Quests, Shirou decided, were the greatest thing EVER!
Even before taking upon himself the task of fulfilling Kiritsugu's dream, Shirou had felt the need to make himself helpful, as a result of the survivor's guilt that developed from the incident five years before. However, people in need of help didn't exactly go around with a sign over their head.
Except, now they did!
In the shopping district, a lot of people walked about with huge exclamations marks hovering above their heads. Most of them were just in need of directions, which manifested to Shirou's Gamer Eyes under the Quest [Point Me], which was simultaneously acquired and completed in the span of the conversation with the Quest Giver. Each rewarded him with 10XP.
Shirou had reached Level 3 in less than a hour, just from repeating those quests. Then he helped an old woman carry her grocery back home with the [Granny in Need] Quest, which gave him 200XP and an additional 1 STR from carrying the bags. Later, he rescued a kid's cat from the tree in which the cat had gotten itself trapped, thus completing the quest [Trapped Kitty] for 200XP and 1 DEX.
Having exhausted all the available Quests in the area for the day, which activated and completed the Quest [Helpful Fellow: Shopping District] for an extra 500XP and 1 CHR,
he got home that evening, already almost halfway to level 4.
It was beyond great. He could spot people who needed help at a distance, solve their problems and become stronger in the process. Perhaps there hadn't been much in the way of heroics involved yet, but he was off to a good start, he decided. Now he had all of the evening to practice his magecraft to his heart content.
[LV 15 - 1270/15000]
[HP: 1500][MP: 35][MC: 27][ST: 310][PT: 15]
[STR: 30][DEX: 30][INT: 20][WIS: 30][CHR: 44]
Days passed. Shirou kept doing Quests in his spare time during the day, as well as trying to fix the issue with his magic circuit in the evening. In one month he had reached Level 15, but now he needed nearly 15,000XP to reach the next level. The reward for the Daily Quests at the shopping district wouldn't help him advance in anything approaching a timely manner.
He was more or less stalled. There were no more Quests available, except for going to school each morning and the repeatable Quests from the shopping district. With the amount of XP he got from those, it could feasibly take him a month to level up again. Similarly, physical training had also reached a plateau. Granted, with now 40 points in both STR and DEX, he wasn't about to run into something that required more power than he already had, so he was content with that much, although he still did his workout routine every morning. His INT had reached 20 by simply attending school every day. His CHR was his most developed stat with 45 points, most of which came from completing the [Helpful Fellow: Shopping District] Quest almost every day.
As game logic would suggest, he needed greater challenges if he wanted greater rewards. The problem was where to find them. He tried to expand his search to other areas of the city, but it was a futile endeavor, for he had only found few Quests available and none more rewarding than those in his neighborhood.
Well, he wasn't in any specific hurry, to be honest. Although he wanted to help as many people as he could, ultimately that desire stretched only to the people he could see. He wouldn't just rush to god-knew-where looking for people in desperate need; otherwise, he'd just embark on the first ship to some war-torn country and do something about it there.
He knew that if he kept helping people, more people in need of help would appear in front of him eventually. He just had to be patient and hone his skills.
Fujimura Taiga was troubled.
"Fuji-nee, would you teach me kendo please?" he asked one evening over dinner. Frankly she didn't know what to think about her recently acquired charge. Although a quiet kid from the beginning, Shirou was also a restless ball of energy. She couldn't recall him lazing about even once, certainly not after Kiritsugu's death.
He had always been far more mature than his peers, but lately he was just...different. She couldn't quite pinpoint what had changed about him but recently he appeared...more reliable, perhaps? She had heard rumors about him giving aid to anyone whom he came across, and the mothers in the neighborhood had begun to hold him up as an example to follow for their own children.
She would have felt proud about it if she had played any part in it, but in truth she hadn't done much except check up on him in the morning, evenings, and, of course, at school, since she was his homeroom teacher.
"I'm sorry, Shirou. I really can't spare the time. Besides, you're only a beginner. You should join a dojo and start with the basics before looking for a private teacher."
"Well, fine," he shrugged. "I'll look into it tomorrow."
They didn't speak about the subject any further and went on about their evening normally.
"Good morning, Shirou."
"Good morning, Emiya."
Lately his schoolmates had started to go out of their way to greet him in the morning-even the upperclassmen. For a while, Shirou had been baffled by this, but quickly realized that it was probably due to his high CHR, which was in all likelihood completely disproportionate for a kid of his age.
Well, he didn't care about the attention he received so he just greeted everyone back and went to his class normally. The lessons went on without problems and at the end of the day, Shirou went to join a kendo course for kids.
[As result of a special action you have learned Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 2]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 3]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 4]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 5]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 6]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 7]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 8]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 9]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 10]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 100]
[Basic Swordplay - Japanese Style Lv. 100 has changed in Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 2]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 3]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 4]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 5]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 6]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 7]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 8]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 9]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 10]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 100]
[Intermediate Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached Lv. 100 has changed in Master Swordplay - Japanese Style]
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 2]
"This is ridiculous," Shirou murmured to himself. The notifications flashed before his eyes faster than he could read them and all he did was sitting on the sidelines observing the teachers teaching how to hold a sword to several kids a couple of years older than him.
"Alright, Emiya-kun," the instructor called him. "Do you feel like trying your hand at it now?"
"Yes. Thank you, sensei," he replied politely.
"Hyuudo-kun, please be his partner for a while," the instructor said to another redheaded boy.
"Yes, sensei," the kid jumped to his feet and put on his helmet. "Alright, Emiya-kun. Since you're new I'll go easy on you."
-Twenty seconds later-
"Hyuudo-kun, are you alright?" the instructor asked to the boy laying unconscious on his back. "Emiya-kun, I thought you said you were only a beginner."
"But I am..." he said, looking at his hands in wonder. He felt bad for Hyuudo-kun. Their ability with the sword notwithstanding, there was an abyss in their stats that the older boy had no hope of overcoming. Shirou actually held back as much as he could, but with his Swordplay having already reached mastery, it would be impossible for Hyuudo-kun to score a single hit against him.
'This ability is so broken,' he thought to himself. No other skills had made such a huge leap in the past month or so. That was the effect of a +2000% bonus in sword-related skills from the combination of his Element and Origin being Sword. It was so improbable that it went straight past insane and right into the bullshit department.
Not that he was about to complain, but still...
"Could he possibly be a natural?" one teacher murmured to another.
"Well, he could be, I guess. Let's try him. Emiya-kun?"
"We'd like to gauge your innate ability with the sword. Do you feel like facing the older students?
[NEW QUEST: A Genius Above Geniuses]
[OBJECTIVE: Defeat all the students at your dojo on the very first day]
[Reward: 100XP, +5 CHR, ?]
Well, the experience was complete crap at his level, but he wouldn't pass up an extra 5 CHR points. Plus, there was that mysterious reward that he probably wouldn't uncover unless he completed the quest.
"If you think that's for the best, sensei," he replied humbly, and the Gamer ability took his answer as an affirmative response to the Quest prompt.
Well then, time to lay waste to some senpai.
- One hour later -
"Unbelievable," one of the teachers muttered.
"No one managed to land a single hit," the other agreed. "This is an unprecedented genius."
"I think... I think we should call that person."
The other man hissed, "Are you crazy? She'll break him."
"Maybe, or maybe we'll be witnesses to the rise of the greatest swordsman in history."
"It's your call, my friend. I just hope you won't regret it."
"Emiya-kun, that was a splendid performance. Considering your talent, would you like to have a personal teacher? There is someone to whom I could recommend you."
Shirou bowed at the teacher. "Thank you, sensei. I would appreciate it."
"Well, then you should head to this place tomorrow," he said, giving him a card. "She'll help you grow as a swordsman."
Shirou took the card and read it. "Busujima Saeko?"
[QUEST: A Genius Above Geniuses COMPLETE]
[OBJECTIVE: Defeat all the students at your dojo on the very first day]
[Reward: 100XP, +5 CHR, Character UNLOCKED: Busujima Saeko]
[Title: Sword Prodigy UNLOCKED] +50% Reputation gain with all sword users.
Title: Reliable] Because of your High CHR people find you reliable despite your young age. +50% Reputation gain with everyone. Unlocks Tier 2 Quests.
'Alright,' Shirou cheered inwardly. 'More Quests and a personal teacher?! Way to go!'
The next afternoon he would go to meet his teacher and, if he had some time to spare, he would then try looking around for these Tier 2 Quests.
"Shirou?" Taiga asked, stepping into his home that evening.
"What's wrong, Fuji-nee?" he asked, quirking an eyebrow. "You didn't expect to see me?"
"Ah, no," she shook her head. "For a moment you looked like a completely different person. So, how did the dojo work out for you?"
"That bad?" she grinned.
"Actually, they told me it would be better if I got a personal teacher. They gave me this card."
Taiga's eyebrows went from arching at the mention of a personal teacher to outright disappearing into her hairline at the name she read on the card.
"Busujima? The Busujima? Shirou, this is the three-times winner of the National Kendo Tournament. Why would they send you to this person?"
"Um...because I'm too good for a regular dojo?"
"I...what? Shirou you have never even picked up a sword before yesterday."
"I guess I'm a natural?" He shrugged, trying to downplay his talent.
"No. Even if you were a genius of some sort, you'd still have to at least learn the basics before they sent you to someone of this caliber to learn."
"I don't know what to say. They put me up against all of the other students and I beat them all," he explained, scratching his head.
"Alright... no. I'm sorry, Shirou but I'm not buying it. What's really going on here?"
"I told you already. That's how things went."
"Oh, really? Well, I'll be the judge of that. Come on, let's get to the dojo. Let's see those skills at work."
[NEW QUEST: Eyes of the Tiger]
[Objective: Defeat Fujimura Taiga in a spar]
[Reward: + 100XP, + 3000 Reputation with Fujimura Taiga]
[Consequences for failure: - 1500 Reputation with Fujimura Taiga; Character: Busujima Saeko becomes LOCKED again]
[Quest is mandatory!]
'Crap, I can't go easy on her,' he swore inwardly. "If that's what it takes for you to believe me."
They went to the dojo with Taiga stomping all the way there. She was pissed with him because she thought he was lying? Well, although it was the truth, Shirou supposed, it was also unbelievable enough to someone who didn't know about the actual circumstances of the event for them to doubt him, let alone the uninitiated.
So he could only acquiesce to her challenge and beat her, lest he lose both her respect and that of his would-be teacher.
"Alright, here's your sword," she said, tossing him a shinai, which he deftly caught mid-air.
"What are the rules?" he asked. "Three points?"
"Good enough." She nodded grimly and took a stance. "Let's begin."
Shirou moved. Unlike with the students at the dojo, Fuji-nee was an expert kendoka. If he held back, she'd take advantage of any opening. Their swords met with a loud TWACK! and Taiga's eyes widened as she rocked in place from the sheer power of Shirou's swing.
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 3]
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 4]
Shirou capitalized on her surprise and spun around to her side with another strike already in motion. Taiga saw it coming at the last moment, and thus could not block it completely. The shinai struck her side with surprising force, sending her sprawling on the ground.
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 5]
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 6]
Taiga looked up at him with an expression of surprise and wonder. She could see, now, that his words weren't simply bold-faced lies.
"Well?" he asked. "Have you got your proof, or should we keep going?"
"Why, you little...!" she growled, picking herself and her sword up from the floor and engaging Shirou once more.
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 7]
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 8]
This time the exchange was more balanced, but Shirou's raw stats were already higher than Taiga's. It was more than enough for him to overtake the already tightening gap in their skill.
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 9]
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 10]
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 11]
[Master Swordplay - Japanese Style has reached lv. 12]
Ultimately, he struck her two more times without letting her get a single point in. Taiga was breathing heavily, and she was sweating profusely, while Shirou was far from being tired due to his [Gamer Body].
"I...can't believe...I lost to...a ten-year-old kid. How did you do that?"
Shirou shrugged. "Talent? I'm not trying to deceive you, Fuji-nee. Trust me, I was as surprised as you are."
Taiga gave him a long, contemplative look, and then sighed.
"Geez. I'm supposed to be your guardian, but here you are, taking care of yourself every day and then handing me my ass in the one thing I've always been the best at. It looks like I won't be able to treat you as a kid any longer. "
[Your relationship with Fujimura Taiga has maxed out as "Sibling"]
[For your relationship to improve further or degrade, special conditions have to be met]
"I wish I could say the same of you, Fuji-nee," he sighed in return, glancing at the message with the corner of his eye, unable to resist the opportunity to rub one in.
Taiga blinked once and then pounced. Shirou saw it coming and quickly ran out of the dojo with his surrogate sister hot on his tail.
"Hold it right there!" she shouted. "I'll make you take it back! I'll definitely make you eat your words!"
"You aren't really helping your case if you keep acting like a tiger."
"DON'T CALL ME A TIGER!" the tiger roared.
She kept chasing him around the yard for another hour, after which she returned home, muttering about being defeated on all fronts.
The next afternoon, Shirou would finally go and meet his personal kendo instructor. With that in mind, he went to sleep, looking forward to the next day.
Last Updated: 07/15/2016
Beta: Warellis, Akemi Homura-san