Talent Limit


The next day, I woke up in a room inside of a cheap inn that charged two coppers a night without meals.

In this narrow building, the rooms were arranged in a way that they were forcefully divided by thin wooden boards…but they had no door entrances and anybody can easily peek into other people’s rooms from the hallway.

From a security standpoint, the structure only made me wonder if they are trying to pick a fight with people.

It goes without saying that I could hear almost everything that was going on in the rooms next to mine.


I couldn’t sleep well at all due to the snoring that came from the room on the right and the lewd voices of a prostitute that came from the room on the left.

The only salvation I had was that spring has come.

I would have frozen to death in that terrible room if it was still winter time.


I frowned from the unpleasant way of waking up.

Needless to say, I didn’t move here because I wanted to.

Until last night, I was staying at the guild recommended inn that I usually stayed at.
It was a small but clean and comfortable place that was managed by an honest owner and his lively daughter.

When I got expelled from the guild, I asked the inn owner if he could wait till next month to collect my rent.

I’ve been a patron in this inn for several years now and they have never shown me an irritated face when I asked to put my rent and food on my tab.


That’s why I thought that it would be fine this time as well, but…


「We don’t rent out to non-adventurers!!」


I was met with a fist and thrown out of the room.

The owner had already found out about my expulsion from the guild.
He was most likely contacted by the guild.


The inn daughter who treated me nicely up until now spoke to me as if she was really glad. 


「Thank you so much for your patronage to this day! The next time you come, please consider tipping!」


Apparently, I was the only one who felt cozy living here.
To them, I was nothing but a stingy customer who doesn’t tip and had a habit of putting my bills on a tab.

Even though I liked them as people and have continuously to use their service, I’m such a clown.

I might be the one who was at fault.
No, I’m definitely the one who was wrong.
I know that.


But even so, why did everyone have to look at me as if I’m a piece of shit?

I was reminded of how the receptionist of the guild and the inn owner’s daughter looked at me.

In a fit of anger, I was going to punch the wall this time…or I tried, but I quickly stopped myself.
There was a possibility that I would break these thin walls if I punched it.

If I did that, I would have to pay way more than ten times the inn’s lodging fee for repairs.

It would be stupid of me to reduce the little bit of money I had left like that.


「…The problem starts here」


I counted how much money I had left.


Adding up all the silver and copper that I had left, somehow there was enough for me to last about a month.

However, that’s only if I eat the cheapest food at the cheapest inn.
Although I don’t have to worry about starving tomorrow, there is an urgent need to improve the current situation.

If I’m not being picky, there are things like sewage cleaning, dangerous construction work for castle walls, and many other jobs like that out there… but I don’t want to do that type of work.


I will never become strong if I’m too concerned about making money.
I won’t accept that.

That’s right.
It’s not like there’s a rule saying that I can’t hunt monsters or help people even if I wasn’t part of the adventurers’ guild.


If I continued to gather herbs every day, I could sell them directly to a pharmacist or straight to the stores without going through the guild.

If I don’t go through the guild, I could easily get cheated on the sale, but it’ll still be better than cleaning gutters or sewers.


Normally, Those who take action without going through the guild are referred to as “stray adventurers”- They’re pretty much seen as the same thing as hooligans and vagabonds.


I know that, but that doesn’t matter to me.
It sounds like fun to make a name for myself as a stray adventurer.
The guild receptionist and the inn daughter will surely regret treating me the way they did after I make it.


When I thought about it like that, I felt much better about being expelled from the guild since it was like having a collar removed from my neck.

The relationship I had with the guild was bad in the first place anyway.


I know that the other adventurers and receptionists were calling me a “parasite” behind my back.

Let’s think of this as a good opportunity to distance myself from all of them.


I cleared my throat.

Then, I sighed.

I had to force myself to realize that I was only trying to escape from reality.

It’s not like I had no responsibility regarding me being called a parasite.


「『Level, open』」


I used magic to display my own level.

The numeric value displayed there was the never changing value of 『1』.

No matter how hard I trained, no matter how many battles I went through, I’ve never leveled up.

As I looked at the number that doesn’t change like it had been cursed, my expression naturally twisted into a bitter one. 




A human’s level is their greatest talent.
Your level is more or less proportional to how strong you are.

If you assume that a level one has the power value of ten, a level two would have twenty, and a level three would have thirty and so on.

Naturally, an adventurer who can’t get above level one would only get in other people’s way.


I know because I lost the adventurer companions that I had in the past because our level differences got too big…


If I were to put it bluntly, I was booted out of the party.

Just like how I was left behind by my younger brother and my fiancee back in my hometown island, I was left behind by my companions here as well.


Different people had different opinions on how to level, but if you ask the ones who are always fighting, they would all tell you that the most important element of leveling seemed to be “to always fight those that are stronger than you”.

You will never level up even if you killed a hundred monsters that you can for sure beat.


In other words, weak people have lots of opportunities to level.

Humans who are level one would have a much easier time leveling than humans of a higher level.

Even though that was supposed to be the case, I could not raise my level when I was back on the island or when I’m living here in this city.


This would sound strange to whoever you tell it to, but there is actually a theory that could explain this phenomenon.


The Talent Limit.


There is a limit for humans.
The sword saint who sealed the demon god three hundred years ago seemed to have managed to level to 99, but it appears that he wasn’t able to get any higher than that.

If there was a limit for even the sword saint, then there’s no reason why there wouldn’t be a limit for other humans as well.
And just like how different people had different opinions on how to level, different people would have different limits as well.


…If that’s true, then it wouldn’t be that strange if some people had a limit of level 1.




Having a talent limit that did not let me level was total despair.

However, it did not mean that all hope is lost.

The theory of there being a talent limit was not proven yet.


Right now, there is magic that you can use to check your current level with.
It seems that a higher level caster would be able to see more information with those spells, but even with that being the case, the existence of there being a “talent limit” has still not been confirmed.


No one knows for sure yet whether the cause for me not being able to level was because of a talent limit or because of insufficient experience value or something.

Back on the island, those who did not finish the trial ceremony were not allowed to participate in actual battles.

That’s why my level should go up if I become an adventurer and experience real battles.
At that time, I really believed that. 


However, reality was ruthless.


No matter how many monsters I beat, no matter how many bandits I killed, my level did not rise.


Even though me and my ex-companions fought the same enemies, did the same quests, and ate the same meals, only their levels went up quickly. 

The only thing that changed for me was the gap that started to form between us.

Since a person’s level value was important personal information, people would not share that information easily even with their companions.
However, my ex-companions were honest people and they all revealed their levels to each other.

When they do that, the one who doesn’t want to show their level would naturally stand out.


I was haunted by the fact that they would become suspicious of me at that rate, so I chose a day and confessed to my party members.

I had a good relationship with the party members and I could even call the leader of the party a friend.


That’s why I thought that they might possibly show some understanding towards me.


…But what I got in return were only painful slanders.
I was called a fraud in front of my face and I was kicked out of the party.


After that, all the other adventurers looked at me with eyes of contempt and labeled me a “parasite”.
I’m pretty sure that was started by my original party members.


The action of a low level adventurer hiding their level to get into a high level party was called being a “parasite”, and it’s something that’s frowned upon.
In cases that were done with malicious intent, it is an offense punishable by the guild.


I was not punished at that time, but everyone around me looked at me like I was a criminal.


Due to the infamous news of me being a level 1 parasite widely spreading, everyone most likely reached the conclusion that I might have reached my talent limit as well.

That was what happened about four and a half years ago.


Since then, I have only been acting alone.
No party out there wanted to take a level 1 “parasite” into their team.

There was also a limit on what kind of quests that I can take solo.

And those few quests were only paying rewards in copper.

I could no longer afford the weapons or tools that I needed.
And because of that, there were fewer and fewer quests that I could do.


Then, three years ago, I took a demotion from the ninth-tier to the tenth so that I could lessen the commission fees that I have to pay the guild.

Until that point, I’ve stayed as a ninth tier adventurer for about a year and a half because I thought that it would be easier to form a party as a ninth-tier adventurer.
Also, it was because of my pride.

But I couldn’t afford to stay stubborn like that three years ago.

If I were to be demoted to the tenth tier, the variety of quests that I could take would inevitably narrow down, but since the quests that I can do as a “solo” were mostly tenth-tier anyway, there was no problem.


After that, I couldn’t come up with the energy or money to get to the ninth tier again.
Then, I was expelled from the guild yesterday. 


That was my entire situation until now.

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