Before the tutorial begins chapter 23

Chapter 23 – First Midpoint – The City Within the Dungeon

—– Dungeon Town of Sakura – 336th Dungeon [Eternal Darkness] Fifth Floor

“You went all out, huh~”

The breezy voice ringing in my ear after I finished my work is, of course, none other than Haruka-san.

It seems she was somewhat satisfied after chopping up that evil ogre’s severed head, her mood much brighter.

“I just misjudged my power a bit.”
“Oh! You’re giving off a strong guy vibe now! If you randomly raise your right hand like ‘guupaa’, it’ll be even more so!”

I try to do it as requested. Guupaa. “Kyaa! Kyou-san so cool!” comes the obviously exaggerated cheer. I know she’s joking, but for some reason my cheap need for approval is strangely satisfied. I really am pathetic.

But it is also a fact that I have misjudged my power.

The huge crater spread out at my feet. The several pillars were blown away by the impact. The immediate walls were reduced to tragic rubble.

The mid-boss’ skull was pulverized to nothing, yet he still had so much power. Dangerous. Far too dangerous. This is not the kind of firepower a tutorial mid-boss should have. At this rate, it’s not Shimizu Kyouichirou, it’s KYOUICHIROU. …What was that, KYOUICHIROU? Just a slight smile lets him capture heroines, and stroking their heads makes the girls fall in love with him, or something? No, no, that’s too much…

“Stroking heads without permission is just plain sexual harassment…”
“Kyou-san, you’re thinking something weird again, aren’t you?”

“No way, not at all? There’s not a microscopic speck of something like that in my head.”

I shake my head randomly and switch gears in my mind.

That’s right. The problem isn’t me. The root of all evil is this weapon of mass destruction.

The handy transformation ability catches the eye, but the true value of this thing lies in its toughness and weight – this was made clear in this fight.

Especially the synergy with multiple Arm Strength enhancements is crazy. With the simple logic of hitting hard things with power, I can one-shot physical-type mid-bosses.

In fact, based on the sensation of the hit, if I hadn’t cast Impact Absorption, it would have been pretty bad for me too… Yes, I should be more careful with the dosage of Arm Strength Enhancer from now on.

“So how’d it go for you, Haruka?”
“Eh~ Well, I’d say decently enough?”

Haruka smiles shyly, seemingly a little embarrassed. At first glance, it’s a very charming gesture, but I know the truth.

This excellent swordsman was cheerfully encouraging the crazy multifaceted ogre while he was cleanly peeling off its faces one by one.

Psycho. A super positive psycho.

“No, no, that was the result of seriously fighting with everything I had, and…”

The defendant’s claim is this:

The evil ogre she faced apparently took out bone weapons from its many faces and bit down on them to wield them.

In addition, each of the evil ogre’s faces served as independent powerful sensors, allowing it to defend against Haruka’s slashes at first thanks to its skill.

“Oh! I was impressed, like, ‘That guy can take me. So then…”

So she says she stepped it up a notch.

In her own words, she stopped messing around and started fighting for real.

“I thought, where should I aim against the ogre guy who skillfully uses his many sensors and hands?”

The answer came to her immediately.

Pros and cons are two sides of the same coin. Supply and operation of weapons and important bases loaded with advanced sensors – in other words,

“I decided to peel his face off.”

That’s what happened.

“And after that, it was just work. Peeling off faces weakened it more and more, of course, but… isn’t that kind of boring?”
“So you decided to end it?”

What unreasonable demands against a reproduction… No, in the end you were still peeling faces while encouraging it, you psycho.

“Anyway, the point is that we both came out of it safe and sound. Don’t sweat the small stuff, ‘kay?”
“Calling that ‘small stuff’ is crazy in itself… Well, whatever. Continuing this dark psycho story of yours seems unhealthy. Let’s hurry up and move on.”
“Please do.”

Why the sudden Ojou-sama speech? No, it probably has no deep meaning. Haruka-san is always a free spirit.

“Alright, let’s go.”

I call to Haruka as I pick up the luggage I threw down before the fight and head for the portal gate. Compared to when we entered the dungeon, the load has become much heavier. I want to hurry to the center and get rid of this weight.

A hot shower. Ice-cold carbonated water and warm, freshly cooked food. And finally, a good rest on a fluffy bed. The finale of an enjoyable adventure trip should be like this.

“Ah, I can hardly stand it.”

I dash through the swirling violet transfer gate. Goodbye darkness. On to the path of light.

And after going through the interdimensional transfer for the sixth time today, what Haruka and I saw was…

Sceneline – Dungeon City of Sakura – 336th Dungeon [Eternal Darkness] First Midpoint


What jumped out at me along with Haruka’s cheer was the oh-so-familiar scene of people going about their business.

Paved streets, a bustling marketplace, rows of houses. Tree-lined walkways with benches, a stylish fountain square with a nice ambience.

Speaking of nice, the color of the sky is nice too.

The vibrant crimson sky has not a trace or hint of the poisonous purple that is unique to [Perpetual Darkness], the gentle sunset sunlight gently watching over us.

And most importantly, the people, the people! As you walk the streets, you’ll pass by others, look around, and you’ll see crowds.

And their faces are completely relaxed. No one has weapons at the ready or a tense expression. In other words, this place is safe.


“Amazing! It’s a total city now!”
“Right? …Somehow my excitement is through the roof, huh?”
“Mine too!”

For no reason, Haruka and I high-five each other and die laughing.

Dangerous. Boundless joy comes over me faster than I can understand why.

Just being away for a few hours and the hustle and bustle of people feels so nostalgic.

“It’s weird, huh?”
“Yeah, but I don’t feel bad about it at all.”

We stare at each other, then laugh out loud again.

For a while after that, Haruka and I continued to foolishly indulge in this bizarre feeling.

  • Dungeon City Sakura – 336th Dungeon [Eternal Darkness] First Midpoint “Residential Area

“This will be our quarters for today.”

I show Haruka the western style house with the outside stairs and white walls towering in front of us. That was our first impression of the rented house, a well-kept exterior.

“Oh! It looks like a normal house, huh. I thought we’d be staying in a hotel-like place.”
“A hotel is fine, too. But getting Housing Registration in the middle and renting a house is convenient in all sorts of ways.”

I close my eyes to repeat the explanation I’ve already given and even send various documents for signing at this point.

With the guarantor’s signatures in the guarantor section, it should absolutely, definitely be okay…right?

“It’s fine! Mommy filled everything out!”

Haruka-san answers smugly. I wonder why that girl is so confident?

Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh, right, the advantages of the rental house, the advantages.

Simply put, having a residence in the center gives you a base of operations in the dungeon.

You can leave your baggage behind, stock up on supplies, and have the benefit of not having to worry about other people.

Especially since only the first midpoint has been unlocked for [Everlasting Darkness].

Having a base at the only midpoint where people come and go is indispensable for future dungeon conquests, no exaggeration.

“So it’s like our secret base, huh?”
“You could call it that if you want to say it excitedly. Well, let’s explore the inside of our base right away.”

We climb the stairs with the handrail and insert the metal key we received in the other world into the keyhole.

Ka-chunk, goes the deafening unlocking sound. Well, this seems to fit.

“Pardon the intrusion — hmm, should I say ‘I’m home’ instead? Or how about ‘Nice to meet you’?”
“Say whatever you want. Now, is this the power?”

I move my Darkvision Expanded Eyes around and flip the switch near the Genkan lightly.

The next thing I know, the ceiling lights are on.

Warm light, easy on the eyes. Feeling reassured by the light, I carefully take off my shoes.

“First, let me quickly explain the floor plan.”

I call to Haruka, who kicks off her shoes vigorously before slowly stepping into the genkan. Hmm. The sound is muffled. Good soundproofing.

“To the right of the genkan is the shower room. It’s two stories with a changing room and a bathroom, so don’t worry. Next to it is the toilet. A little further, the rooms facing each other are the bedrooms. I’m planning to divide them into boys’ and girls’ rooms, so go ahead and choose whichever you like first.”
“What! I get my own room right away!?”

Haruka-san jumps up and down on the floor to express her joy. Apparently, she shares a room with her little sister in the Aono household. Although I’m a billion times more envious of sharing with Kanta-tan!

“Ahem. Anyway, opening the door at the end of this hallway leads to the living room.”

I explain while turning on the light in the living room.

The large twenty tatami room is fully furnished with the rental furniture I ordered.

A moss green sofa. A square wooden dining table with high-backed chairs, and past the open kitchen further back, shelves neatly lined with a refrigerator and various cooking utensils.

“Amazing, Kyouichirou! We really have our own house!”
“Check out the Japanese-style room on the other side of that alcove over there.”

“Check it out!”

Haruka replies very spiritedly and goes to the Japanese room. She seems happy, that’s the best thing.

The 200,000 yen monthly rent was worth it, mm-hmm.

But being able to sign a lease even as a minor with an adventurer’s license is really free, this world. Renting under a party name means unlimited stay for all members, it’s so convenient, I’m grateful.

…It does feel a little too adventurer-centric, but for now I’ll let it slide with the “when in Rome” mentality.

Once you start thinking about social contradictions and moral issues, there’s no end to it. Unfortunately, I don’t have time right now to think about things that don’t have right answers.

Getting the panacea that is sleeping in the depths of this dungeon is the top priority and the top directive.

I can leave thinking about what comes after to the me of the future. What I, the present me, should do is focus on capturing [Eternal Darkness], nothing else.

Therefore, renting a nice house to rest in is also an indispensable expense.

“Hey, Kyouichirou.”

The stellar swordsman looks out from the Japanese room with sparkling eyes and says:

“Let’s split it.”

From the context, she must mean the rent for this place. Even though I borrowed it on my own, there’s no need to worry about it…

“Split it, ‘kay?”

A firm statement that left no room for objection. I could pretend to refuse and make a fuss, but that seems like a pain, so I’ll just go along for now.

“Got it. Thank you.”
“It’s our secret base after all, of course!”

Haruka’s shy face lights up with a bright smile.
She’s strangely stubborn when it comes to obligations.

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