“Shut up! I don’t need any of your lecturing!”

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Fujihira yelled, spewing his vitriol towards us.

“Nobody is lecturing you.
All we want you to do is calm down and stop causing a scene.”

Yeah… it looks as if he’s trying to pass it off as a ‘whatever happened along the way, let’s just forget about it’ situation.

You’re not in a position to be able to do anything you want, you know?
We’re lost in a mysterious world where we don’t know what tomorrow holds.

What most surprises me is that we arrived here at the same time.
As for me, I haven’t even fully come to terms with how sudden everything’s been.

“You don’t need to be adventurer to accept some requests, but the pay is much lower.”

The receptionist motions over towards the boards.

That’s exactly the type of work a part-timer would look for.
Shame I can’t read it though.

“Hmph! It’s not like I need to be an adventurer to survive in this world! I’ll still do whatever I want to do! Seriously, being kicked out is so annoying…!”

Fujihira then left the guild in a huff.
Sounds like a death flag to me.

If this were a mystery novel, he’d be dead in the next chapter.
Also, it’s not really being kicked out… if you’re the one voluntarily leaving, right?

If anything, it sounds more like he’s holding a grudge.

“Yeesh… he’s impossible to understand.”

I muttered, watching Fujihira as he left.

“He’s got a habit of stealing, so I’m worried if that dagger’s gonna come back to bite him on the ass later.”

Tobino1, a classmate, expressed worry for Fujihira.
I absolutely should’ve reported him for that, huh?

“Forget about Fujihira.
I can’t stand dealing with that arrogant attitude of his anyway.

“I know what you mean, but…”

We’re actually lucky since he left us before we could get roped into his own problems.

“That’s pretty much it.
The Adventurer’s Guild is currently recruiting soldiers… for the military.
How about it?”

“Hold on a moment, please.”

I answered to the person in charge, then turned to face my classmates.

“What do you think? Join the military, and then become an adventurer later?”

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“Why bother? I only came out here to get a grasp of how this world works anyway.”

For sure… It sounds like the options are to become a warrior for the country, or join the military long enough to be an adventurer, which both sound pretty similar… right?

Naturally, just as Fujihira pointed out, there are other paths too.
You could always find a job elsewhere as a live-in worker.

But, this is an entirely different world, right? That’s what Fujihira was trying to convey, I’m sure of it.

To explain differently, all it took was a single day for a bunch of students to lose their bearings in this new world.

“We can think more about that later.
How about learning more about this world first? What would military service entail?”

Responding to my question, the man in charge presented me with more diagrams and papers.

“Well, first we’re going to teach you first aid and the basics of being a soldier.
From martial arts to field knowledge and so on.
For those who want to be adventurers, you’ll need to learn how to treat your companions along with a variety of other studies.
Additionally, as a soldier, you will be required to perform duties across the country.”

“I see.”

From a knowledge-acquisition standpoint, joining the military wouldn’t be all that bad of an option.
What’s more, earning qualifications would allow you to gain insight towards the local culture, and more information.

Citizenship isn’t easily earned.

If I recall correctly, back home there were countries that allowed you to become a citizen by serving in the military.
There’s nothing really strange about a system like that.

It’s also likely that you can apply for other positions too, not just as an adventurer.
Would serving for an extended period of time cover that?

“If you become a successful adventurer, you’ll be issued a card which serves as an ID which will allow you to check your personal status without needing to use a terminal.”

“…Status?”

“That’s right.”

The exchange between us abruptly stopped there.

He must’ve already figured out by now that we’re from a different world, but until now we were treated as typical foreigners, vagabonds from afar.
This must be something that’s common sense in this world, something everyone would know about.

A status… It’s that kind of status, right? Like in games.
Not status as in how you look, or a preceding reputation.
Maybe.

There’s not enough contextual evidence to understand the conversation further.
I should probe more into the terminal instead.

“So that’s the terminal over there?”

I pointed to the monolith-looking thing inside of the guild.
They were also on the castle grounds, and there was one like it near the fountain in the city.
If you had to ask me, they look like save-points, or something like that.

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“Indeed.”

No doubt about it then.
Walking up the terminal, I lightly pressed against it with my finger.
Something lit up with a “beep” kind of effect, and a light appeared.

Yukikazu Totsuka

Level: 1

Rate of Erosion: 0.03%

Skills:
Otherworld Language Comprehension (1), No: L-Charge

Skill Points: 10.

There are also other gauges that look like stamina, strength and magic related stuff.
You can figure out things as you go along using knowledge from games.

…What’s with the ‘Rate of Erosion‘ though? Did I do something?

Some kind of physical condition?

The interface closed after I pressed a button, and the light vanished with it.

“It’s like a game.”

Fujihira would’ve had a lot more to talk about if he’d stayed long enough to see it.

“Hear me out a second.”

“Sure.”

I pull Tobino and the others aside again.

“It looks like this world has game-ish elements to it, like levels and stats.”

“Seems pretty easy to understand.
Interesting.”

“Anyway, we could probably manage if we get to a high enough level.”

I won’t deny that.
It all seems pretty straightforward.

Maybe the reason why otherworlders are so powerful has something to do with it, like being given a bunch of skill spoints.

The ceremony the King talked about, maybe it allows you to see your status whenever you want.

“But, there’s thing called rate of erosion, and this weird thing in there too.”

“Huh? Like what?”

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A classmate chimes in.

“This here.
What’s No: 5-Charge supposed to mean?”

“Eh? Mine says No: L-Charge though…

Tobino’s says No: 5-Charge, and mine says No: L-Charge… What could the difference be between them?

“It must be something we each have individually.
What’s this rate of erosion thing mean anyway?”

I turned my attention back to the man in charge, but as I asked him he tilted his head inquisitively.

“What? If there’s something wrong with you, shouldn’t you go get it checked?”

A dead end.
Assuming the base state is a 0%, what happened to make it increase slightly?

Hmm… I’m not sure on the specifics, but I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

“Should we leave the topic for later?”

“Yeah.”

“Besides that, what should we do now?”

“Hmm.”

Each of us were lost in thought.

Kicking up a fuss like Fujihira and complaining about the system could merit some worth..
But, Adventurers have purchasing power, and it’d be a boon when considering buying and selling goods.

“Well, we’ve still got 2, 3 days to get a grasp of things here, so let’s trying looking around some more!”

“Sounds good!”

“Ah, right, thank you for helping us.”

“It’s no problem.
You look as if need somewhere cheap to spend the night, would you care for a recommendation?”

I get the feeling the castle arranged for things pretty well.

We received a letter of introduction from the person who’d been in charge of the guild and found somewhere cheap to stay, passing the day.

In the end, all the money we received went to exploring the town and other areas.
It gave some pretty good insight as to how everyday life goes on in this world.

On the 3rd day after arriving, we all discussed what path we would take from there.
We met up in the main square to deliberate.

“So, plans?”

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“I’m… going back to the castle.
I don’t see much a of a point in serving in the military just to become an adventurer, and becoming one of these ‘otherworldly warriors’ sounds like I’d be a better position anyway.”

“Well, even for those of us who don’t want to fight, I’d rather work with the country shielding me.”

“I’m gonna enlist for a while.
They said we could return whenever, so why not.”

“I’ve spent the last few days walking around and made friends with an adventurer, so I’m gonna take on an apprenticeship to earn some experience.”

So Tobino’s taking an apprenticeship under an adventurer, huh… Looks like everyone’s been off gathering their own intel.

“Oh, right.
I talked to the others back at the castle yesterday, regarding statuses.
They had the same thing.
So, this ‘rate of erosion’ means we haven’t acclimated to this world’s atmosphere yet, so it’s nothing to worry about.
If it’s really bothering you that much, I’ve heard that ceremony-thing resolves it.”

“Ohh, so it’s some kinda backlash from being summoned to this world?”

“They don’t have the rate of erosion in their statuses anymore.”

That’s how they explained it.
But, it feels different.

If it manages to get up to a number like 30% or whatever, maybe I’ll start feeling all sluggish.
I’d like to find a way to resolve the issue later, if possible.

The pit in my stomach is like the feeling you get before an injection at the hospital.

“Udzuka2, how about you?”
“I’m… a bit scared of whatever that ceremony is, so I’m thinking of enlisting with the military.
I’ve got some leeway to choose, and if it’s too hard for me I can always go back to the castle.”

Not because it’s a good idea or anything, but I’m interested in military service too.
Beyond the fact that I’m a military-nerd and am interested in things like hierarchies, the position of privilege I’ve been put in is a bit off-putting.

The cause of being the whole brought-here-against-our-will part.

Also, I don’t want to be around my, probably, still panicking classmates if I go back to the castle now.
Hysterical voices are annoying.

So, I don’t have that many other options, there’s nobody I get along with in particular, and I’m not that great of a speaker either.

If I have to chime up, I will.

“Copy that.”

And so, I made my way back to the Adventurer’s Guild and spoke with the man who had helped us three days ago.

“Excuse me, I’d like to enlist in the military…”

“Sure.
Leraria’s Adventurer’s Guild accepts people from all walks of life.
You’re expected to improve upon your skills and serve as a soldier for the sake of this country, yourself, and for the nation’s peace.”

I felt a twinge of reluctance at the mention of serving, then was scheduled to ship off and attend a boot camp for soldiers that very same day.

As a little side note, the classmates who enlisted alongside me… quit after the first three days and returned to the castle.

Footnote:
1&2: No Furigana is provided for either name.

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