investigate, you can find out right away.”
“Tch, you b*****d, what do you think you’re doing?”
“I will report this to your father. For making a move on the count’s daughter and trying to kill her companion, you will most likely be disowned. Not even your mother will be able to defend you this time.”
Hearing this, Friedrich’s vision turns black.
“Young lord, he hasn’t reported it just yet. If we take him out now, it’ll all end here,” one of the ruffians says, and Friedrich’s eyes light up.
“…That’s right. A mere chamberlain, defying me? Don’t make me laugh! Besides, if you report to Father, you’ll be punished along with me for your negligence in supervision.”
“No, that is not the case. Your father made me your chamberlain in the first place because he found your behavior suspicious. Fortunately, since you’re hated and feared by your family, it was incredibly easy to infiltrate and become your chamberlain. I’m sure you know the reason why you’re so feared.”
“That’s…” Friedrich trails off. Just then, the image of a girl flashes in his mind.
Her name was Judit, his family’s maid and his first love. When he was young, he thought of the commoner girl as an older sister, but before he knew it, it turned into love. But it was only a one-sided love. She already had a faraway lover, and when he confessed his love to her, his feelings weren’t accepted.
That was when his feelings turned to hatred. The innocence of his youth and the twistedness of his self-centered upbringing led him to resort to violence. He was left heartbroken, and she lost her life.
After that, although he was suspected, there was no definitive evidence, so he wasn’t charged with a crime. But his family, who knew of his relationship with her, were faintly aware of what he’d done and feared him.
“I will take this opportunity to have you confess to all of your past deeds as well. I’ll also have those people answer for their crimes. Now, what will you do next?” Reginalt says to his master, undaunted.
“Hey you, kill Reginalt! If you do, I’ll appoint you my chamberlain.”
However, his master remains a brute until the end. These words cause Reginalt to give up on his master completely.
“I neglected to mention, but…” he says to his master as if he isn’t the least bit worried about the ruffians surrounding him. “Although not as much as they are, I’m stronger than I look. Strong enough to defeat some city thugs, at least.”
After it’s all over, Reginalt reads an old letter. This was the last letter his lover ever wrote two years ago. In it, she wrote of a noble boy who was like a little brother to her and expressed her concern for the boy and her hopes that if by some chance anything were to happen to her, Reginalt would support him.
If even one thing had gone differently, or perhaps if he admonished Friedrich properly, something might have changed. But Reginalt can’t deny that somewhere in his heart, his feelings of resentment prevailed and he wished for this to happen.
“…I’m sorry, Judy,” he says, wondering if his apology for breaking his promise will reach her.
Friedrich: “When did you get the misconception that I was the revenge-seeker?”
It’s hard to stay serious! I feel like I was writing this just to write that line in the afterword.