§007 Making

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“Making?” A seedy man, wearing a green, high-necked knitted fabric and leather pants too thin to be called riding gear, says, while pushing his plain glasses up the bridge of his nose, with the middle finger of his right hand.

“Yes.”

The control team of JDA’s skill database constantly monitors the search terms entered by users.
These terms are compared to the JDA’s database, allowing them to keep track of potential new skill orbs.

“Just another vague name that someone looked up, no?”

“That’s what you’d think, but the user only searched for that one term. Usually, if someone is browsing skill names out of curiosity, they browse several at once, don’t they?”

“Well, that’s true.”

“I’ve said this before but, wouldn’t it be great to implement a membership system, where you have to log in with your explorer ID? Identifying the specifics of an individual with just their IP and timestamps is such a pain.”

“Whoa, hold it. Don’t say such scary stuff. Private data is delicate legally.”

“Oops, that’s true.”

“We’re going to put it on the skill list to be checked, just in case. If someone owns it, we will know through a check of the D-Card, right? After all, we have to gather as much information about unknown skills as possible.”

“Roger.”

And that’s how Making was entered into the list of skills to be monitored, which isn’t available to the public.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

After lunch with Miyoshi, I left work early. I sat down on the bench of a nearby park, and continuously recited the skill name.

“May King.”

No, this really looks like chuunibyou…how embarrassing.
Somehow I feel like the people walking past are looking at me and giggling.

“Shit…May King.”

Ah, they probably think that I’m some shady dude, right?
If there were children playing around here, I would already look like a splendid, suspicious person, wouldn’t I? Fortunately, it’s already evening, and there’s no one here.

“Ma-May King.”

The evenings are already cold at this time of year, so there probably won’t be any couples skulking around…is what I want to believe.
Hnnngh, get rid of the noise, ward off the noise…

“May King.”

As I repeat the word and shut out the world’s noise, the meaning of the word gradually fades, and it completely loses its meaning in the end.

And then, in a state of pure whiteness, I mutter the word as something that feels like no more than a sound, “Making.”

At that moment, a semi-transparent tablet expands in front of me.

“Eeeh!?”

A woman, walking nearby, starts quickly running away due to me raising my voice and standing up, giving off the aura of a suspicious person no matter how you look at it.
Ugh, how rude…anyway, this is…
I leave the park while it remains deployed, trying to go towards the shopping district.
No really one pays any attention to me. No matter how long I stare through the transparent display, no one else seems to notice. I turn the corner, and a convenience store comes into view, no one looks my way, clearly this can’t be seen by other people. I suppose it doesn’t exist in physical space.
I return to the park once more, and start to closely examine the display. It truly resembles the character creation screen of an old RPG.

——–
Name Yoshimura Keigo
Rank 1 / SP 1200.03

HP 23.80
MP 23.80

STR 9 (+)
VIT 10 (+)
INT 13 (+)
AGI 8 (+)
DEX 11 (+)
LUC 9 (+)
——–

Meikingu, is that possibly Making!? Who was it? The one calling it May King!?
Rather, if you go by the standard of a Japanese Language Council member, May King would be mekingu, wouldn’t it!? *pants heavily*
Now let’s get back to the main topic.
The UI itself looks like a common game, and doesn’t seem all that difficult to understand.
As a test, I try pushing the + of STR once.

——–
Name Yoshimura Keigo
Rank 1 / SP 1199.03

HP 24.80 [23.80 → 24.80] MP 23.80

STR 10 (+) [9 → 10] VIT 10 (+)
INT 13 (+)
AGI 8 (+)
DEX 11 (+)
LUC 9 (+)
——–

Well yeah, figures.
In short, it means, by allotting SP to a stat, HP or MP go up based on some kind of calculation.
I can probably get SP by killing monsters. The basis for the ranking might be this value.
Since there’s no (-) button, I guess you can’t take it back once you’ve assigned the SP.
I can see how this system would make someone strong, but what the heck do the people who don’t have Making do?
It doesn’t seem as though everyone has access to this display. Otherwise the status display itself and information about each parameter should be commonly known.
Well, as I won’t reach any conclusions by thinking about it anyway, I will leave that aside for now. Next is verifying what kind of effect the values have.
It’s not like it’s an especially dangerous skill, so I guess I will do the rest at home. It’s become slightly enjoyable.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

I’m the kind of guy who likes to write things down when thinking about something.
I return home, take a shower, and resume the testing, while chewing on the pollack roe onigiri I bought on the way back to my apartment.
And currently, I’m staring at my own notes, while unconsciously drawing Sonic with my mechanical pencil.

Contrary to my excitement when I first figured out how to use the system, it all has a very simple structure.
For each parameter, there’s a coefficient to calculate the value to be added to HP and/or MP. That coefficient will simply be multiplied and added to HP and/or MP.
The coefficients I have deduced through experiments are as follows. The HP coefficient is on the left, the MP coefficient on the right.

STR 1.0 0.0
VIT 1.4 0.0
INT 0.0 1.6
AGI 0.1 0.1
DEX 0.0 0.2
LUC 0.0 0.0

Since there were some parts that didn’t change, I even pressed some values five times by mistake.
After finishing my tests, my parameters now look like this:

——–
Name Yoshimura Keigo
Rank 1 / SP 1173.03

HP 36.00
MP 33.00
STR 14 (+)
VIT 15 (+)
INT 18 (+)
AGI 10 (+)
DEX 16 (+)
LUC 14 (+)
——–

“However, this…it’s the quantification of a person’s abilities, isn’t it?”

I wonder if I will get ten times as strong, if my original STR of 9 becomes 90?
Uwaah, I’m going to raise STR one point at a time, while measuring my punching power! (← Researcher nature)
If I went as far as getting a measurement of my physiology, wouldn’t I be able to gauge the parameters that have been strengthened by the dungeon?
However, such measurement devices…wait? Come to think of it, Miyoshi…

『A senpai I met at college has started a medical instrument company, under Gacco’s industry-academic cooperation headquarters. She’s invited me over once1

It’s convenient that tomorrow is Saturday. It’s still before 10 pm. I’m going to call Miyoshi on the spot.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

“Hello~”

“Yo, thanks for coming.”

Miyoshi knocked on my door at 9 am. She’s wearing a cute outfit I haven’t seen her wear at the office much.

“Senpai, you sure live in a nice area.”

“It’s just the area. The building is a run-down apartment building that’s more than 50 years old.”

“Then it’s rather a surprise for such an apartment building to still remain somewhere like this.”

This apartment building was built in the former Yoyogi, rather than in the Yoyogi-Hachiman area.
Sure, the area itself isn’t bad.

“What happened today? Isn’t that a cute dress?”

“Eh? I mean, you’re going to treat me to a meal at Morille, right?”

“Did I say anything like that!?”

“When I told you that I will come if you’re going to treat me to Morille, you said that it doesn’t matter and I should come as soon as possible. As it’s a restaurant with Michelin stars, I dressed myself suitably.”

“Ugh! Something like that…I’m so stupid.”

Morille is the neighboring French restaurant. A chef, who came back after training in France, opened it in Hachiman. It’s a restaurant that loves mushrooms.
Which reminds me, the season where mushroom bouillon becomes delicious is around the corner. The unique flavor of dried mushrooms isn’t bad, but fresh ones are far better. But then again, I’m on a low salary right now, so it’s not like I can go there frequently.

“Got it…”

Helplessly I write an email to reserve a table for the appointed time, while praying that they’ll be booked up today.

“Yahoo. So, you said you solved the riddle of May King?”

“Ah, I guess so. So, about this.”

Miyoshi gazes at the gathered notes scattered on top of my kotatsu in the bedroom and settles down among them.

Your skirt will become creased if you sit down on the floor.

“Senpai, are these possibly the abilities of a person, expressed in numbers?”

“Well, I guess you could call it that. It’s the values of the parameters strengthened by the dungeons.”

“Making is a skill that quantifies parameters!?” Miyoshi presses me for an answer, obviously surprised.

What’s so exciting about it?

“W-Well, that’s not it’s primary purpose. It just appeared to be slightly interesting.”

“Appears interesting…senpai, isn’t this something at the level of state secrets?”

“What’s with you, all of a sudden? The calculation formula is very simple, you know? It’s at the level of middle school.”

Miyoshi breathes unnaturally.

“Senpai, that’s because you have a skill allowing you to measure the numerical values, right?”

Sure, it’s just as she says. I’m confident that I wouldn’t have realized it at all without this skill, even if I researched it intensely.

“Besides, this coefficient-based concept will trigger a revolution in the skill orb world.”

“What do you mean?”

“After you called me yesterday, I tried to look up information about orbs.” Saying so, Miyoshi takes a laptop out of her bag, and accesses the JDA’s database.

Most people use tablets, but laptops are far more efficient for our work. Both of us are fans of laptops.
Miyoshi actively uses a tablet as well, though.
It seems like there’s quite a few orbs whose effects aren’t totally clear.
Even if you try using them, they don’t increase the number of skills you have, or you don’t actually feel as though you used them. Those orbs have been called junk orbs.
One group among those junk orbs is called the xHP+ types.

“However, going with this concept, it’s clear. For example, this――” Miyoshi points at the search results of the database.

“AGIxHP+1 or AGIxHP+2 means――”

“I guess it will increase the HP multiplication coefficient of AGI.”

“I don’t know unless I verify it, but assuming it increases your coefficient value of 0.1 with +1…”

“With the AGI of a normal person, they won’t actually notice the effects, since the HP only raises by 1 or 2.”

“That’s how it is. Quantification is amazing, isn’t it?”

But won’t it result in something totally different if the parameters have grown? Going from 0.1 to 0.2 is double, isn’t it?

“You see, the important part is that those junk orbs are cheap.”

Once I look at the screen, most of them cost around several 100,000 Yen. That’s still plenty expensive, but with the rarity of orbs, it’s cheap.
I guess I could monopolize their use, in order to prepare for the future, However, that only works if you’ve got the money.

“Of course, since you can’t store them anyway, it’s not like there’s a stock of them either. It’s just that their value will go up if others become aware of this.” Miyoshi says, and logs out of the database. And while pointing at my notes, she whispers, “Besides, if you can measure attributes, it will turn into a huge source of money.”

I think so as well.
The governmental bodies of all nations, and civilian corporations for sure, and even freelance explorers…a large number of people will likely buy this information.

“I’d expect nothing less of an Oumi trader. Actually, I called you here for that very reason, Miyoshi.”

“I see. Give me the details.”

“Yesterday you said something about having an acquaintance among the higher-ups of a medical instrument company that’s doing a joint-venture with your former college, didn’t you?”

“Yes, she’s called Naruse Midori. It’s a company created by a senpai of mine who was the golden child of our lab.”

“So, about that. My Making can add a value to a stat. That’s its true ability.”

“Eh? That means it’s a character maker?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Unbelievable. But, then, a measurement target already exists, albeit it would be your private information in this case, right? So all you have to do is calibrate a sensor to your current attributes and adjust the values in order to create a standardized measurement scale right?”

“I guess so. However, I don’t even know what I should measure in the first place. Accordingly――”

“That means, you’re going to comprehensively evaluate yourself with the measurement devices over at Midori-senpai’s place, and deduce each parameter afterwards, huh?”

“What do you think?”

“Even if you ask me, it seems interesting, but physiological values have quite the range depending on physical condition and individual difference, you know?”

“The correction of that error would be your field of expertise, wouldn’t it Miyoshi?”

This girl is an expert on numerical analysis.

“That’s true, but…in the end, we will need to gather the numerical values, by scanning you in various ways each time you raise one of your parameters by one, and afterwards we would need to put those measurements together, and try to check what has changed, wouldn’t we?”

“Yeah, well, that’s correct.”

“Assuming that physiological changes will really occur through the parameters, and if you raise STR by one, and supposing that the concentration of your blood content will be altered in some way at a level that can be measured, won’t you die after your homeostasis is thrown into chaos if you raise STR by 100?”

It’s true that the soldiers at the forefront of dungeon exploration haven’t become abnormally muscular.
If their strength has doubled, even though their muscle mass hasn’t increased as much, the possibility of some kind of physiological change having taken place is reasonably high.
That’s why it’s definitely possible that a problem like Miyoshi mentioned might occur.

“We will go little by little. The change won’t be too intense, and we can take occasional breaks, too.”

“Well, in that case, I will contact her, but…senpai, your skill is a secret, right?”

“If possible.”

“I wonder what reason I should give for intermittently doing comprehensive examinations.”

“Hmm, how about we say we’re running tests on a newly developed drug or something?”

“If we suddenly started doing a clinical study, without even having a permit for a clinical trial, we would get arrested.”

“How about we say we’re examining some special item, and you want to observe its effects on the human body?”

“Since the other party wouldn’t stand to gain anything in that scenario, we would need to pay for the examinations, I think. It might be different if things move in the direction of joint development of new measurement instruments, though.”

“If you go with that at the current stage, it will become necessary to explain the skill, I think.”

Since I don’t yet know whether it can be measured in the first place, there’s no way we can propose a joint development project.

“Well, that’s a long way off. It’s possible that nothing measurable will change.”

“Yeah, that’s possible. I will try to contact Midori-senpai, for the time being.” Miyoshi writes an email and sends it. As usual, she works quickly.

“――So, what if it goes smoothly?”

“Pardon?”

“No, I just mean, if it looks like that measuring device thing is working out, it’d be nice if you were to start selling it, Miyoshi. I’m sure it would be possible to earn quite a lot of dough with it if you got a patent on it.”

“Yep. When the time comes, we will register the patent together. But look, I believe the test results will be heavily disputed. After all, it won’t be possible to publicize the theory it’s based on.”

“In the eyes of outsiders, it’ll seem like nothing more than inductive reasoning being sold as a product.”

“Thermometers are like that too. Natural science seems to have been primarily built on inductive observation. I believe, in the end, it will be accepted, though.”

“Would sure be nice.”

“Forget that, senpai! It’s lunch time already, lunch time! Let’s go eat out.”

“D-Don’t be too hard on me, okay? Our reservation at Morille’s was confirmed.”

At last, the confirmation email has arrived on my device. It’s blinking, as if to symbolize the crisis facing my wallet.

 

 


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Translation Notes:

  1. Author used “once” here. But previously “several times.” I checked the LN, and it has the same error, so I will leave it in

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