Before the tutorial begins chapter 2

Chapter 2: Meeting the Ultimate Hidden Boss

Shimizu Household – Kyoiichiro’s Room

After tucking my sister into bed, I secluded myself in my own room, contemplating any viable ideas that could help us.

If we continued to pass the time idly, my sister and I would end up as mere stepping stones and supporting characters for the protagonist’s triumphs and emotional moments.

That is completely unacceptable. I reject it entirely.

As worthless as I am, Kyoiichiro, the pathetic wannabe boss, I must ensure the happiness of my angelic sister, no matter what.

“I will definitely save my sister.”

I utilized all my gaming knowledge to brainstorm ways to lift my sister’s curse.

The first idea that came to mind was seeking help from a powerful “Cursed Expert” that appeared in the game.

Fortunately, this is three years before the main story begins.

My sister’s condition still seems mild, so I thought it might be a good plan… but…

[My name is Belfegi, a wandering curse breaker, here for the same reason as other adventurers. Nice to meet you.]

Now that I think about it, he doesn’t arrive here until three years later.

“No, that won’t be effective. It won’t happen in time.”

At the beginning of the game, a saint with healing cheats appears, but relying on in-game characters seems challenging.

… What about items? If characters aren’t an option, maybe they can help?

If the curse is still in its early stages, it should be curable with a versatile healing potion.

If this were the same world of Danmagi, I would assume the Elixir is hidden in that dungeon. As someone familiar with the game’s strategy, I might have a chance to obtain it.

…But hold on, I’m Kyoiichiro.

I’m not the all-powerful protagonist with an inherent powerful spirit. I’m just a wannabe mid-boss in the tutorial.

I have no companions. I have no talent. I don’t even have a spirit at this stage.

I’m in trouble.

“…Perhaps I should change my perspective.”

Instead of thinking like a gamer, let’s analyze the current situation from the viewpoint of a web novel enthusiast.

Usually, the protagonist in a reincarnation story possesses some sort of cheat ability.

It could be a divine blessing or immense magical power acquired through lifelong training.

An external talent. It’s a crucial element in the early stages and a significant highlight of a reincarnation story.

So, let’s reassess my own specifications.

Um, my name is Kyoiichiro Shimizu. My ability is worthless. My performance is terrible. I’m just a boss wannabe with an attitude problem, and I probably don’t even have friends, let alone companions. The only advantage I have is my beautiful and angelic sister. That’s it.

…It’s truly pathetic, but that’s who Kyoiichiro Shimizu is.

Weak. Overwhelmingly weak. I’m even more feeble than a random Chihuahua.

To rapidly become strong as a representative weak character like me, what should I do?

Hehe, that’s where the web novel teacher comes in.

The teacher says, “To become strong, you just need to acquire a powerful spirit!”

That’s a profound realization. To gain strength in another world, all you need is a potent external source. How simple and clear. It’s fortunate that I immersed myself in web novels before being reincarnated!

However, before me, who had this epiphany about web novel theory, stood a wall called reality.

What are the conditions for acquiring a spirit? How powerful should it be? What should be the goal?

It’s not just about being strong; it’s not just about being usable.

What I need is a spirit that aligns with my goal. Without determining that, discussing it is pointless.

In Danmagi alone, there are hundreds of spirits, even in the base game. Naturally, I must select a spirit that suits my objective.

It’s a challenging task, but Kyoiichiro, all you can do now is think. Don’t take shortcuts. Don’t compromise. Don’t give up.

Think, think, think!

After contemplating for a long time, I finally wrote the following sentences in my notebook in my room:

[Requirements: The presence of a spirit with sufficient power to conquer a dungeon where elixirs can be obtained.

If the spirit is capable of lifting the curse on my sister, that would be even better.

Let’s assume that obtaining the spirit is relatively easy, considering my current abilities.]

As I finished writing and reread it, I realized that I only wrote convenient things.

If there were an incredibly powerful spirit that could be easily obtained, it would undoubtedly be cheating.

Cheating. Fake. It doesn’t matter. Insulting such ideas means nothing if it saves my sister’s life.

But alas, such a fortuitous existence cannot be so easily obtained.

Oh, gosh! I don’t care if it’s considered cheating or anything; please, I implore you, save my sister’s life.

“…Wait a minute.”

That’s when it dawned on me.

My sister. Yes, my sister.

In the world of “Danmagi,” my sister always meets her demise.

Whether it’s witnessed by the protagonist or happens in solitude, Shimizu Ayaka’s death is an unalterable event, rendering any hope of salvation futile.

Why would the production company subject my sister to such a fate? It sickens me, but there are two possible explanations.

One reason is from a narrative perspective.

My sister’s death will profoundly impact the protagonists’ thinking thereafter.

The protagonists, having experienced the tragedy of Shimizu Ayaka, will continuously remember her, mourn her loss, and fortify their resolve to fight.

“To prevent further sacrifices like her.”

“Ayaka-san, please watch over us from heaven.”

I might have uttered something noble, but ultimately, my sister’s role was to aid the protagonists’ psychological growth through her demise.

That is the first reason behind my sister’s demise.

At the time, I shed tears while playing, but as someone directly involved, it felt nothing but unjust.

Death for the sake of the protagonists’ development? Why did my sister have to become a sacrifice for such a trivial reason?

…Well, it doesn’t matter now. What’s crucial is what comes next.

Undoubtedly, my sister’s death held narrative significance, facilitating the protagonists’ growth (laughs).

However, that’s not the sole significance.

Shimizu Ayaka’s death also holds importance in the progression of the game.

In the final stages of the event, as my sister lay on her deathbed, she summoned her last ounce of strength to entrust an item to the protagonist.

“Please offer this flower to the gods. I can no longer fulfill this task.”

It was the key to the old shrine, long forgotten and abandoned. And after my sister’s passing, the protagonist places the flower in the designated spot as instructed.

It’s a poignant scene. I was moved as well. But now, it feels like a malicious setup.

However, it is later revealed that something extraordinary occurred within this shrine.

Deep within the shrine grounds, secluded and withered, a hidden boss was slumbering.

This fact only becomes known after defeating the final boss and completing the game.

There exists an item called the “Ancient Manuscript of Overcoming,” which can only be obtained by players who have conquered all the dungeons and mastered all additional elements. And if one recites the words inscribed in that manuscript at the aforementioned shrine, voila! The hidden boss awakens. The end.

…Wait, that’s not a happy ending at all! Why did they use my sister’s keepsake to unlock the shrine? And why did the production company make my sister’s death a condition for unlocking the hidden boss? Damn them!

But amidst this sickening and twisted development, an opportunity presents itself.

The conditions for encountering the hidden boss are simple: 1) Obtain the key to the shrine grounds, and 2) Recite the contents of the Ancient Manuscript of Overcoming. That’s all.

And I can easily fulfill these two conditions.

I simply need to borrow the key to the shrine grounds from my sister, the rightful owner, and I don’t require the contents of the Ancient Manuscript since they’re already deeply ingrained in my gamer brain!

Oh, boy, I’m getting excited. The weakest boss forming a pact with the mightiest hidden boss? It’s the ultimate cliché.

If I can successfully harness their power, I should be able to resolve both my problem and my sister’s curse simultaneously.

If it comes down to a battle, I’m already in a tight spot and it’s game over for me.

But I will utilize all my gaming knowledge and seize this opportunity without fail.

“Okay, let’s do this.”

With renewed determination and unwavering resolve, I will chart the course of my future actions.

First and foremost, I need to confront the hidden boss.

Everything hinges on that.

The following day, I borrowed the key to the shrine grounds from my sister and headed straight to the shrine.

Thanks to the map app on my smartphone and the guide map provided by my sister, I reached the shrine surprisingly easily.

Yet, I could never have imagined that I would one day be riding a bicycle through the streets of Sakura.

At first glance, it may not resemble an urban area, but the towering buildings and majestic trees scattered about make it truly captivating.

“Have I truly entered the world of Danmagi?”

Contemplating such thoughts, I found myself standing before my destination without even realizing it.

It was an abandoned shrine, fallen into disuse.

Once tended to by a distant ancestor of the Shimizu family, it now stood devoid of any priests. My sister, who had received the key from our mother, would only visit periodically to clean the shrine.

Ordinarily, one wouldn’t expect to find a hidden boss in a place like this.

Using the key bestowed upon me by my sister, I unlocked the door leading to the shrine grounds.

With a satisfying click, the lock disengaged.

“Well then, let’s proceed.”

I retrieved a flashlight from my backpack and ventured forth into the dimly lit surroundings.

The atmosphere carried a sense of anticipation, as if something were about to materialize. However, I encountered nothing out of the ordinary and arrived at my destination.

“Here it is.”

The beam from my flashlight illuminated the center of the darkness.

A solitary deity resided there.

Within the spacious expanse, there stood only one statue—a girl in a serene lotus position. Her posture exuded both tranquility, ephemeral beauty and sense of transience.

A lone deity enshrined within a forgotten shrine, abandoned by faith.

If I recite the words from the ancient manuscript in front of this statue, it should guide me to the hidden boss…
“For now, let’s give it a try.”

I recited the words engraved within the recesses of my memory from the ancient manuscript.

“The veil of time, where the light of heaven casts no shadows upon all things. Should that which was lost and forgotten be found, then guide me to the culmination of cause and effect.”

Upon concluding the not-so-lengthy chuunibyou-esque incantation, I anxiously awaited the statue’s response.

It should work, or else everything will vanish into thin air.

“Please, hidden boss. I implore you to answer my call.”

I fervently prayed, though it felt rather embarrassing to rely on a god so soon after arriving in this new world.

Yet, I have no other recourse at this moment.

I lack the strength to live by lofty principles and virtues like Kyoiichiro.

“The veil of time, where the light of heaven casts no shadows upon all things. Should that which was lost and forgotten be found, then guide me to the culmination of cause and effect.The veil of time, where the light of heaven casts no shadows upon all things. Should that which was lost and forgotten be found, then guide me to the culmination of cause and effect.The veil of time, where the light of heaven casts no shadows upon all things. Should that which was lost and forgotten be found, then guide me to the culmination of cause and effect….!”

Continuing to repeat the words from the ancient manuscript, I desperately hoped for the emergence of the mighty spirit. We needed its power.

Suddenly, a mechanical voice reverberated through the darkness. “Confirming startup protocol. Clearing biometric authentication. Detecting DNA of the deceased. Rewriting phase texture. Transitioning to dialogue mode.”

Accompanied by the inorganic voice echoing in the darkness, the statue before me began to emit a dazzling light.

Ah, this is it. This is what I’ve been waiting for.

The radiance illuminating the dim shrine, accompanied by the emotionless electronic words…

This is undoubtedly…

“The hidden boss event!”

Standing alone in the center of the shrine, bathed in the glow of white light, I struck a triumphant pose.

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