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A/N: It was pointed out to me that the first and last paragraphs should only be used when making changes, so I decided to do that starting this time.
I know that in the other world when you go to sleep and wake up, it’s not always morning.
When I went to sleep, it was daytime, but when I woke up, it was also daytime during my time in Ithar.
And if it is night when you go to sleep, it is also night when you wake up here in Anatares, the continent of the Demon King’s army.
Suddenly, I felt the carriage stop and opened my eyelids to emerge from the sensation of a shallow sleep.
The soundproofed carriage is so quiet that I can’t hear any noise from outside, but it still tells me that the destination is bustling with activity and distribution.
“Here is?” (Jiro)
Before I can say whether this is our destination or not, the two people who were up earlier greet me with a good morning, to which I respond.
It feels a little strange to say good morning at night, but when you come to this world, light and dark have little to do with each other.
If the time is morning, it is always good morning.
“Did you sleep well?” (Might)
“I did.” (Jiro)
I slept in an impossible position, but I slept better than I expected and my joints did not ache.
I thought my experience of sleeping in Ithar had paid off, and I folded the blanket as I chatted with Mr. Might.
“Have we arrived?” (Jiro)
“Yes, we have arrived at our destination. We are still outside the gate, but we can go there as soon as the inspection is over.” (Might)
“The land around the dungeon is under the direct control of the country, so it’s easy to enter and exit if you follow the procedures, but conversely, if you don’t follow the procedures, you can’t enter.” (Might)
It’s like bureaucracy.
“That’s part of the job of dungeon management, right?” (Jiro)
“In fact, that’s my main job.” (Might)
“What do you mean?” (Jiro)
The dungeons are managed, and the materials are obtained, so I thought that the floors were well controlled, the journey was safe, and the desired materials could be easily obtained by fighting.
“What the military does is monitor the dungeon for monsters and prevent smuggling, but they are not involved in the dungeon at all.” (Might)
“In the first place, it is called management, but the dungeon function is insufficiently managed, and it cannot be controlled. After all, there is no dungeon master to control it, so it is not something that can be controlled.” (Might)
“…Is that safe?” (Jiro)
It’s like leaving a nuclear power plant that can automatically transmit power to the grid.
It’s not dangerous or anything, but if it were to get out of control and flood the outside world with monsters, it could be a catastrophe.
“Yes, we use some dungeons that are hundreds of years old, but they are operating without any problems. Our ancestors built dungeons, so even if we can’t control them, we have the know-how to use them safely.” (Might)
“In that case, wouldn’t it be safer to manage it like a ranch?” (Jiro)
I think it would be more efficient to run a ranch that breeds monsters that are in demand and can provide a stable supply, rather than going to the trouble of breeding them in dangerous dungeons and hunting them down along dangerous paths.
“Jiro, do you believe that you can safely raise black dragons on a ranch where they will eventually be eaten or used as materials for armaments? Sheep are raised for shearing, but can you raise a black dragon that was spawned to fight a brave warrior for scaling?” (Might)
“I don’t think so.” (Jiro)
“That’s what I mean.” (Might)
I answered immediately without thinking, but if you ask me, Mr. Might was right.
In an instant, I could easily imagine the scene of the ranch being burned to the ground.
In fact, it would be so impossible that I could even imagine an incomprehensible fight to the death between the rancher and the Black Dragon.
So, this is where the dungeon, which was designed for the heroes, has become a problem.
“Speaking of which, does that mean that the only monsters in the dungeon are basically those that cannot be tamed?” (Jiro)
“That’s what I’m saying. We have been doing some research, but it doesn’t seem to be going well. We know the cause. The monsters in the dungeon are basically very sensitive to death. They are obedient to a certain extent if they are raised for riding or for transporting supplies, but if they are raised for food or materials.” (Might)
“When they feel their lives are in danger, they go berserk.” (Jiro)
“Yes, they were originally designed to fight off heroes. They seem to be genetically sensitive to such feelings.” (Might)
Monsters were originally designed to intercept foreign enemies.
It would be meaningless if they were mild-mannered.
It makes sense only for them to fight.
If they are not full of survival instincts and wildness, they are meaningless.
There is no point in creating a weak cog only to weaken a dungeon.
This would have been possible when there was a dungeon master, but there is no one who can do it.
Even if they wanted to make a substitute, the function to make a substitute has been damaged, so they cannot take over the job.
Is that right?
From the point of view of a hero, the dungeon master is, so to speak, a mid-boss, an enemy to be defeated.
It is impossible to leave them alone.
“But the country cannot abandon the materials because it is dangerous.” (Might)
“Economically, a big deal.” (Jiro)
And the material quality of the monsters is the fruit of the efforts of the demon army’s creatures.
Just as animals are covered with fur to adapt to their environment, or their skin becomes hard and sturdy, if that monster is adjusted for the dungeon, it will show appropriate changes.
Claws would be hardened and sharpened to cut through enemies, eyes would be made of a magical material so that they could kill enemies from a distance, and bones would be made as tough as iron so that they would remain alive even when attacked.
The result of making it possible for the heroes to take as much damage as possible is the strength of today’s monsters.
Thanks to this, I can say that the materials have improved in a byproduct sense.
The amount of money invested in them, combined with the years, would have amounted to a tremendous amount.
Even though the control has left, they continue to produce materials.
The return is worth the risk.
It is also a nod to the fact that it can be judged to be profitable if it is separated as a natural resource.
That’s why adventurers have become so common, even in the Demon King’s army.
“But monsters are made in laboratories, aren’t they? Isn’t it possible to produce livestock and monsters for materials there?” (Jiro)
“Things are not going well there either.” (Might)
“What do you mean?” (Jiro)
“If we wanted to make monsters for animal husbandry, we could. We have the technology to do so. Delicious meat, lustrous leather. It’s possible to create them. But when it comes to weapons and magic mediums, the story changes. What is the meaning of soft dragon scales? Can deteriorated fangs pierce armor?” (Might)
“In other words, bad materials can be obtained from weak individuals?” (Jiro)
“Yes, basically, only weak materials can be taken. In exceptional cases, it is possible to get good enough materials from weak individuals if you charge an exorbitant price, but it is still inferior to materials from strong individuals. And above all, is it worth the profit? (Might)
“It’s not worth it.” (Jiro)
“That’s right. Weak individuals naturally tend to have a lower magical aptitude, so they are also less valuable as ornaments, so they cannot be sold for more than a certain value.” (Might)
So, you are saying that they are suitable for mass-produced items but not for one-off items?
There will probably be demand for such products as well, and eventually, something that surpasses dungeon monsters may be created.
They say that technology is constantly evolving.
But that technology is not available now, and the conclusion is that I will not be able to get the materials for marriage with ease.
I guess I’ll have to be extra careful this time around.
“Both of you, the formalities are over. Son-in-law, you should look outside.” (Gray)
While we were talking, Mr. Gray seemed to have finished the procedure to enter, and after interacting with the driver, he told me to look outside.
When I gently pulled back the curtains, the carriage was advancing on the main street with two lanes on each side.
Various shops line the streets, and you can see stalls here and there.
What I’m dealing with is something like a monster’s material.
But that in itself is not an unusual sight.
Maybe I won’t be able to get the materials, so I’ll have to look around later…
“You’ll see it in front of us.” (Gray)
“In front of us… You mean that the dome?” (Jiro)
Mr. Gray says to look beyond the side of the street.
Even if it is dim, the light made it clear, and the things ahead are reflected exactly.
It is a hemispherical entity covered by a white wall.
Visually, it was about the same size as the Tokyo Dome, or even larger.
“Could it be that thing?” (Jiro)
“Yes, that is it. That is the dungeon.” (Gray)
“I miss it. It seems to have been repaired, but it looks just the same as it did in the past.” (Might)
The huge building that could be seen from a distance was the dungeon.
And this traffic flow is also heading toward that building.
Looking at the sidewalks, I can see the presence of people wearing equipment.
“Oh, that’s…? Are we suddenly going to a dungeon? How do we register? How do we find lodging?” (Jiro)
Then, thinking about it calmly, I realize that I have completely skipped all the procedures.
No matter how well-equipped you are, is that enough to get you into the dungeon right away?
“Don’t worry about the inn. I have a villa here. I plan for us to stay there for a while.” (Gray)
Oh, a big merchant indeed.
He is indeed a great merchant, having a villa.
And he would never be a trespasser, would I?
“There is no problem entering the dungeon. There is a military facility right next to the entrance. There is no problem if you go to the reception desk there.” (Might)
“Then, is it the adventurer’s guild?” (Jiro)
“No, it is a military facility. The Adventurers’ Guild is in that building.” (Might)
I don’t know the circumstances here, but if there’s no problem, that’s fine.
The coat of arms that overlapped the shield, sword, and bow on the building was reflected outside the carriage in good timing.
Going in and out there are people dressed like adventurers.
“But why separate the adventurers’ guild and the military facility into two separate organizations? Wouldn’t it be less efficient and cause more trouble if they were separated?” (Jiro)
“We dare to separate them. Originally, the state ran the dungeons, but from the point of view of the people, especially the merchants, dungeons are a money-making tree, and it is natural for them to be dissatisfied with the state monopolizing their source of income. However, it is not easy to get involved in state-run industries. Only a few wealthy merchants can get involved. The goods that come down from the state and the goods in the dungeon that are purchased from these wealthy merchants are all very expensive. The prices of the armor and ornaments that come from them are unaffordable. From the point of view of an ordinary merchant, this can cause a lot of frustration.” (Gray)
Mr. Gray speaks without hesitation.
His gaze is fixed on me, but it seems as if he is looking at something else.
“The Adventurers’ Guild is funded by these merchants. If the guilds are able to gather in numbers and become a force to be reckoned with, the state will have no choice but to act. This is how they formed a connection to the country. Although the government was reluctant to allow the Guild to enter the industry, negotiations are not the exclusive domain of politicians. Once the government officials were brought to the table, it was the merchants’ main job to open their mouths. The merchants were forced to admit that they were in a situation where they had to admit it.” (Gray)
Mr. Gray, who seems to be one of the most outspoken merchants in the guild, told me about the formation of the Adventurers’ Guild, and I was convinced.
In short, the Adventurers’ Guild was a meeting place for small and medium-sized merchants.
A strategy to compete with the big players.
I see what you’re getting at.
“Thanks to this, we now distinguish military personnel as explorers and guild members as adventurers.” (Gray)
Hmm? What is that self-mocking tone of Mr. Gray’s, and the way Mr. Might looks at me as if he is looking into the distance?
The carriage finally arrived at the dungeon with an overt sense of trouble.
Note for the Day
OK, so it’s trouble! You’ve got trouble coming!
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