Before the tutorial begins chapter 9 part 1

Chapter 9: The Reaper of the Dungeon and the Sword of the Six Flowers, Part 2

Dungeon City Sakuraka – 27th Dungeon [Eclipse] 1st Floor

Surviving the unexpected first battle that commenced at an unforeseen moment, I now found myself climbing the corridor walls in pursuit of the girl with the blue hairpin.

The girl displayed superhuman movements, running on the walls effortlessly. As a spirit user, such abilities were beyond my reach.

Instead, I opted for a more conventional wall climbing technique.

Currently, I employed a basic spirit technique called “Force Field Formation” to create a force field of spiritual power in my palms. This allowed me to support my body weight with just my fingertips.

To put it simply, it was like sticking durable and sharp picks into the walls as I climbed.

Although this method lacked the speed and flair of wall running, it was easier and safer.

“However, climbing a considerably tall wall within a minute requires significant mastery, Master.”

“Well, I’ve been training, so yeah.”

I reached the ceiling of the corridor and hoisted myself onto the platform, taking advantage of the ample space between the walls.

Thanks to the thickness between the walls, there was plenty of space even if I lightly kneeled on the floor of the next floor.

“Or rather, this is another maze, isn’t it?” Amazed, I found myself uttering these words, accompanied by a sigh of admiration.

Naturally, the upper levels of a labyrinth were as intricate and convoluted as the lower ones, created by the complex arrangement of walls.

But why does something so apparent appear remarkably vibrant and radiant? With blue ground, blue ceiling, blue walls, and a blue maze, the labyrinth of blue, when viewed from an elevated position, exuded such exquisite beauty that attempting to capture it in words felt almost indecorous.

“Now, Master, as expected, I cannot spot her anywhere. What should we do?”

Al’s voice interrupted my moment of awe, jolting me back to reality.

The efficiency enthusiast always remained level-headed.

“Let’s take this as a lesson for the future. So, you’re asking about our next course of action, right?”


Drawing from my gaming knowledge, I proposed a suggestion to Al.

“We have two options. One is to recklessly search from above, and the other is to inquire about her whereabouts. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.”

“Please enlighten me.”

I nodded and continued.

“The advantage of searching from above is that if we’re lucky, we can quickly find her. The disadvantage is that it takes time if she proves elusive.”

“It’s quite uncertain, isn’t it?”

“No, it’s not as much of a gamble as Al thinks. We’re not tracking her movement but rather anticipating the place she will eventually reach. I have an idea.”

I recalled a scene from a particular route in the game.

In a dimly lit café, a remorseful man recounted his past to the protagonists, his face filled with regret.

“If the story follows the original, she should head towards the examiner named Nikaido. I believe we have a high chance of encountering her if we aim for that location.”

“I see. And what about the second method?”

“For now, the approach from above remains the same. However, it could be anyone. Once we find someone, we descend and inquire about Examiner Nikaido’s whereabouts.”

Examiners have already explored the dungeon path beforehand and exchanged information with each other.

Their role involves patrolling and administering trials to ensure the safety of examinees and prevent cheating. They follow a rotating routine.

In the game, Examiner Nikaido mentioned “in their assigned position,” hinting that the trial location may be fixed.

“So, our plan is to determine their assigned positions, right?”


“I understand the advantages. If we succeed, we can definitely find out where she’ll be.”

“That’s correct.”

“And what about the disadvantages?”

I pause, considering Al’s critical question.

“First, it takes time, even though it’s safe. We have to descend and inquire about Examiner Nikaido’s location, which might be time-consuming in certain cases.”

“So you’re suggesting that continuing exploration without descending might be faster in the end?”

“That’s right. And there’s another more significant problem.”

I visualize the situation in my mind: descending in front of the examiner and asking about the locations of other examiners.

“It’s highly likely that it will lead to a battle. Trials are meant to pose challenges, and it’s unreasonable to expect them to disclose the locations of other examiners, especially if we’re not undergoing their trials.”

“Yes, you’re right.”

I recall that the adventurer exams in the game had a similar setup. Defeating the examiner in the trial would reveal the location of the next examiner, guiding the player’s next action.

“Consuming time is certain, along with the possibility of battling the examiner if we choose to descend and ask. It seems quite troublesome from our perspective.”

“I see.”

After contemplating for a moment, I firmly state, “The latter option.”

With my usual calm voice, I choose the path that inevitably leads to combat.


Having decided on a plan with Al, I spend around five minutes running around the upper part of the dungeon. Fortunate with a bit of luck and a touch of misfortune, I successfully discover the assigned position of a different examiner.

“As expected, luck is not on your side, Master.”

“Shut up.”

“Don’t underestimate the luck of Kouichiro Shimizu, who will lead our family to extinction if left alone.”

“Anyway, let’s continue searching for Examiner Nikaido. Consuming time, stamina, and spiritual power is not efficient, in my opinion.”

Al, the efficiency enthusiast, counters my sarcastic remark.

“What you’re saying, Master, is a one-sided opinion. What is our true goal? To achieve good results and become adventurers, right?”


It was an irrefutable argument.

While I chose this trial because of her, our purpose in taking the exam is to become adventurers.

“I’m not saying we should disregard her. But instead of confusing what you want to do with what you should do, let’s choose a strategy that can achieve both.”

“Yeah… Sorry, I was too impatient.”

“Impatience clouds judgment. Keep your heart passionate and your mind calm. It’s a phrase that has been used and worn out, but it’s an important factor in moving forward, Master.”

I nod in agreement with Al’s advice, psyching myself up as the sound of a slap resonates through the Azure Labyrinth, calming my overly excited emotions.


“Okay, let’s do it. It’s a clear path to fulfill both my desires and obligations.”

With renewed determination, I soar through the sky, my body losing its foothold and descending downwards.

The sensation of losing support is somewhat unique and slightly thrilling.

“Master, I grant you enhanced defense.”

“I understand.”

Bestowed by the defensive skills of “Armor Reinforcement” and “Impact Mitigation” upon my rapidly approaching body as it nears the examiner’s designated position. With enhanced physical resilience and shock resistance, my body demonstrates superhuman abilities, unaffected by the freefall from a great height.

The impact with the ground is minimal, and the landing without a rope is incredibly smooth.

“Well-trained, aren’t you?”

As soon as I touch the ground, a pleasant compliment reaches my ears.

“Moving to great heights is an essential skill for adventurers, but it’s rare for someone at your level to excel to this extent.”

“I apologize for the trouble, Examiner.”

I bow my head to the red-haired female examiner.

Of all people, it had to be her assigned location. Truly, luck is not on my side.

“Now, let me explain. This is the place where the examiner directly assesses the abilities of the examinees. The person in charge is Akabane. You can choose to undergo my trial here or avoid it. Choose whichever you prefer.”

“Before that, may I ask you a question?”

I pretend to ask Akabane-san, the female examiner, and immediately get to the main point.

“Go ahead. …You really like asking questions, don’t you?”

“I apologize.”

“Well, go ahead. What’s your question?”

“Yes, I would like to know the whereabouts of the other examiners.”

Akabane-san’s stern face twists with surprise.

“What do you intend to do with that information?”

“I want to take on all the trials.”

There was a different reason behind my true motive, but for now, I make up a suitable reason that would be expected of an examinee.

“Oh, so you not only want to take on one trial, but also the others. You’re quite a determined young man.”

“Thank you. And what’s your answer?”

“Of course, I’ll tell you. …However,”

In an instant, Akabane-san’s right hand starts to glow.

Seeing the circular light resembling a magic circle expanding from her palm, I immediately prepare my weapon.

Is that red glow some kind of attack? No, maybe it’s a summoning type?

“If you can land a blow on me,”

Akabane-san declares confidently as she holds the red-black lance that appeared from the crimson circle.

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