(074) The mysterious printing house
“Incidentally, are you holding onto any of the D(doujinshi) after all as well?”
I asked Suzuki.
“Yeah, about 10 volumes.”
“Hoo … that’s surprising. I thought that you wouldn’t really need it since you’re traveling with those pretty ladies.”
Not like you’re one to say! A lot of people are probably retorting with that but I asked because I was curious.
When I did so, Suzuki gave a wry smile and said,
“It’s because I have not laid my hands on those girls at all.”
Uwa, even with those 3 girls that people would yearn for, he has not made a move towards them? Seriously?
Well, excluding the loli girl.
“Those are some admirable words. Is it because you’re a Hero?”
“I have no choice right? Miles is a nun. Haven’t Kusunoki-kun heard before? Nuns must be virgins.”
” … I feel like I’ve somehow heard of it before … I guess it’s true that you can’t make a move if that’s the case? Then, what about that Swordsman nee-chan?”
“Kyanshi is the direct opposite of Miles in that she actively invites me. But … her tribe has an absolute rule of 1 husband 1 wife. If I lay my hands on her then, in the end, I will have to marry her. That is her tribe’s tradition. In addition, after marrying her, I am prohibited from coming into contact with any other women apart from my own daughters that she gives birth to.”
That tradition is way too harsh.
“In … incidentally, what about that loli girl? As expected, she’s out of your strike zone right?”
“I think that Schreyl is a sufficiently attractive girl as well but before I arrived at her village — during the time her village was raided … that … she was kidnapped by bandits … forcibly had a slave collar placed on her and they rough —”
“Wait, you don’t have to say any more. Don’t say any more. I beg you, please don’t say any more. I believe you won’t lay your hands on that girl.”
I cried out.
“Although, she has finally started talking to me in a casual tone and she’s now fine with contact up to like touching her shoulders.”
Suzuki said with a bitter smile.
” … Hey, Suzuki. Don’t tell me, you, not only are you holding onto D, perhaps it’s also followed by a T?” (TL: DT in Japanese stands for Doutei which means virgin)
” … Please don’t talk about it.”
Yup, I’ve really said something bad.
Of course he would need the doujinshi.
Unlike me, he’s really left hung up to dry.
At the outskirts of town, we entered a half-deserted large building.
That mansion was originally a villa of a noble but it was apparently left abandoned after that noble passed away.
The sun had already set completely and it was pitch dark inside the mansion as even the moonlight didn’t enter.
Light emerged from the Light magic that Suzuki cast.
It’s similar to the 「Petite Light」 Light magic I use but mine can only fly forward in a straight line and can’t continue floating at the same location like his.
Let alone follow along when we move forward. I was admiring how convenient the magic was.
Wondering if my 「Petite Light」 could do the same thing, I tried my best to release a slowly moving 「Petite Light」 and it successfully formed a light bead that moved at only the speed of a human’s walking speed but it didn’t change the fact that it can’t move freely.
When I asked Suzuki about it, he told me that even though 「Petite Light」 is considered among the Light magic spells, it is under the attack magic category and it’s a magic to purify monsters like undead monsters.
「Lighting」 is a magic to produce light that has no offensive power under the same Light magic but in a completely different category.
Incidentally, 「Lighting」 is apparently a skill he learned after he became a Holy Warrior.
The II and III affixed behind the Light Magic skill shows the number of magic spells one is able to use so 2 people having the same Light Magic skill does not mean that they can use the same magic spells. Which was why Suzuki said that he was jealous of my 「Petite Light」 .
“It’s this fireplace.”
Suzuki pushed a brick beside the fireplace.
Upon doing so, the bottom of the fireplace opened and a concealed staircase appeared.
Light shined out from deep within and I could also hear sounds that sounded like conversations.
It seemed like there were visitors before us.
Suzuki entered in first.
“Oo, Hero-sensei! How was it? Did you get rid of that lawless fellow?”
I heard a voice. That voice was —
Entering the passage, I saw — as expected, it was the 3 from daytime.
“Wha, why are you here!? Hero-sensei, don’t tell me you’ve betrayed us?”
The skinhead Cat-user guy cried out in dismay.
“You guys are the ones who betrayed my trust. He’s not the kind of guy you people described. Although, he didn’t come here for revenge so relax.”
I said as I took out the doujinshi the man dropped in the morning from my item bag.
“I’d like to read the continuation to this. Also, if possible, show me some of the books you have here and I’d like to buy some of them. I’ll pay with gold if that’s what you want.”
” … You’re a Secarian too!? Even though you’re traveling with those 3 cute girls.”
“2D is a different thing. It’s fine if you only want to let me see them. If you do so then I won’t blame you for the incident in the daytime as well as the deceit you played on the Hero.”
Even though what I did at daytime was legitimate self-defence, I did clearly go overboard.
The Cat-user man and his companions looked at one another after hearing me out,
“Okay. It’s quite hard to find guys who understand the tastes we have here. If you return that original copy then we’re okay with selling the copies to you.”
“Copies? You guys are doing mass production?”
… I thought redistribution of doujinshi was prohibited.
Is the legislation in this world not that advanced yet?
It would be capital punishment if it was done in Japan.
“Come along this way.”
The man guided us to the back.
“Do you know of the job called Magic Journalist?”
“Only the name.”
It’s one of the jobs unlocked by raising Commoner level.
“It’s a job that uses a special ink to create contracts or draw magic circles on talismans and attack by tossing those talismans. However, drawing magic circles is quite a precise task. Creating a talisman would take tens of minutes or even couple of hours depending on the type. Then, the nobles thought of it. Whether a magic tool can be used to mass produce talismans.”
What I saw at the back of the room was — a printing press.
Or rather, it looked like one of those copier machines placed at convenience stores.
“Using the special ink Magic Journalists use, this magic tool made talismans. But the result was a failure. Do you know why?”
“The effect won’t appear if it’s not written by hand?”
“Nope, the effect showed. It showed too much. Talismans can only be made by slowly altering magical power. As a result of drawing it all in one go using a magic tool, the Magic Journalist would face magical power sickness due to the alteration of their own magical power and collapse. They could not avoid it no matter what. The reason why it ended as a major failure was because they thought that they could easily make the talismans quicker by that method. After that, this facility was discarded but somehow a mansion was built behind this hidden facility and by a mistake in the design, the hidden stairs were not wide enough to carry the magic tool out. It was written in this journal.”
The man said as he took out a book that looked like a research log book.
“During his travels, the noble who was the director of this research facility died and this research facility was forgotten.”
“So, using regular ink, you guys restarted operation as a doujinshi factory huh? It somehow has an amazing history. So, where is the original copy of the doujinshi?”
I was waiting for the main dish to arrive but I was not patient enough to leisurely wait for it like in those French full course cuisines.
The man turned over one corner of a cloth.
Under it was — it might not seem like a significant amount in Japan but in the Otherworld, furthermore in this world where manga has not permeated the culture, even if you took away a lot of them it would still have plenty of allure, in other words, there was a 3-tiered bookcase filled with numerous doujinshi.
Doujinshi are thin to begin with.
With a full bookshelf, the number was more than just a 100 or 200.
“On the highest shelf, the 30 books from the right are the books that were written by Big Second master sensei.”
“Eh? Daiji … there are others who draw doujinshi apart from Big Second-sensei?”
“Yes, the authors who call themselves the Second Children.”
For the time being, I’ll take an appropriate look at some of the books.
While most of the books were drawn in 2 dimensions, the style of drawing was close to realism. There weren’t enough deformation styles at all. (TL: Deformation styles = The cutesy drawing style of Japanese manga? Larger eyes, chibi drawings or caricatures.)
Among them, I found a doujinshi drawn with a cute illustration of a cat-eared girl.
“Ooo, this looks good. Hey, I’d like to copy this … ple … geh.”
What I saw was the disgusting appearance of the skinhead man fidgeting with his face red in embarrassment.
“Tha … thank you.”
“It’s you! You’re the one who drew this illustration! How unexpected given your face … no, it’s quite an excellent work. Rather, to have Cat-user as your job and also draw illustrations of cat-eared girls, just how much do you like cats!”
“Wha, how did you know that I’m a Cat-user!?”
“That doesn’t matter. Ha? Is this very well drawn picture of this loli loli cat girl character really drawn by you! No matter how I look at you, you don’t look like a person who can draw! Rather, you’re more like a character that would yell “Shall I dye the canvas scarlet red with your blood?” but then get crushed like a petite tomato yourself.”
“That’s harsh. I’ll let you know that I really am the one who drew that.”
Even though he’s just a mob character, a character set to only be a Cat-user and someone who gathers doujinshi, don’t further add on a setting to be a manga artist too.
Your name hasn’t even appeared you know?
Even though his name hasn’t even appeared, if this goes on, he might even get added to the 2nd page of the character sheet.
” … So this doujinshi was drawn by Cat manga user.”
“Don’t give me such a weird name! My name is —”
“Ooh, you’re a Cat-user huh? It’s a rare job. I heard that it’s a job that can only be taken by those who have been recognized by the leader of the Cat Sith.”
Suzuki was shocked and then nodded as if in admiration.
“If you only know to that extent then remember one more thing. Only Cat Sith priests can bestow the Cat-user job. Those guys, not only did they uproot and steal my Actinidia herb that I was carrying for medicinal purposes, they said that they wanted to give me an appropriate reward and changed my job on their own accord! Furthermore, it’s an elusive tribe that nobody knows where they are. Ah, damn it. I’ll be a Cat-user for life huh.”
Ah … just like how Carol was troubled by not being able to change her Temptress job, this Cat-user is also troubled by not being able to change jobs.
I should be able to change his job with my ability but getting the party set up would be troublesome so I guess it would be fine to leave it like this.
Because the Cat manga user grumbled his annoyances, his expression looked slightly relieved,
“Which is why I’m taking revenge against the Cat Siths. The Cat Sith race look almost exactly like cats so they are hostile towards the Cat-kin race whose only cat characteristic is their cat ears. I continue to draw these works in order to raise the Cat-kin race’s standing and their popularity.”
… This guy is that huh?
A self-proclaimed fan who sends scandal stories to weekly magazines to fan the flames and raise the popularity of the idol they’re chasing?
It looks to me that it would cause the position of the Cat-kin race to fall instead though.
“So what do you plan to do? If you’re buying then a single copy would cost 50 sense and my book is split into 3 parts.”
“I’d like all 3 of them!”
I won’t say something like it’s expensive.
This kind of work is a unique existence in this world. If I don’t buy them here, I don’t know when I would ever encounter it again.
While there’s a high chance that Daijiro-san has them as well, there’s also the chance that the books he had have already been disposed of.
“Come back again.”
Apparently, the man’s books were already copied before and I was handed 3 books.
Even though it’s a copy, it had stunning penmanship.
At that time.
The Cat manga user man suddenly became flustered and gave a mysterious expression.
Then, a single sheet of paper flew out from his pocket.
Talisman … a talisman used by Magic Journalists?
“To think that this would appear.”
The man said so and placed the talisman that was floating in the air to his ear.
What’s he doing?
Just as I thought that,
“That’s a magic talisman used for communication. A receiving type talisman.”
Suzuki explained to me.
At that moment, the paper held by that man turned into sand and scattered.
“Though it is something that is disposed of after use like this.”
The man said so, gave a small sigh and looked over.
” … Ah, sorry. It’s 150 sense. Do you have the money now?”
“Is 2 silver coins alright? I don’t need the change. Just treat it as production cost for the manga.”
I passed him 2 silver coins.
I thought that he would be delighted but his expression showed that he was in low spirits.
Looks like the communication was about something bad.
“Thank you … originally I would have wanted to talk more but please go back for today. I’ll ask a subordinate to guide you … also, Suzuki. I’d like to talk with you for a bit.”
Suzuki and the Cat manga user man went to the back of the room.
Under the subordinate’s guide, I left the hidden doujin shop.
I wonder what is it, even though I’ve gotten my hands on 3 high-quality works, I have a bad feeling.
~Side Story At the back of the printing house~
Suzuki was led to the back of the printing house.
“Hey, I’ll let you know that I have not forgiven you for lying to me … ”
“I apologize for that. But, please, this time it’s serious. Please help.”
” … What happened?”
Suzuki asked with narrowed eyes towards the Cat manga user man’s serious expression.
Then, the Cat manga user man said that name.
“Pinky Pants … do you know about this person?”
“I don’t … no, wait. Perhaps it’s the printmaking printer?”
“That’s right. The author that is incompatible with us. Real name Milky. Lives in Ferruit to the South … well, she’s my niece but she just contacted me.”
Suzuki immediately realized that it was likely the message from the talisman just now.
The cheerful man’s appearance turned strange after listening to that talisman’s message.
“Please, save Milky … save this country. If not, this country will perish.”
“Tell me in detail!”
TL: I have a feeling the author’s trolling us again with the side story lol.