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Chapter 7: Unknown Fear

"Famous Detective's skill... Not bad. If this was a mystery game, wouldn't you be unbeatable? Speaking of which, I seemed to have played something similar to a mystery game before coming here. If I'm not wrong, there was a panda..."

"That was Monokuma, not a panda."

How could a panda's eye be red...

"Right right, it's that name."

Aliyah revealed an expression of sudden realization.

"Haaaa..."

Helplessly, I looked towards her.

"Can't you help with the search as well? Unless you don't even have a single search-related skill?"

"That's right, I have none. The skills I chose are all offensive abilities."

Why were you able to say that so boastfully?

"Haaa... I knew it."

"What about it! Is there any wrong in doing so?"

"... Although there's none, however, that's a very extreme way of allocating your points. If you encounter a control-type Magician, what are you planning to do? Like, if I reduce your speed to half, I will be able to defeat you before you approach me."

"Hmph! I will think of a way when the time comes."

Her unyielding personality is really worrying.

"Alright alright, for now, let's find a way to make clear of the source of this weird blacking out incident. I don't specialize in this, and thus the reason why I don't play mystery games as well."

"I always look through the available guides."

"Can you not boast about it?"

"No, because I'm very prideful."

"Oh my god, why am I only allowed to have a partner like you..."

I could not help but face 45 degrees upwards towards the sky, and denounce this inhumane world.

"Hah? Are you unsatisfied with having this mistress here as your partner?"

I could feel something like a sword poking my waist!

"No, it's better than not having one... Looks like we can only split up and move individually. We have to confirm the range of the blackout, then we will be able to locate the position of the center of effect."

I said while I quickly stepped towards the side. I don't wish to be stabbed by someone else.

However, Aliyah still quickly followed after me.

"Hey hey, don't you find that it will be faster if we were to search separately in opposite directions?"

"Anyone that played Left 4 Dead would know, moving on your own will lead to an early death."

She actually said really seriously.

"Sorry, in the end, I would always sell out my teammates, so there's no pressure."

"Why are you able to boast about that as well?"

"Because no matter what FPS game it is, I could always clear it by myself, no pressure at all."

"You will definitely face divine retribution one day! Speaking of which, are you not going to explain how you were able to suddenly raise your level from 11 to 18?"

Did she finally realize my level changed?

The EXP needed to level up from 11 to 18 is simply outrageous. A week ago, you were only LV 11, how did you to level up so fast in such a short time? Did you kill a hidden boss or something?"

"Nope, I simply completed a hidden quest."

"Hidden Quest? Oh right, the quest system did become rather convenient and obvious recently. However, I still couldn't find anywhere that I could receive quests."

"No quests at all?"

"Yep."

"Usually, what do you actually do?"

"Grinding masteries in my school's practice arena."

"Masteries?"

"My Dual-swordsman class's masteries. All melee classes have weapon mastery requirements. It's just that masteries level up faster than our actual character levels."

"... Alright, but if you don't walk around, how could you receive quests?"

"Weren't we supposed to look for people with exclamation marks on their heads for quests?"

When I heard her say that, I was stunned for a couple of seconds.

"Are you screwed up in the mind or something? Where the hell in this place can you find a person with an exclamation mark on his head!? Have you played too many RPGs? The hell you have to look out for exclamation marks! When you played the Legend of Heroes series, you probably did not manage to get any of the highest grade rewards, right? Why would all the quest targets have exclamation marks on their heads!"

"But no matter how I see it, this place is just like an RPG."

"Don't tell me you haven't been able to receive any quests since escaping the Beginners' Village? And you got to LV 14? Your diligence in grinding mobs is really astounding, huh?"

"Nope. I did occasionally receive quests or whatever. I'm not really clear about it as well."

"..."

There's no saving this girl...

"Listen carefully. Usually, if you were to see any weird situation, you would definitely be able to activate a quest the moment you approach it, alright? Look at the current situation, the entire academy is unconscious or whatever. With one glance, you would definitely know it's a big case. It's stated in the quest window that you will gain levels when you complete it, right?"

"Oh, you're right. It did state it will raise 2 levels."

2 levels? Is it because her level is lower than mine, so she's getting more levels than me?

"So in conclusion, you need to receive more quests, then you will gain more levels."

"...Un, I don't understand at all."

"Are you an idiot?"

"Why don't I simply transfer schools and form a party with you? As long as you find a quest, share it with me."

"Are you trying to completely leech off me?"

"As a Magician, don't you need a melee class to help you tank?"

I silently pulled out my tachi.

"I'm fine. I'm only afraid that people would not treat me as a Magician. As long as I close the distance between me and my enemies, I will be able to slice them."

"Just what class are you? A Magic Assassin or a Combat Magician? You would even take up such a shady class?"

"... Something like that, I guess? Just treat my class as something that allows me to learn and use all skills."

"Whatever goes for you, huh... If you don't specialize in one, you will definitely fall behind late-game."

"We can always talk about that in the future... Alright, let's stop the idle chatter. We already walked pretty far, and we're almost at the academy's surrounding walls. Why are the people here still in deep slumber... Eh?"

Why do the academy walls look a little weird?

I did inspect the walls once before when I snuck up that night, weren't they supposed to made of iron? Why are they made of earthen soil now?

"Wait..."

The moment I gave my warning, a spike suddenly protruded from the wall, and with a single hit, it pierced right into both Aliyah's and my abdomens.

!?

Aliyah's HP immediately disappeared, while my HP dropped by about two-third as well!

I quickly grabbed onto Aliyah's hand, and activated Flash Movement at the same time.

In the next second, we returned to the restaurant Aliyah was at.

"...It hurts so much..."

Aliyah's abdomen was bleeding profusely, and since her HP bar was empty, she had already entered a state of apparent death.

Just... What the hell was that?

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