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The alarm on my smartphone went and I woke up. Taking a deep breath I cleared my sleepy brain and reminded me of the event last night.
I went back to the basement, paying attention to my surroundings for the time being, but there was no sign that monsters had climbed out of the dungeon.
However, when I looked into the dungeon, I found a pale transparent puddle on the floor. No, it was moving, so it must be what they call a slime. But I couldn’t think of any way to get rid of it, so I sat on the edge of the step and observed the slime.
The slime must have noticed me because it walked out of the dungeon and slithered towards me, then a small crash came from the bottom of the hole.
When I look carefully at something, it trembles. And jumped.
I didn’t expect to jump, so I was surprised and stepped back a little.
A slime less than 30 centimeters in diameter jumped a meter. That’s amazing. It’s not surprising that a small game slime from a popular RPG would jump, but the slime here is not that cute. It’s not a round, squishy thing, it’s a lump of dirty liquid that looks like sludge. Who could have predicted that it would jump?
Haru came down from the first floor while I was alone.
“Good morning. Let’s eat breakfast.” (Haru)
Looking at Haru’s hand, there are two pieces of onigiri on the plate. [T/N: Onigiri is a rice ball that can be seasoned with a variety of things. It can also have a filling or something embedded on it like some sour pickled plums (umeboshi). It may or may not also be wrapped with seaweed (nori). Google-sensei has many appetizing pictures.]
“Thank you.” (Kei)
I patted Haru’s head after she sat beside me, she squints like a cat looking quite happy. After looking at the slime for a while, I eat one of the rice balls. Haru also starts eating her onigiri next to me. As always, the salty taste of Haru’s onigiri is just right.
“Ah, salt?” (Kei)
I suddenly remembered something, so I grabbed some salt from the kitchen and poured it on the slime.
Then the slime that had been slithering down the steps began to shrink. It seemed to shrink.
Then it jumped.
I sighed while Haru let out a surprised cute voice. I thought I succeeded because it was shrinking, but it seems I was just getting ready to jump. I’m not sure what to make of it. But that’s about it. The volume of the slime did not decrease, and the salt went to waste. [T/N: It’s not a slug or snail.]
Perhaps the slime itself is not just water, or perhaps it has a film on its surface, or perhaps the slime absorbs water better than salt. If that were the case, then salt would be produced by pouring saltwater on it.
“Okay, I found out that slime couldn’t come out in the basement, so I’m going to the Home Depot.” (Kei)
I called out to Haru and stood up. I opened a drawer in the corner of the room and peeled off the 100,000 yen stuck to the back of it.
The world may think it’s only 100,000 yen, but for my sister and me, it’s a lot of money. This is the only thing I have not spent since we brought it from our previous house. To be precise, we did spend it at first, but by working part-time, we were able to get it back up to 100,000 yen, and since then, we’ve been working part-time to make up for our living expenses and save up little by little. It’s for when Haru gets married.
I’d like to take more part-time jobs, but Haru cries when I take too many. According to her, she doesn’t want to be alone. I think Haru should get a part-time job too, but he’s too shy and gets rejected at interviews. She needs to get better in the future, but if she can’t, she should find a husband who is kind and who will provide for her.
Well, I wouldn’t approve of just any man out there. After all, I couldn’t let Haru marry someone like our father.
I put my wallet with 100,000 yen, my phone, and a rope in my bag and left the house. The rope was to tie the things I bought to my bicycle on the way home.
“Brother, Hurry up!” (Haru)
Haru nags me while riding behind the bicycle.
Is this a two-seater? Far from cracking down on us, no one even checks us. This is life in the countryside.
Well, I’m not going to stop riding with her behind me because we can be seen. Also, I will get tired not riding a bike.
Nothing happened and we arrived at the Home Depot without being penalized for having another person ride behind the bike.
The only problem is that Haru behind me is humming “Pew~♪”. Please stop it. I don’t want to be considered a pervert.
The area around here, which is a two-hour bike ride from my house, is well paved with asphalt, and although there are no buildings, there are plenty of apartments and stores.
When we entered the home improvement store, I dragged Haru to the fence section, where she tried to head for the farm tools and equipment section.
“Why do we need a fence?” (Haru)
Haru, as usual, is not thinking about anything. She’s good at constructing and calculating things in her head, but I’m much better at reading and predicting her thoughts.
“Even if you can’t come out of the basement, you’ll want to seal it up. Turn the fence on its side and use it as a lid.” (Kei)
“Oh, I see. Well, I’ll make a door. I’m sure I have a metal cutter at home. Just buy some wire. I don’t have any welding equipment, and even if I did, I’ve heard that you have to be qualified to do it. I’ll do it with wire somehow.” (Haru)
“Okay. Please do it.” (Kei)
After all, when it comes to crafting, Haru is in a league of her own.
After staring at a sturdy fence that will not break even if you step on it or kick it, bring the cart we head to the tool corner. For some reason, though, we already have most of these tools at home. I wondered what my parents and grandparents were thinking when they left them in storage.
“I bought some wire and stakes to hold it in place, and maybe some screws. I’ve got a hammer and a drill at home.” (Haru)
Haru quickly looks around the tools and bought only what she needed with the quality she needed.
“I like a crowbar. It’s a classic. Spanners and hammers.” (Haru)
I looked at Haru, who was probably referring to a zombie movie. She had a crowbar on her shoulder and was popping her neck. It’s not cute. She’s rather scary.
“So, just the crowbar.” (Kei)
For the time being, I will take the easiest to use, but for some reason, I feel that the inside of the cart has become a mess. If we buy a spanner and a hammer, we would definitely look like dangerous people. Still, Haru wants to buy more at the farm tool section.
“Okay, let’s go to the farm tools section next.” (Haru)
Haru walks energetically as usual.
The ones in the farm tool corner are mostly for weapons. Rather, there is no way to use it in dungeons. It seems that the ground of the dungeon cannot be dug in even if seeds are scattered or even if you use fertilizer in the dungeon.
Hal brought a rubber-grip outdoor machete that can also be used for stabbing. To the untrained eye, it’s hard to tell the difference between a knife and a machete. I guess it’s a little thicker. The purpose of the machete is not to cut wood, so it’s fine.
“I guess I’ll take this one.”
I picked up a nearby triangular hoe. It’s a handy product that has a triangular part for tilling the soil, and it also has a blade so you can cut the grass.
I swung it to check if it looked natural to the people around me, and it didn’t feel uncomfortable. The handle was also made of metal and seemed sturdy, so I was satisfied and put it in my cart. Since I had everything I needed to buy, I went back to the fence section, put the fence I had decided on the cart, and headed for the cashier.
I was relieved to be able to leave the store without any suspicious looks from the cashier.
And now I’m loading my luggage onto my bike. I put the small stuff in the basket in front of me, and put the long stuff into the bike like you would put an umbrella. Then I strapped the fence to the side of the bike. I can’t ride my bike anymore, no matter what I do.
“”Hah…”” (Haru & Kei)
I sigh with Haru and we walked towards the house. It took me two hours to ride my bike this way. I’ve heard that biking is three times faster than walking, so six hours. What a pain.
As soon as we got home, I took the luggage and went down to the basement. It took us 6 hours on our walk home, actually 8 hours to go home because I stopped by another store. 10 hours back and forth travel, 2 hours shopping and eating, 12 hours in total, I was mentally and physically tired, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a rest. I want to take measures against the dungeon as soon as possible.
I lined up the things we had bought in the basement.
120×150 in2 iron fence, thick wire, stakes, padlocks, crowbar, machete (2), triangular hoe, full-body protector (2), work clothes (2), water bottle (2).
90,000 yen in total and some more. The 100,000 we brought with us are gone.
I watched Haru start working with the big nippers for cutting the iron fence and wire I had bought, and I carried the stuff in the basement downstairs. On the way home, we talked and decided that the basement would be dedicated for dungeon use. However, we don’t have a lot of money in this house, and it was hard to withdraw, so the rest was just small things. There were a few tools, such as Haru’s saw and a sawhorse, but they were left in the basement.
“Brother, I’m done.” (Haru)
When I returned to the basement after finishing my work, Haru was lying down on the floor.
“Good work. The only thing left to do is to put up the fence, so you can rest.” (Kei)
I lifted the fence and found that part of it opened like a door.
“The door is 80×80 in2.” (Haru)
Haru reported. The door is 80×80 in2, so any normal object should fit through.
I took out a vibration drill from the many tools I had. I wondered why there was such a thing, but I decided not to think about it.
“Haru, it’s going to be loud, so go upstairs and put on your earplugs.” (Kei)
Driving Haru out of the basement, I put on earplugs. I thought I should at least put in some headphones to muffle the sound since there was a vibration drill, but I had no choice. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with just earplugs, so I wrapped a piece of cloth around my head to cover my ears.
Then, I drilled vertically into the area about an inch away from the edge of the dungeon steps. If I did that with regular concrete, the side of the concrete might break, but that was no problem since the dungeon was unbreakable.
After making eight holes in the edge of the dungeon entrance and the area between. I place the fence to block the entrance to the dungeon and fix it in place by driving the stakes into the holes I just made. I used the huge padlock on the door and hang the key on a wire right next to it. Since it’s not a person you’re trying to protect, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as it doesn’t open when you push or pull.
By the way, there was nothing under the hole. It seems that slime has also left.
It was only when I checked for enemies that I realized that the open door had been designed to be used as a ladder. It was just like Haru to be so thoughtful.
“It’s over.” (Kei)
Satisfied that it was over, I lie down for the time being. My ears hurt a little, maybe the earplugs and cloth weren’t enough.
But for the time being, it’s ready. All we have to do is enter the dungeon. I put my hands on my head and close my eyes. I’ve done all this. No one would complain if I slept a little. That’s what I tell myself. Before I knew it, my consciousness sank into a light sleep.
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