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T/N: So things to remember:
“A/N:” are author’s notes, and
“T/N:” are the translator’s notes that may or may not include useful information. Sometimes I make comments because I just cannot help it.
The perspective is usually the main characters’ unless you see this “~___’s Perspective~” and tells you who’s perspective it is.
Morning is here for sure.
Ignoring any human issues, it shines its full glory and signals the beginning of the day.
I think the moment when Japanese salarymen are most aware of this is when they arrive at work and log in with their time cards.
It’s the same for me.
The gloves are fitted, the armor is straightened, and the weapons are checked.
I wonder where the image of peaceful Japan has disappeared to.
I’m aware that I’m dressed far from what one would consider a normal work uniform.
“Now, it’s time for you guys to work.”
But I can’t help it.
It’s my job.
Finally, I turned to my colleagues who were also inspecting the equipment and gave them a word of confirmation.
“I’m sure you’ve all got your quotas for the day in mind. Just remember three things. Don’t slack off, don’t cut corners, and don’t get hurt.”
The vague smile peculiar to Japanese people who doubts the common sense of the situation disappears, and instead, a strong grin like alert warriors answer my words.
My job is to capture the dungeon.
“I will do my best to clear out the dungeon today.”
I’m going to create a dungeon that no hero can conquer.
This is the story of a group of salarymen who stumbled upon a fantasy world that took over their secret daily lives.
Jiro Tanaka, 28 years old, single for seven years, and now a NEET. [T/N: NEET means Not in Education, Employment, or Training.]
I don’t care if it’s a nuisance to the neighborhood. I screamed loudly while lying on my bed.
I’ve been working at a black company for six years now, where it’s normal to work more than 120 hours of overtime per month, and I never get full overtime pay.
I’ve seen so much turnover in the workforce that it’s useless to even count it.
As I was finishing up my work, I was trying to disguise my frustration with a cigarette when my boss came into the smoking room and ignited the fuse,
“So you have time to smoke? If you have that much time, don’t you have more things to do? Yesterday’s report, give it to me immediately.” (Boss)
At that time, I had already stayed at the office all night to finish some work that was nearing its deadline.
Normally, I would have just smiled, apologized, and gone back to work, but I couldn’t resist glaring at my boss.
“What’s that look? If you don’t like it, quit. There are plenty of replacements for you.” (Boss)
At that time, I knew that human patience is a rope that could really be cut off in a second.
My boss probably thought I was back working after leaving the smoking room silently.
The first thing I did was to pack up my personal belongings in a cardboard box, after giving my boss a tongue-lashing as hard as I could. Then, I pulled a cigarette out of my breast pocket.
I didn’t touch any of the company’s documents and just packed up all my personal belongings.
“Chief, I’m leaving the company, Now.”
I completely ignore the voices that try to stop me from saying that and walking away.
I stuffed all my personal belongings, including the contents of my locker, into my car. Then, turned the key and headed home.
And so, a NEET, me, is born.
The first thing this new NEET did when he returned to his cheap apartment was to light himself a cigarette.
“What are you going to do now?”
I quit the company without any plan, whatsoever, but I don’t regret it.
Rather, I did it well, I wanted to praise myself because I was overwhelmingly dissatisfied, and even though I was unemployed, my heart was light and refreshed.
My mobile phone is turned off.
I’m sure the company is calling my cell phone by this time, but I don’t care.
I may be accused of being irresponsible, but I don’t have to worry about it.
Besides, I used to work instead of sleep on my days off, so I’ve saved enough money so that I don’t have to work for at most a year, let alone a couple of months.
I will not be starving anytime soon, and I want to think about the future leisurely.
I’m going to have to work eventually, I hate it.
I don’t need to panic because I have enough money saved up, but it’s not like it’s enough to keep me fed for the rest of my life.
Fortunately, I have enough energy to think about working after some time off.
Well, I don’t have the slightest intention of going back to that company.
“Wow, the mailbox is a mess.”
A quick glance at the mailbox visible from the layout of my 1K room shows that it’s so full that I don’t know how the mailman put it there. [T/N: So a Japanese apartment has the symbols 1LDK, 1K, 2LDK, etc. LDK means the presence of a Living room, Dining room, or Kitchen. The number in front is the number of bedrooms. So a 1K apartment is a single bedroom with a tiny room for a kitchen. BTW a washroom is always present so don’t worry about it.]
I’m coming home to sleep. It’s only natural since I haven’t used this room for anything other than coming home to sleep or change clothes, but I feel like telling myself to at least clean up the mailbox.
I stood up while deliberately raising my voice sounding like that of an old man.
“Wow, I can’t get it out”
It’s not a surprise that it’s as tight as it looks. As if to prove it, even if you pull the bundle of flyers, it will only move slightly and not go any further.
“There’s no helping it.”
While spilling the soliloquy that has increased since I lived alone, I pull out the leaflets in small pieces until I crouch down at the entrance.
“Oh, what’s this… Is it a religious solicitation? Okay. So this is a leaflet of a supermarket in the neighborhood… Three weeks ago, huh?”
While paying attention to the amount of cigarette ash, I flick the ash once on the ashtray and look into the leaflet that has some strangely fascinating content.
“Recruitment of testers? What is this?”
RECRUITMENT OF DUNGEON TESTERS!
Recruitment of Personnel: 100 people wanted!
30 full-time employees
70 part-time job
Age 16-35 years old
Parking lot available!
Preferential treatment for experienced martial artists!
Full-time employee Monthly salary 300,000 + Hazard Pay + Commission-Based System
Bonus is twice a year
Part-time: Salary hourly wage 3,000 yen + Hazard Pay + Commission-based System
Full-time employees 5 hours or more a day, 2 days a week + holidays
Part-time job 3 hours or more a day (those who can work at least 3 days a week)
We, the Demon King’s Army, will be testing the effectiveness of the dungeons we have designed against the heroes!
You will have to actually challenge the dungeon, fight monsters, search for treasure, and break through the levels.
In addition, there is a risk of injury, so please have the following items ready as we will create a consent form.
“Ha! This is quite the prank.”
Exhaling the cigarette smoke, I paused reading.
As for the composition of the flyer, a lot of effort was put into it.
The photos and text are carefully arranged to catch the eye, and the paper material is not bad either.
It was clearly a flyer made by a professional.
However, the contents were not so appealing. I assumed that it was obviously a scam.
It has a phone number, an address, and even a map.
And the address was…
“It’s in the next town?”
I can go there by car, train, bus, or on foot if I want to.
“If they’re fishing, it’s quite an elaborate prank.”
I think 90% of it is mischievousness.
The salary is exceptional and the holidays are quite attractive.
“No, no, why would they prepare this for such a silly prank?”
Throwing the leaflet on the table, I put out the cigarette by pressing it against the ashtray.
“Is there such a convenient company?”
I’ve never seen such a questionable job offer for hiring game testers.
I lay down on my bed and looked near the TV and the pile of games in front of it.
I had played a good amount of games when I was a student, but I hadn’t gotten around to playing any of them lately due to work, but I mainly played RPGs, so I thought it would be interesting to see the contents of a flyer like this.
“Kendo is also a martial art, right?”
Another thing I see is a well-used kendo gear in a tiny corner of the room.
It’s a worn kendo gear that I’ve replaced every time my body grew or if it simply broke.
I’ve been too busy with work to go to the dojo lately, and the last time I went was less than half a year ago, but I’ve continued to show up at the nearby dojo.
Ninety percent of me assumes it’s a prank, but the other ten percent piqued my interest and presented me with a set of conditions that I was more than ready for.
“Ah, I’m free anyway, and if it’s a prank, I’ll play along with the prank.”
I have no issues with it.
If it is real, I would like to work in such a place.
I long for such a workplace.
“Mobile phone… What is this call history?”
Dozens of incoming calls, most of them from my old company. Some are from my seniors that contacted me, but I ignored it and typed in the number written on the leaflet, and even though I was unsure for a moment, I proceeded.
“Yes, I’m Suela, the Dungeon Tester Recruiter of the Demon King Army.” (Suela)
“Well, I saw the leaflet, are you still recruiting?”
I thought it was a prank and that an automated voice message would say it was not in service, but the woman’s answer was much clearer than I had imagined, which made me stammer.
From her name, she was definitely a foreigner, but I thought she spoke fluent Japanese.
“Yes, thank you for contacting us. Currently, we are looking for both full-time employees and part-time employees. Which would you like to enter as?” (Suela)
“I-I want to enter as a full-time employee”
I thought that my work ethic might have waned, but I figured that I still had some left in me, and part-time work was too much for me at my age, so I chose full-time work for the salary and holidays.
“So, you chose a full-time job for the salary and holidays. I have confirmed it. When would you like to set up an interview?” (Suela)
“Well, I am always ready.”
“…Understood. If so, can I ask for your name, age, and phone number? I’ll let you know the date by the end of the day.” (Suela)
“Okay. May I know who I’m speaking with?”
The conversation from he went on steadily.
When I told her my name, age, and phone number, I was lightly asked if I had experience in martial arts and the necessary documents, then the call ended.
“Your call has been accepted by Suela. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” (Suela)
“Is this really a prank?”
After the last statement, I couldn’t help but laugh as I looked at my phone, which was no longer saying anything.
Or was it a flyer of some dubious nature? I wondered.
If that’s the case, I might as well have just hung up and not given out my phone number.
This is exactly what I meant when I said, “I have no regrets.”
“If the owner of the next call sounds dangerous, I will contact the police.”
Yes, I’ll definitely do that, I thought to myself as I glanced at the flyer twice, nervously and restlessly.
Then I reach for a cigarette.
Just as I’m about to have a smoke to calm down, my phone rings.
“Is it the company? This number…”
The cigarette in my mouth falls off.
“Hahaha, it’s too early.”
What was displayed on my display was not my old company’s number, but the number written on the leaflet.
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