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Jiro Tanaka: 28 years old – Single – No Girlfriend
Occupation: Dungeon Tester (Regular Employee)
Magical Aptitude: Eight (General Class)
A few days after that welcome party.
I was sprinting through the dungeon.
I wanted to click my tongue, but I had no time for that now.
I stepped through the cobblestones and felt a slight push on something, a feeling I’ve had often since entering the third level of the Machine King’s Dungeon.
I jumped away from the Stone Puppet in front of me, kicking it away, and I saw the arrowhead fly away from my chest.
After breaking through the first floor, I made it through the second floor with some difficulty, but this was my fourth attempt at the third floor, and I couldn’t make any progress in mapping the area beyond a certain point.
If I carelessly stepped on the ground, a trap would be triggered just like before.
The traps themselves were still very basic, such as switch-type arrows, spears, pitfalls, and nets, but they were still enough to stop my progress, as I had never been caught in a physical trap in my entire life.
Who would want to be pierced by arrows, speared by spears, or fall into a hole?
Thanks to my status that had grown by the time I got here, I was able to react somehow and avoid them with a quick decision, but my nerves were shattered and my concentration was disturbed.
As a result, even if the opponent is beatable, it takes a lot of time and extra energy to defeat them because I have to pay attention to my surroundings.
In addition to that, the situation of things not going well will inevitably cause stress to build up.
It’s similar to the feeling of being frustrated at a job that never seems to get done, but if you get frustrated, the enemy in front of you will see an opening and you’ll be dead in no time.
This is a reminder of the weakness of the soloist, who is often trapped in the trap of the individual versus the group, or in bad conditions.
In addition, I had marked the locations of the traps on my map, just in case, but the traps kept shifting, either triggering or not, and I was caught off guard.
I want to swear at it, but instead, I use my Mineral Tree to cut off the Stone Kid’s head as he jumps at me.
With the returning blade, I slash through the Stone Golem’s torso.
The impact left in my hand caused it to go tingly slightly.
In contrast, the Mineral Tree doesn’t suffer a single chip on its blade, as if to say that I was the one who was soft.
“It’s over… but there’s another wave.”
This is the last of the enemies in the vicinity, but my ears, sharpened by vigilance, catch the sound of multiple footsteps.
It’s not human-like footsteps, of course, but inorganic, regular, and definitely heading towards me.
The sweat dripping down my forehead, the number of battles I’ve been in, and the loss of concentration caused by the traps are advising me to retreat.
“Should I withdraw?”
It’s not a good idea to get overwhelmed here.
I quickly collected what I could and hurried back to the Transition Area.
Thus. My fourth attempt at the dungeon also ended in failure.
After safely retreating from the dungeon, I headed towards,
“I’m in the red today, again.”
“That’s what I said. I told you, attacking a dungeon alone is the work of a madman.” (Memoria)
“That’s not something a vampire with a superior brain and body to a human would say.”
“I stand corrected. It’s the work of someone crazier than us vampires.” (Memoria)
“No, you made it worse.”
The conversation with Memoria has already started to become a regular occurrence, as I progressed on the floors, and collect drops to sell. Although the price has risen, I am still on the early floors, namely the third floor. If the purchase price improves by about a dozen yen, it is would necessary to earn more from higher quality drops.
Considering my purchase of consumables such as potions, the current situation is somewhat unprofitable.
Thanks to this, I am currently alternately challenging the second and third floors. Those without traps.
“In the first place, how does a Hero break through the dungeon’s traps, are they really humans?”
“There are many places where I’m wondering if it’s okay to categorize them as ‘human’, but let’s leave that out.” (Memoria)
I’d like to make a point about the existence of the Hero. Someone who makes vampires say such, but that would just halt the story, so I silently urge her to talk.
“Most of them have magical barriers. It’s useless to hit a thick barrier with magical power like an idiot. So even arrows, spears, poisonous gas, or even wide-area magic is ineffective. In rare cases, there are heroes who have some knowledge of traps. However, there are only a few of them. In the first place, Heroes’ status is too high to be affected by such traps.” (Memoria)
“Are they really human?”
But there is a limit to how long I can keep my mouth shut and listen.
I wondered if the being Memoria was talking about was the same person as me, so I spoke up.
“I’m sure it’s a natural question for someone like you, but I’ve heard that they are human. You can believe it or not, but the fact is that the Demon Kings of the past have been defeated or killed by them. If you have a headache, you can think of heroes as such, and it will be a little better.” (Memoria)
The response was still the same, not even looking at me as she proceeded with the transaction, and the information was so far removed from reality that I began to feel a headache, just as she said.
“I will do that then. I can ignore the laws of physics to some extent, but I am keenly aware that there is still more to that.”
I can defend myself from being blown away by ignoring mass, and recently I’ve been able to run up a vertical wall, although it’s only a few meters.
But that’s not enough, I guess.
“In your case, you might be able to reach the same level with some effort, but for now, I think it would be wiser and faster to increase the number of hands, or in this case, people. It will be 3,400 yen.” (Memoria)
“I don’t think you’re implying that we’re going to stop hiring people in the future. I’ll pretend I didn’t hear it. For now, the first option is impossible for now, unless there is some kind of metallic slime that can raise your status rapidly. So the latter becomes more realistic. Well… We’ll discuss this issue later. Can’t it be a little higher?” [T/N: The metal slime references Dragon Quest’s Metal Slime that gives a ton of experience.]
“Bobgoblin fangs cost 8 yen, while Stone Puppet’s magic stone costs 36 yen, any complaints?” (Memoria) [T/N: Its Bobgoblin really, the author might be a Wallykazam! Fan. BTW I have no idea what this show is about.]
“…I don’t have… so don’t give me that look. It’s scary when you show your fangs and laugh when you don’t usually laugh, you know? There’s a telepathic call.”
“It’s on purpose. If you’re going to talk, do it outside the store. You’re interrupting my reading.” (Memoria)
“No, you should be tending to your customers… is not the time for that. Anyway, I’ll come back again.”
The sensation that my head is telling me that I am being called is still ringing.
For the time being, I will go outside.
I thought she said something while waving the book at me, but that’s not the case now.
The gentle telepathic ring from before is now blaring.
“Yes, Tanaka speaking.”
“That took a while.” (Speaker)
“Oh, it’s just Kaley-san.”
“I’m sorry I’m not Suela.” (Speaker => Suela)
I felt a little awkward, but I couldn’t help but understand when the other person reacted as soon as I answered.
The words just came out, and there is no deep meaning.
Well, it’s not that I don’t feel disappointed.
“I’m sorry, I was in the middle of selling.”
“Well it’s an emergency, so get out early, because I also have a job to do.” (Kaley)
“Yes, all the party leaders are to meet in Conference Room 3 at 6 p.m. You’re solo, but Evia-sama instructed that you should participate in this meeting, so don’t make the mistake of diving into the dungeon afterward. I’m the one who’s going to be scolded at.” (Kaley)
“It’s almost 6 pm, you know?”
“Don’t complain, this is just me making an office call while I’m trying to catch up to avoid having to work overtime.” (Kaley)
“Has it just been announced?”
“It seems so. Oh, that goblin over there, take this document over there… and watch out. Evia-sama was looking quite grim.” (Kaley)
“Thank you, but that’s some ominous information.”
“Give up because it’s happening, oh yeah, if you’re free next time, help me with work.” (Kaley)
“I don’t have much time, so if you’ll excuse me.”
When I heard the disturbing words, I terminated the telepathic call immediately.
We testers don’t have an hourly wage outside of work, I wondered who would want to work overtime without monetary compensation.
I’ve helped Keely once in the past when I had some spare time on my hands, but that was disastrous.
There was a mountain of paperwork that I couldn’t even see the end of. The Demon King’s army strengthens themselves physically strengthening and including their eyes and they process documents at a speed more than three times a normal human’s speed, It was not an experience I could ever forget.
At least to the extent that I wouldn’t be willing to help when asked.
Even so, the Demon King’s army has excellent employees who care about finishing those on time.
“Well, I don’t have time to change my clothes.”
The clock says that’s it’s exactly 5:30 pm, just enough to go to the meeting area.
I don’t have enough time to travel if I changed my clothes.
I will still walk home, so I can at least leave my weapons behind.
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