Before the tutorial begins chapter 24

Chapter 24 – Walking the Night

—- Dungeon City Sakura – 336th Dungeon [Perpetual Darkness] First Midpoint “Residential Area”

After looking around the rented house, Haruka and I decided to tidy up our respective rooms and work on nesting.

Surprisingly, Haruka chose the Western-style room.

The Aono household itself is a pure Japanese-style house, so I just assumed she’d choose the Japanese room…

“You don’t get it, Kyouichirou. When I go home, I’ll be forced to live the futon life anyway. So I should rest in a bed while I’m here and not miss out on anything!”

And with that, Haruka-san frolics on the rental bed.

I don’t think it’s about wins and losses, but about compatibility, but well, she looks like she’s having fun, so I guess that’s good.

“Let’s meet in the living room in an hour.”
“Roger!”

After making our meeting promise, I gently close the door.

Now some free activity time begins.

After unloading my stuff in the room Haruka didn’t choose, I decide to just sit on the furnished bed.

I told her we’d nest, but the truth is that I’d arranged for the necessary furniture to be in this rented house from the beginning.

With the bed, the desk, the fridge, the shelves, and even the air purifier and air conditioner, this simple room is like a little kingdom.

I take the now lukewarm sparkling water from my bag, open the cap and put it in my mouth.

“Ahh, I’m beat.”

I lean against the white-painted wall and exhale carbonated air.

The saying that words have power really seems to be true. The moment I said I was tired, I felt my body grow strangely heavy.

No wonder.

After all, from 9 a.m. until now, I have been exploring a huge dungeon while carrying heavy luggage.

Even though my body is somewhat beyond human limits thanks to the mind contracts (plus daily muscle training), fatigue is still building up and I am getting sleepy.

So this hour is a rare moment of rest, and…

[Oh my, you’re still alive, Master?]

I guess even the Goddess of Time has right to disturb it, but what do you think, huh?

[Oy oy, that’s a late entrance, Lady Al. Today’s highlight has been over for a while.]

[I did not want to watch bloody fight scenes while I was on a date with Fumika, so I disconnected. Please excuse me].

And, Al’s heart said through Thought Sharing:

[I am the one who has been training you for over a year. There is no reason for you to fight such lowly enemies now.]

[Oh, yes.]

What’s with the sudden praise, huh? It’s kind of ticklish.

[As hopeless as ever, Master. Easy to handle, how convenient]

[Shaddup.]

I’ll grow from now on.

[So how was it for you? Did you have fun with my sister?]

[Yes, well. We tried several highly rated luxury restaurants, and she seemed to enjoy the food very much.]

[Uh-huh.]

[But since such places serve small portions per bowl, we could not fill our stomachs, and it would be bad manners to order unreasonable amounts. So we went to our familiar wild-type ramen shop.]

Huh?

[With a mountain of vegetables, a tower of braised pork, an ocean of pork back fat, and a choice of all-star toppings. The noodles were super thick, crinkly noodles, and the flavor was a soy sauce-based tonkotsu. Of course, we devoured it all, and also ordered deluxe fried rice and jumbo gyoza, so I was able to satisfy my stomach to some extent.]

[Wait. Don’t tell me my sister ordered the same thing?]

[Of course not. Fumika is…]

Thank God, I breathe a sigh of relief.

That’s right. Despite some recent suspicions, my sister is a normal high school girl. There’s no way she’s imitating a food fighter or anything like that…

[Fumika is the undisputed champion of this restaurant. Of course, she only orders the challenge menu.]

She would imitate some…

[Watching her elegantly and gracefully finish that huge bowl of ramen that took up an entire table could only be described as masterful. As someone who loves food, I cannot help but admire Fumika’s, no, “FUMIKA’s” style of eating].

It doesn’t come together at all. Not coming together at all.


“Yo, Kyouichirou. Long time no see.”

An hour later, Haruka appeared in the living room right on time.

“Did you change?”
“Of course. Even Haruka-san takes off her clothes in her free time.”

The stellar swordsman smiles coquettishly in a thin linen outfit.

A white tank top with blue chino shorts, paired with her beloved blue jacket. The casual look suits her and of course brings out Haruka’s charm.

“The quality of the fabric probably helps too, but I’m always shocked by your excellent fashion sense.”
“Eh~ Thanks. I like that part of you too, Kyouichirou.”

My face feels like it’s boiling, so I quickly turn away. Occasionally, she says things that make my chest tighten.

“A-anyway, shall we go eat?”
“Let’s go!”

After I lock up and make sure I have my wallet, we walk out.

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

“Somehow this feels new.”
“Well, middle schoolers renting a house in a dungeon is extremely rare.”

There are probably many adventurers who got their license at a younger age than us, but those prodigies are usually scouted by the big clans.

So for us to have made it this far with just our independent group of middle schoolers is pretty impressive in its own way.

However, it seems that the “novelty” she mentioned had a slightly different nuance.

“But you know, I’ve never walked through the city at night with someone my age before.”

Haruka shyly scratches her cheek.

The sweetness in her smile, illuminated by the streetlights, held a warmth like melting bittersweet chocolate.

When I call it night, the clock doesn’t even show 8 o’clock.

Well, it’s not an hour for which a middle schooler on the road would be praised, but it’s not so late that she needs to be picked up.

The way home from cram school or club, the faraway places visited while trying to act grown up – though I’d hate to admit it, there’s also the possibility of a date with someone she likes.

Walking through the streets at night, chatting about trivial things, sometimes arguing, sometimes confiding, sometimes feeling your heart race…

Not having this kind of experience might be a little lonely. At least the emotion that clung to Haruka’s beauty was certainly jealous of it.

That’s nice, I thought. The blue girl gazing at the wide spring outside from the dim birdcage.

Because I could vividly imagine that scene, the words came out of my mouth before I knew it.

“Then let’s increase these experiences from now on.”

I speak casually, laughing jokingly, in an ordinary tone.

“We don’t need a big reason. If we feel hungry or want the night breeze, on a whim, let’s go for a walk at night.

You’ll be in high school soon, so playing around a bit shouldn’t be a punishment.

That’s right, Haruka. You’ve already won your freedom. There are lots of exciting things to do, right? Then let’s fulfill them one by one. I’ll lend you my strength if you need it.

“….Yes, yes! That’s a really wonderful suggestion, I think.”
“Ah, this will definitely be fun.”

A quick nod, a little awkward laugh, and with that, Haruka and I started walking through the night city.

The fake sky we look up to has nicer twinkling stars than the real thing, and somehow it feels a bit noisy above us.

But the colorful streetlights illuminating the city were even more vibrant, so we gradually got used to the brightness of the artificial stars.

Red, blue, yellow, orange, green, pink, white, and purple.

The different colored lights brightly lit up the city, making me feel like I was attending the neighborhood summer festival.

It’s not like there was any festival music playing, and the passersby were dressed normally, but there was still a weird festival-like vibe to it all. Hmm, curious.

Passing through the residential area, crossing the bridge (made with the dungeon’s terrain manipulation function rather than actually man-made) over the artificial river, and entering the entertainment district, this tendency became even more pronounced.

“Come one, come all! I’m selling candy apple flavored potions!”
“Hey customers, the spirit stones in my lottery are all winners! And the grand prize is this new product from Alistar Co. The no-risk, high-reward Spirit Stone Lottery, you’ll definitely lose if you don’t try it!”
“The Party Matching venue is right here! We are currently short of healers, so please join us! Other roles are also welcome!”

The streets were lined with food stalls, scam artists, and party matching services, and street performers showed off their skills in the gaps between them.

It was just like that.

“Amazing, it’s like a festival in Kyouichirou! Is there a special event today? If so, we are in luck.”
“Who knows. I don’t know the details either, but this is probably just the everyday life of this town.”

[Perpetual Darkness] remains uncaptured, with the shit boss on the tenth floor unreasonably keeping the second center locked.

As a result, adventurers who would normally be split between the two midpoints are likely to congregate in this block.

A dungeon that hasn’t been cleared for some reason – this is a common story in DanMagi.

“Like, they can’t go any further, but they want to collect a lot of the special Spirit Stones that are only available here, so adventurers caught between those feelings are running shops on the side – that’s my personal take on it.”
“Oh! So it’s like a permanent festival atmosphere!”

I love your rough summary, Haruka.

“Hey hey, since we have this chance, let’s take a look around.”
“Of course. We could even eat here.”
“Sounds good, sounds good! Let’s just do that for today.”

And so Haruka’s and my dinner became street food.

We conquered takoyaki, beef skewers, yakisoba, kebabs, buttered potatoes, yakitori, taiyaki and candied apples, grilled corn, cotton candy, chocolate bananas, senbei sauce, shaved ice, and more, and I think we enjoyed this city to the fullest today.

At the very least, the legendary eating prowess of “The Blue Comet” would go down in history.

“Ahh, if I knew there was such a fun event, I should have brought a yukata from home~”

Haruka’s eyes narrow regretfully as she strokes the chon-chon doll she got as a prize in the shooting game.

“Would something like that matter? No one wore a yukata here.”
“You don’t get it, Kyouichirou. It’s the atmosphere, the ambience. Not what’s around me, but what I want to feel.”

Hmm. The criteria for [Ambience] completely eludes me. Does anything like that work?

“Then how about fireworks? Zero seasonal feeling, but it’s pretty festive.”

“Fireworks are hot! Like, boom, sparklers shooting up over here, and a Niagara from over there with a long tail as it goes paat.

…Yeah, I think that would have a lot of atmosphere.”

Staring at the sky in the distance, Haruka’s cheeks flushed, she gazed at the imaginary fireworks that must be blooming there.

“Haruka has pretty strong preferences contrary to appearances, huh?”
“Strong? But I care a lot about form, I guess.”
“And a hopeless romantic at heart.”
“Yes, I love excitement.”

Good. Keep growing straight and true like that, Haruka.

“Somehow you’re acting strangely old, Kyou-san.”
“What do you mean? My heart is forever in puberty.”
“Why are you so nervous? We’re the same age, Kyouichirou.”
“Oh, yes. Not edgy, more chuuni, there’s slang like that and-“

Explaining the etymology of chuuni to a middle schooler. Is there any greater embarrassment than this?

“Huh? Why did that person go around claiming to be the reincarnation of a dark fallen angel when he had no abilities at all? There’s really no use, right?”
“It seemed cool at the time!”

No way, there isn’t..


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