Before the tutorial begins chapter 20

Chapter 20 – Dungeon of Eternal Darkness


Dungeon City of Sakura – 336th Dungeon [Perpetual Darkness] Portal Gate Entrance

The time is 9:20 am.

After registering and changing in the locker room, Haruka and I immediately went to the [Perpetual Darkness] Portal Gate.

“Wow! It’s so crowded compared to [Lunar Eclipse]! The atmosphere is completely different!”

Haruka looks around at the lines of people, curiously scanning the area and telling me about the differences from the [Lunar Eclipse] dungeon every time her gaze moves.

“Look, Kyouichirou! The flickering around the door is purple, purple. Not blue!”

“Is that a minus for Haruka-san who loves blue?”

“No way! I think purple has its own charm, too.”

I nod deeply with a serious look on my face. But as expected, the color of the armor she’s wearing is blue.

The custom-made exploration suit, brand new special shoes, from the headress to the gloves, everything is the trademark blue color.

“Hey, Kyou-san is staring… If you stare at a girl like that, you’ll be found out~”
“No, I wasn’t! I was just checking my partner’s equipment as usual.”
“Then I’ll do the same~ Hmm hmm. I see, Kyou-san has a nice body.”
“What are you looking at?”

Even when I say that, I don’t really feel bad or anything. After all, no muscleman likes to be praised for his muscles.

“Next in line, please.”

Well, we continued this kind of pointless conversation for a while, and before I realized it, we had reached the front of the line.

I hand the navigator my adventurer’s license to read my registration information.

“No anomalies detected. Please proceed through this [Door].”

I get my card back and climb the stairs in front of the portal gate.

As I approach the massive swirling purple vortex in front of me, I feel the beginning of something taking shape with each step.

The moment has finally arrived.

“Let’s go, Kyouichirou!”
“Yes!”

With a little nervousness and a hundred times more excitement in my chest, I step forward.

I pass through the border of the purple vortex that connects this side to the other, into the dungeon.

Our adventure begins here.

—- Dungeon City Sakura – 336th Dungeon [Eternal Darkness] First Floor

In the span of seconds, in the span of tens of steps.

With the suddenness of a switch being flipped, the shape of the world changes.

The ceiling disappears and a vast crimson-purple sky looks down upon us.

And that’s not all.

The floor that felt good to walk on turns into the hard ground of a wasteland, the man-made walls disappear without a trace.

Sky, wasteland, rocks, wind.

The elements that make up the first floor are only these four.

“Wow! The atmosphere is really different from [Lunar Eclipse], huh! This place has a super wild vibe!”

“Well, dungeons are basically a [Space Between Worlds]. If anything, that orthodox maze type is more rare.”

I’m spouting off knowledge I’ve picked up, pretending to know what I’m talking about.

But the truth is, in dungeons, anything goes.

There’s the orthodox maze type like [Lunar Eclipse], and also outdoor types with wide open spaces like this. And for unusual ones, there are oceans, volcanoes, vast forests, arenas, and even weird cosmic stages.

…While wastelands and deserts are understandable, allowing space as a dungeon shows the warped sensibilities of the Dun Magi staff. Although I did have a lot of fun on that cosmic stage, I have to admit.

Anyway, for now, it’s [Eternal Darkness].

We have to go through this deep purple wasteland to get the cure.

“First, let’s decide on today’s objective.”

After saying goodbye to the newly arrived senior adventurers from the other side, I start a quick strategy meeting.

“In my opinion, I want to make it to the fifth floor for a midpoint.”
“That’s the place with the really big city, right?”
“You’re probably thinking of the [Five Great Dungeons]. Unfortunately, this one isn’t that big.”

I console Haruka when she dejectedly says, “Ehhh,” and subtly shift the conversation.

“The middle refers to the size of the dungeon. Larger dungeons tend to have more spacious areas, and popular dungeons tend to attract more people.

So it makes sense that the center of the largest and most popular [Five Great Dungeons] in Sakura is huge. Compared to that, the other dungeons really seem pitiful.”
“Ohh! So for us beginners, we can think of it as a deserted midpoint to camp around, okay?”

No, not okay.

I shake my head to the side and start talking again.

“It’s just relatively unimpressive compared to the [Five Great Dungeons]. Also, this midpoint has developed pretty well, so I don’t think the situation you’re worried about will happen.”

“Somehow, it also feels like it lacks atmosphere.”

I explained everything beforehand, and you even signed the various consent forms and contracts…

“Haruka-san, are you the kind of person who doesn’t read the documents given to you?”
“I just stamped them at random! Since Kyou-san took care of all the complicated stuff, that should be fine, right?”

Not okay at all. Damn, and I thought she was suspiciously quick to understand during the preparation, but she was on complete autopilot, huh.

Well, the paperwork should have all the necessary parental consent, so there’s probably no problem. …Most likely.

“Anyway, when you sign the paperwork, try to read it yourself first and show it to someone before you write it.”
“Got it!”

Good answer. So good, in fact, that I suspect she’s not thinking about it at all.

Ah, you’re so…

“But I also understand how you feel about wanting atmosphere and all that.”

However, there was a part of Haruka’s complaint that I could understand.

It’s true, isn’t it?

A resting place for adventurers has a more natural image, you know.

Sitting around a campfire, eating under the stars, sharing dreams in a tent, enjoying nature.

The true traveler, the adventurer. Unique, out-of-the-ordinary experiences for you, not available in the city.

“But it can’t be helped. People seek more comfortable things, and dungeons end up getting [features] for people to rest comfortably.

Instead of supply and demand, there are convenient [Features], so we end up using them… a very normal thing for humans to do.

Nothing to do but accept it.

“In other words, whether you’re an attack team or a work team, you’re here to work, so of course you’re going to take the easy way out, right? Hmm, even though it pains me, I’m convinced that this side of me understands.
“That’s how it is. Well, we can work hard during the day because we can relax at night. It’s all about how you look at it.”
“Yeah, got to stay positive, huh… Hmm. Yeah, yeah. Somehow I’m starting to look forward to the warm and cozy life, too!”

Haruka smiles pleasantly. I should learn from her speed in this positive direction.

“Then for today’s goal, let’s aim to pass the center of the fifth floor, Haruka-san.”
“Understood, Captain Dono. I, the unworthy Aono Haruka, promise to do my best, yes indeed!”

The stellar swordswoman gives her approval with a joking salute pose.

Votes: two. Approval rate: one hundred percent. Therefore, today’s arrival goal is set as passing the fifth floor.

“Alright, then let’s go right now.”
“Oh!”


…And so, even after getting pumped up, Haruka and I didn’t run into anything for about twenty minutes after that.

“Weird! So weird! Even though we walked so far, we didn’t find a single enemies!”

Haruka puffs her cheeks angrily as we step onto the deep purple earth.

It seems that combat elements are essential in her adventuring life.

“Don’t lose heart yet. If we keep going, something will show up eventually.”
“You said that a while ago! And still nothing has appeared!”
“Don’t throw a tantrum. Here, eat this and calm down a bit.”
“Mmm…! Ah, this is delicious!”

I hold out a baked good filled with chocolate in a pretzel (limited Sakura Frappuccino flavor) and somehow manage to improve her mood.

I don’t know how long this method will last, though. If she gets too anxious, Haruka might barge into another adventurer’s fight. Hmm, this is worrying.

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

“! Oh, look, Kyouichirou! The area around us has started to glow!”

And then, at that moment.

As if my worries had gotten through, the area around us suddenly began to glow ominously.

The ground lit up. Powerful waves stir the intuition. And the wind that caresses my skin somehow feels stronger.

Eventually the light divides into several spheres, each forming a column of heat.

The number is two, then four, six, eight… Damn. Over ten, huh?

For our first battle to be a group fight of this magnitude…

“Yes! So many! I can kill so many!”

That’s how it will turn out, at least in Haruka’s mind.

“Prepare for battle. Don’t let your guard down and don’t let your feet be pulled out from under you.”
“I know, I know. Let’s have fun without letting our guard down!”

We stand back to back and draw our weapons of choice. Of course I take weapon. And Haruka’s weapon is…

“What is that? It emits a crazy aura.”

It must be a high-level greatsword that emits pale blue spiritual energy. But there is something strange about it, something familiar.

“This is called [Aoku]. It’s a mystical divine blade that only our family head or representative can wield.”

Hold it…! That’s the sword Imouto used to defeat the Sword Prison Rakshasa on the original game! Why do you have something so dangerous on your hip?

“That’s a little…” Before I can spit out my huge and meaningless emotions, the preparations over there seem to be finished. Throwing her baggage to the ground, she carefully observes the enemy’s status.

“Gururururu.”
“Rugyagyaa.”
“Gegegegege.”

Landing in the deep purple wasteland, the new guests are uniformly covered in poisonous scales.

They were bipedal, wearing armor and weapons, but their appearance was decidedly reptilian.

“Lizardmen.”

Lizardmen. Each individual possesses powers unparalleled by goblins and kobolds, while being skilled in coordinated group combat.

Battling these most orthodox enemy spirits of [Eternal Darkness] will be a good test of our current abilities.

“Three archers on Haruka’s side. Haruka, I’ll leave them to you…”

It happened in an instant.

First, Haruka jumped. She leaped into the enemy ranks.

And probably sliced through them. I say probably because I couldn’t see her trajectory clearly. By the time I noticed, the necks of three lizardmen were dancing through the purple sky.

The victims were archers, as expected.

Unbelievable. The rearguard was destroyed before they even landed the backflip.

“Gyagyaa!?”
“Rugyagyagya!?”
“No way, dude.”

At that moment, I’m sure my feelings were in sync with those of the lizardmen.

“Mission accomplished, Captain!”

What is this monster?

It’s impossible if you think about it rationally! Why can you slash and cut enemies in the air with a backflip? Even the decapitated lizardmen are like, “What’s wrong with that girl?” as their heads fly!

“As expected, you’re just too amazing, Haruka-san!”

While feeling a mixture of despair and respect at a ratio of about three to seven, I attacked in a black rod form of my transformable weapon.

As we had seen during the trial, taking the initiative at the beginning of a group fight dramatically changes the course of the fight afterwards.

The damage that Haruka caused with that aerial attack wasn’t just the physical loss of the long-range powers.

Rather, the greatest effect of her actions was the massive mental damage she inflicted on their minds.

Confusion from having exploited an opening.

Despair at realizing the difference in combat power.

And fear that they might be wiped out the next moment.

“Gegyagya!?”
“Gugyagyagyage!”
“Gigi, gyagigi, gugya!”

It’s only natural that the lizard warriors, with multiple negative emotions exploding at the same time, started to panic together.

For them, mental stress is a much more troublesome pathogen than minor physical damage.

In the game, they have been portrayed as a race skilled in group combat.

However, even though they specialize in group combat, it’s not due to efficient action through organization.

Their strength lies in collectivization through shared consciousness-in other words, the synchronization of minds.

That’s right, the thoughts and feelings of the lizardmen are synchronized on a group level.

So while they’re very easy to lead as a group, when a shocking event like this happens, the panic of the individuals interferes with each other, resulting in dozens or even hundreds of times the negative emotions corroding their minds.

A unified mind is an ideal in group combat.

But if it is not achieved as a metaphor, and with so many members no less, it will fragilely crumble.

Having to share the fear of others, I truly sympathize with you lizard warriors. It must be hard for you.

“Gege, gigigegi, gogiga!”

One of the lizardmen shouted something in a shrill voice.

I don’t understand the meaning of the words, but he must be scolding the others around him to calm down. I see, so that one is the leader. In that case…

“Nice to meet you, Captain. And goodbye!”

Lightning Attack from Acceleration. Blowing away the panicked lizards as I aim for the leader’s head.

Psst!

I slam my weapon into the lizard captain’s neck with all my might. A full swing that pours everything into brute force without refinement or composure.

Yes, reckless and stupid suits me best.

“Gi, gigigi!”

But here the Captain class shows his spirit. He imbues his drawn scimitar with spiritual power and forcibly brings it to a pushing match.

Impressive. Not only his leadership, but also his actual skill is a cut above the rest.
But…

“You picked the wrong opponent.”

Crack, the razor-thin blade of the scimitar developed cracks. The path to destruction from there was instantaneous.

Ultra-mass, ultra-hardness, ultra-muscles. My fierce, aspect enhanced swing shattered the lizard man’s skull along with the scimitar.

Flesh bursts, bones crack, the death throes are consumed along with the vocal chords.

And so, using the biceps brachii as I see fit, I smash the remains of the enemy commander to the ground.

“Ruaa!”

A loud bang, like the stamp of a giant, echoed across the purple wasteland.

At the center of the swirling dust are the remains of the former Lizardman leader.

The horribly mangled chunks of flesh that were the commander’s body vanish into particles of light. Good game. I hope you will be matched with a better adventurer the next time you log in.

“Now then…”

I look ahead at the situation.

The rearguard was destroyed in the first move, the relieved commander was crushed, and in the back, Haruka, the stellar swordsman, probably killed a ton of lizards.

It’s impossible for them to remain calm after witnessing such a tragedy.

Some are trying to physically flee, some are trying to log out of the dungeon, some are screaming in pain… the battlefield is collapsing due to shared negative emotions. Hunting them now is extremely easy.

“I hold no grudge against you, but hey, you can resurrect, right? Take this as an experience and go back to the other world.”

Apology complete. Well then, I’ll hunt without reservation.

“Woora!”

First, I slaughter the lizard trying to log out of the dungeon.

It clings desperately to life. However, a forced return to the spirit world is not allowed.

“Gigii!?”

Next, I approach the lizard running away with its back turned… and it’s a home run swing.

The Ekzakksu swung into his spine hits its mark, and the lizard warrior disappears as a particle of light, disappearing into the distant sky.

I step back to the still hysterical lizards. Well, what can you do? Their mental weakness doesn’t match the flavor text.

“Hraa!”

I indiscriminately smash and crush the remaining lizardmen to end the battle.

Even though I fought without using any physical enhancement skills, I think I did quite well in this battle.





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