[You have cleared the 1st Floor.]
[Auction Window and Store Window has been unlocked.]
As I stood upon the grassy plains which stretched beyond the horizon, new messages appeared before me.
Store and Auction window.
There has been some information in the Community about them.
I'll get to details about it later.
First, I needed to solve my unanswered questions.
I couldn't hold my curiosity for the crouching girl in the white one piece dress any longer.
She even had rabbit ears on her small head.
The rabbit... the girl twitched her ears at my words,
then hopped her way towards me like a rabbit.
I was puzzled by her rabbit like movement and before I even realised, she reached in front of me and spread her chest wide and shouted.
"That's right! A rabbit!"
I could see the feeling of pride in her wide smile.
I never would have thought that the word rabbit was such an amazing compliment.
I thought it was usually used as an insult to males.
"Are you a rabbit? Or a...human?"
Okay, I got it.
If I had to determine what she was... she was a rabbit that looked like a human, rather than just a human with rabbit ears.
Still, her figure heavily resembled a humanoid.
Well, the most important fact was not what she is, but who she was.
The master of the area who appeared right after the boss room.
According to those in the Community, they were existances like Merchant NPCs.
They provided information, and sold items using the points that were obtained from clearing the Tutorial.
In Easy difficulty, it was an old mage that appeared.
In Normal difficulty, a pale man who looked like a vampire.
In Hard difficulty, it was a giant who was more than 3m tall.
Those are the informations about them that were posted on the Community
But in Hell difficulty it's some girl with rabbit ears.
As I was contemplating how to accept the situation, the girl asked a question.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Lee Ho Jae. A human."
I wasn't sure if I had to mention my race which was visually evident, but I did it anyway.
"Lee Ho Jae? Leeeee- Hojaee? Hoooojae? That's a name?"
The girl grabbed onto her stomach and began to laugh at my reply.
She even fell to the ground and began to roll about.
Damn. I really wanted to smack her.
Watching her giggle away like that reminded me of that rude nephew of mine.
"Hoojaee? HooJaee! Kyahahahaha. That's your name?"
The girl's fanatical laughter lasted for a long time.
I simply sat down and watched the girl giggle away on the ground.
She might be rude and have rabbit ears but even so, she had a cute face.
And, beyond those white legs and the short skirt of the one piece dress was...
Her laughter didn't feel so mean anymore, perhaps because of the good eye candy I saw.
Yep. Very good. Why don't you raise those legs up abit more.
After her long laughter, she suddenly stopped with a serious face.
Then she crouched, just like when I first saw her.
The way she sat was really similar to how a rabbit sat.
With a face stiff as stone, she began to hop about like a rabbit.
My mind went blank when she started to move about in the plains. It was like she didn't care about me, as if she had forgotten about everything.
I was at a loss for words.
Ah, yes. It was a similar behaviour to the puppy I had raised when I was a kid.
It's just like she said, she must be closer to rabbit than human.
Especially in the head.
"Hey! What's your name?"
I shouted towards the girl who was quite a distance away now.
It looked like she managed to hear me, as she started to hop in my direction.
I'm feeling a bit of Déjà vu here.
"Kirikiri? That's your name?"
You have guts to laugh at my name, when yours is Kirikiri.
That was what I wanted to say, but seeing that proud and satisfied smile on her child like face, made it impossible.
"I see. Kirikiri, don't you have some things you need to tell me?"
"Then tell me."
Her level of intelligence really was at the level of a puppy, a puppy that could talk.
"Congrats! You can use the store and auction windows!"
"Store and Auction windows?"
[You cannot use the Auction Window. Please try again in the Waiting room or Residential areas]
The Store opened and multiple messages in separate categories poped up.
It seems I can buy objects using the points I've received by clearing the 1st floor.
Equipments, books, food, beds as well. They even have toys.
All sorts of items were sold in the Store.
Kirikiri began to pull at my sleeves as I glanced through the items in the Store.
"If you have something to buy, you have to buy now!"
"The items sold in the Waiting Room are useless for combat!"
I'm beginning to understand why the people who appeared after bossrooms are called Merchant NPCs, despite the fact that the Store could be used even in the Waiting rooms.
Combat items could only be bought from here.
My weapons are still usable.
The shield does turn into a rag after blocking a few arrows, but it could still perform its function.
Since items are fully repaired when entering the Waiting Room, there is no reason to switch it right now.
The sword was... well, I've never got the chance to use it properly so far.
Anyway, this might take a while.
There were so many items listed on the Store that it would take a whole day to go through all of them.
"Hey Kirikiri. I have a question."
"What is it?"
"What happens when you fail to clear the 1st Floor after 30 days?"
"You go back to the Waiting Room."
My face froze when those words came.
I thought that would not be possible.
"Then you can stay safe even if you don't clear the 1st floor?"
"Don't try to brush it off, give me the details."
"When the first Round ends, all jerkies and water in the inventory disappears. After that, your only way of getting food is to use the points you accummulated to buy food from the Store. Even if you don't clear the floor, you will still receive some points when the Round ends, but the amount you get corresponds to how far your ventured in the tutorial. In the end, you have to challenge the Tutorial."
I understood after that explanation.
"Of course, you don't feel any hunger when you're in the Waiting Room, but as you know."
"You are kicked out from the Waiting Room after 24 hours."
"Yep, that's right."
Kirikiri suddenly closed her eyes tightly as she pulled her ears down.
What's going on now.
"I can't tell you."
What could she not do, and what could she not say?
"My job is to provide advice to players who manage to reach here."
Oh really now. Could you even do it? Wouldn't it be hard for you?
"But there's a limit. I can only tell those who have potential, who have acheived great results and those that I like."
"But, you've been telling me a lot of stuff now."
"Yep. we only have 1 left! So don't ask anymore. I have something to tell you."
Damn, was there a limit to how many questions that could be asked? There were many things I wanted to ask.
What was the Tutorial for and what was its goal.
The reason and why I was invited.
Returning to our real world, how and the chances.
There were countless questions.
Thankfully, as long as i'm not over the limit, I can ask most of these questions.
I will have to wait until our next meeting to ask those questions.
"Whooo... Is that so. Thanks. So, what did you want to tell me?"
Wait, I didn't waste one of my questions, because you just explained your role in here right?
I thought if I asked, I would lose my last chance, so I kept my mouth shut.
"Buy status effect potions!"
Status effects are effects which cause abnormal condition on the mind or the body such as confusion, stun, fear, burn, frostbite, poison, diseases and the like.
They are usually considered as crowd control effects in a normal game.
"How much do I need?"
"Lots of them! As much as possible!"
Being told by Kirikiri that I needed an abundance of potions in all sorts of varieties, I could imagine the theme of the 2nd Floor's stage.
Must be a festival of status effects.
My resistance skills was going to rise again. Ahahaha.
As advised by Kirikiri, I bought all sorts of potions and a few items on top.
When I was buying the items, Kirikiri gave a brief description and her opinions of them, it was a great help.
I asked Kirikiri if she was allowed to do this, she replied that simple explanations about items in the Store are possible.
Kirikiri's eyes shined brightly whenever she explained about the items.
She must like helping or teaching others.
Or, maybe, she likes to show how knowledgeable she was.
"Umm... I have one last question. Kirikiri."
Once again Kirikiri pulled her ears down and shut her eyes tightly.
Could you really not hear anything when doing that?
"What happens to those who die in the Tutorial?"
Her eyes started to open slowly.
Kirikiri didn't speak a word.
But, she didn't have to.
Instead of the usual lights of life that shone in her eyes, there was only sadness and pity in it's place.
I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came.
After taking deep breaths, I was able to finally speak her name.
"Thanks for helping me with the shopping. I'll head off now."
As I respond to the message about travelling to the Waiting Room, lights shone around my body and I felt myself float.
My vision started to go hazy white, I thought I saw Kirikiri hopping about and waving her hand.
"Goodbye! Come back soon! Don't die!"