Before the tutorial begins chapter 7

Chapter 7: Opening! Adventurer’s Exam!


Dungeon City Sakura-Flower, Entrance to Dungeon No. 27 [Eclipse]


It’s the iconic stage in every game and web novel, a sacred place of dreams and adventure.

Dangerous enemies, terrifying traps, and a mighty boss await at the deepest part.

Fighting and drama always captivate those who witness this fantastic wonderland.

That is the dungeon!

… It would be great if that’s all there is to it, but reality gets in the way.

Who would willingly go to such a scary place?

Except for brave souls seeking thrills and those who see life as a battle, such dangerous places are nothing but harmful.

That’s why in many games and web novels, there is always a reason to conquer dungeons.

For example, positive reasons like enormous wealth and treasures sleeping in the depths of the dungeon.

Or negative reasons like the world being in danger if the spawning monsters are not eliminated.

Depending on the tone of the work, the reasons can vary, but a dungeon can only be conquered if there is a reason to do so.

So, what about the Dungeon Magi series? Basically, it has positive reasons.

The keyword is spirit stones.

These beautiful crystals are obtained by defeating enemy spirits inside the dungeon. They are said to be solidified astral bodies, but that doesn’t matter much at this point. What’s important is their uses.

Uses, in other words, how to handle them, their applications, or even their effects.

The possibilities of this item in terms of “what it can do” are almost limitless.

This spirit stone can be converted into any form of energy, surpassing fossil fuels in efficiency and causing no harm to the surroundings.

Thanks to this, in this world, only a few anti-spirit factions use fossil fuels, and other alternative energies have not been properly developed.

In various ways, it’s dangerous, isn’t it?

Now, getting back to the story, there are, of course, valuable weapons and rare items in the dungeons, as is customary in RPGs.

But what is needed in modern society is not magical weapons but magical-like energy.

And, needless to say, becoming the undisputed leader in that field.

The income source for adventurers who venture into dungeons mostly comes from these spirit stones.


What’s important to us is not this high-efficiency and clean gold-like universal energy.

While we respect the pioneers who dive into the dungeons, risking their lives to protect everyone, our purpose is different.

The miraculous treasure hidden within the depths of the dungeon is beyond human comprehension.

Within its confines lies the universal healing potion, capable of curing even Sister’s curse.

“[Master, is it finally time?]”

Al’s voice resounds directly in my mind.

Thanks to the skill “Thought Sharing,” a unique ability shared only between spirits and their contractors, I can clearly hear the reassuring voice of my partner as she relaxes at home.

“Ah, it’s finally happening.”

I let out a sigh filled with emotions as I gaze up at the majestic cherry blossom tree.

This is one of the many dungeons in Sakura-Flower City, known as [Eclipse].

It marks a significant step towards my goal of fully restoring Sister, ever since I was transported to this world.

To make progress in that regard, I make my way towards the dungeon entrance.

A massive door stands at the base of the cherry blossom tree.

I channel spiritual power into my right arm and gently push it open. The door effortlessly swings open, as if weightless.

“This must be a test, right?”

If you possess spiritual power, opening the door is easy, but without it, moving forward is impossible unless you possess exceptional physical strength.

Just as the game settings dictate.

Whether it’s good or bad, specifically on this day and in this place, I do not know.

But one thing I can say with certainty is this: Today, here, I become an adventurer.


The Sakura-Flower dungeon is primarily housed within a grand tree. Though it may sound fantastical, it has a modern design.

The marble floors and bright, predominantly white walls are complemented by the presence of elevators and escalators. In the center, an electronic bulletin board displays a 3D model character enthusiastically sharing the schedule for the week.

“Wow, the ambiance of the temple has certainly changed since our last visit,” the protagonist remarks.

The enchanting voice of the hidden boss resonates within their mind.

Since what I see is also visible to Al through “Thought Sharing,” I suppose this is her opinion based on that.

By the way, Al won’t be participating in the adventurer’s exam. In fact, she physically can’t.

That’s due to the principle called the “Interdimensional Non-interference Rule.”

The Interdimensional Non-interference Rule is a regulation on the other side that prohibits spirit entities enrolled in the human realm from physically entering the dungeon.

At first glance, it may seem like an arbitrary reasoning, but rest assured.

What it truly restricts is adding the spirit entity itself as a party member, not the power of the spirit.

Therefore, spirits can still participate in battles through skill activation, supplying spiritual power, summoning, manifestation skills, or via a contract form called “Possession Integrated Type.” In reality, it’s not such a strict limitation.

Spirits cannot become adventurers.

In short, the restriction of the Interdimensional Non-interference Rule is just that.

It’s easy to understand, but it’s not relevant to the main story—honestly, this is the extent of how this character (me) is treated among players.

Neither the protagonist nor the five main heroines violate the rules. There’s no connection at all.

In essence, the Interdimensional Non-interference Rule is just empty air!

There are very few rules that fit the phrase “Who cares?” so perfectly.

Or rather, it’s a one-sided loss for us, but we shouldn’t worry about it.

What matters is that Al won’t be able to cause trouble due to such reasons.

…Well, technically, if it were the strongest hidden boss, they might be able to disregard such reasoning and invade. However, that would likely result in highly troublesome problems later on, so let’s disregard that possibility for now.

Crying and lamenting over the inability to become an adventurer due to rule-breaking won’t solve anything, that much was clear.

As long as we didn’t find ourselves in a completely hopeless situation, we would give it our all as human beings. That was our determination.

But a temple, huh? A temple… Hmm?

“Oh, right. Dungeons used to be revered as shrines where gods resided, right?”

“Yes, they were considered sacred places where divine miracles occurred, sometimes utilized by those in power and religious figures.”

It was a rather vague way of putting it.

There must have been something significant in the past. If possible, I would have liked to learn more about the circumstances surrounding that as well…

“Master, does it fit into your schedule?”

“Oh, right. It’s about time.”

Glancing at the clock on my smartphone, I realized that quite a bit of time had passed.

I hurried to the reception desk, received a nameplate with my examination number, and followed the guidance of the receptionist to the fifteenth-floor [Portal Gate].

In the nearly silent elevator, we smoothly ascended for a few seconds.

With the chime of arrival, the doors to the fifteenth floor opened.

“Oh… Oh!?”

The scene that unfolded before me was completely different from before.

Rugged walls covered in countless long, transparent pipes.

The pale blue light flowing through them resembled electric currents, giving the area a distinct cyberpunk vibe.

Following the direction with my eyes, I spotted a towering, imposing gate.

“The Portal Gate… The real one…”

At that moment, my excitement soared at an explosive speed.

The fantastical scenery, the vibrant sounds, the unique scent—everything was absolutely fantastic. If possible, I would have loved to spend the entire day exploring this floor.

However, reality didn’t progress so conveniently. This wasn’t a sacred land for Danmagi enthusiasts; it was an examination venue.

And so, instead of a warm welcome, what greeted my ears were straightforward questions.

“What is your examination number and name?”

Among the crowd gathered near the gate, a woman in armor at the center urged me to state my name.

“I am examination participant number 26, Kyoichiro Shimizu.”

The armored woman, who appeared to be checking a checklist, gestured towards the back row of examinees and instructed, “Line up there.”

Following her guidance, I positioned myself as instructed and decided to discreetly observe the behavior of my fellow competitors.

There were approximately 400 examinees in total.

Of that number, 70% were humans, while the remaining 30% consisted of different species. I also noticed a few individuals with foreign lineage scattered among the crowd, although their numbers were small.

Most of the examinees fell into the young adult age group, mostly in their twenties, about five years older than me. The next largest age group appeared slightly older, and only around 10% could be identified as teenagers.

Among this small group of teenagers, I noticed her presence.

She had long hair the color of wet blue feathers, almond-shaped green eyes, and wore an accessory resembling a snowflake on her bangs, along with a ribbon of the same color tied to the back of her hair.

It seemed she had a preference for cool-toned colors.

All of her accessories shared a unified design based on blue.

[Master, she is…]

I silently nodded in agreement with Al’s observation.

Although it was my first time seeing her in person, her beautiful face bore a striking resemblance to a certain heroine from a popular novel.

“Now, let’s begin the explanation of the main exam.”

While I observed the other examinees, it became apparent that the designated gathering time had passed.

I focused my attention and listened to the words of the red-haired examiner.

“The exam will take place on the first floor of this dungeon. You will engage in a 90-minute exploration activity. However, you must use the equipment we have provided in advance.”

In other words, we were required to dive into the dungeon and embark on an hour and a half of adventure.

Those who earned a certain amount during that time would pass the exam without any complaints.

Additionally, examinees who cleared the special trials prepared by the examiners would receive bonus points. It seemed that this was also the case in this world.

“Cooperative actions among examinees are allowed only in combat situations. However, please keep in mind that the evaluation points for such actions will vary depending on the number of people involved.”

Although the statement was expressed in a roundabout way, it essentially meant that forming a party would result in fewer points than defeating enemies alone.

Well, if parties were allowed, all examinees could form a party, and everyone would pass. So it was a reasonable compromise. Forming a party would make combat easier, but in return, individuals would have to hunt more than solo players.

“Furthermore, the transfer of spirit stones between examinees is strictly prohibited. Engaging in acts of plundering is naturally not allowed. If any such actions are discovered, immediate disqualification will be enforced, and the privilege to take the exam in the future will be revoked. Please bear this in mind.”

At first glance, it may sound like the female examiner was threatening us, but in reality, she was referring to not exchanging answer sheets or forcibly taking someone else’s answer sheet as one’s own.

It served as a penalty for those who couldn’t even follow the minimum rules, and it was within a reasonable range.

“That concludes the explanation for the main exam. If you have any questions, please raise your hand promptly.”

After the examiner’s explanation, it was time for questions.

Among the other examinees, I raised my hand and, to my surprise, I was chosen as the first questioner.

Today was my lucky day.

“Please state your question.”

“Yes. I have two points that I would like to ask about. One is regarding the availability of the ‘Ring of Return’ in this exam. And the other is about the security situation on the operator’s side in this exam.”

My question seemed to pique interest as the female examiner blinked for a moment before answering with a slightly puzzled expression,

“As for the ‘Ring of Return,’ ah, we haven’t prepared it. This is a cleared dungeon, and the exam venue is on the first floor. Since the portal gate on the other side is right in front of us, it is impossible to distribute a ‘Ring of Return’ to each person due to budget constraints. Please understand.”

Upon hearing the examiner’s response, some of the examinees chuckled.

It was quite embarrassing, but their reaction was only natural.

The ‘Ring of Return,’ a convenient item that allowed one to return to this world, even the cheapest one cost a six-digit number in our world.

Using it on the easiest first floor would be a complete waste of money.

I asked about it just in case, but as expected, the answer was no.

“As for the second question, myself and my two subordinates will oversee the security. It is our duty to provide challenges, but we will do our best to ensure that you can approach the exam with confidence. That concludes the answer to the question. Are you satisfied?”

“Yes, thank you.”

Internally, I hesitated for a moment but decided not to press further with additional questions.

I knew that even if I asked for increased security due to my concerns, it would likely be rejected.

It wasn’t that the examiners were being careless. They were probably taking the utmost precautions for our safety.

However, those precautions were based on the first level of the beginner’s dungeon as the maximum standard.

“I can’t help it. Master’s concerns are just baseless worries that should be dismissed as groundless.”

“I understand. I’m not sad, and I’m not despairing. I just didn’t want to sit around and do nothing.”

“Well, if that’s the case, then it’s fine. Good luck.”


Receiving words of encouragement in their own way lifted my slightly sinking mood.

I was determined to take on the adventurer’s exam.

No matter what challenges awaited me, I was determined to overcome them and emerge victorious.

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