Before the tutorial begins chapter 45

The 45th Chapter: The Thunder Beast and the Dreaming Girl, Part 6


The battle plan against [Keraunos] has become more substantial, thanks to the improved equipment, skills, strategies, and the participation of the top-class shooter, James Szilard.

The finishing touches are in place, and the prospects for victory are reasonably good.

Yes, reasonably good.

With the equipment prepared, skills honed, meticulous strategies devised, and the finest talent like James Szilard assembled, the victory is still only reasonably assured.

To make our victory certain, there is one more element,

one final piece of the puzzle that is needed.

That piece is held by none other than Jupiter herself.

Jupiter,

the foreign girl who has faced a unique fate and now serves as the artillery support for our party.

This is her fight, by her, and for her.

No matter how much we thrash the thunder god, if she cannot defeat him, true victory will never come.

Everything hinges on her decision.

The destiny of this story lies in the hands of this girl.

◆ At the Dilapidated Shrine

On the day before the battle plan was to be executed, I took Jupiter to the usual shrine.

Unfortunately, light rain was falling outside, so I had to cover myself with an umbrella and raincoat. But this weather is anything but elegant – what a miserable climate!

This is hardly a “blessing from heaven.”

No matter how much I try to overlook it, this drenching downpour has the gall to soak my body!

If the world ever no longer needs rain, I’ll absolutely destroy the piss of this planet, you bastard!

“Kyouichiro… are you feeling tense?”

“Ah, sorry. I just hate the rain.”

I want to kill it!

“I don’t really like the rain much either.”

“The whole existence is an annoying nuisance, yet it’s overlooked just because it’s essential to the planet’s workings. How underhanded!”

“…It’s not that global of a complaint.”

The round fairy in the yellow raincoat glares at me with narrowed eyes.

Oops, I may have spread my murderous intent a bit too much.

“When it rains, thunder follows… and I don’t like that.”

The silver-haired girl mutters as she flutters her feet under the eaves.

Ah, so the thunder is what she dislikes.

“Thunder always ends up hurting something. Wherever it strikes, a part of the world is damaged. Rain brings blessings, but thunder only destroys… the worst.”

Those words may have been directed at herself as well.

The girl, burdened with an unwanted power and tossed about by it.

For Jupiter, thunder must symbolize the aggressor.

It’s not a logical objection, but an emotional rejection of thunder.

But you know, Jupiter…

Thunder actually has some positive effects from the celestial perspective.

The air stimulated by the thunder flows down with the rain, enriching the land.

I wouldn’t dare say it out loud since I’m the guy who wants to murder the rain, but even the most unpleasant things have their redeeming aspects.

So, don’t hate the thunder so much – oh wait, that’s a boomerang right there.

Better keep quiet.

” …………………… “

” …………………… “

The rain falls softly, drop by drop.

In a world that is not kind and has no songs to sing, we just stared blankly at the “divine blessing” (hah) for a while.

“Have these two weeks been enjoyable for you?”

I asked idly.

“Yes… it’s been like a dream.”

The girl’s feelings echoed back to me.

“Fumika cooked meals for me. Al played with me. Haruka was kind to me. Kyoichiro cheered me up. In that house, I could be a normal child.”

Jupiter savored the words, relishing how precious that had been.

“I didn’t know a world where I didn’t have to suppress my feelings could be so warm. I never thought someone like me could be allowed to live.”

“I see…”

Then it seems bringing her here was the right decision after all.

I was a bit worried, since I kind of forced her to come along.

“Tomorrow, we’ll be entering the dungeon.”

“Mm.”

“There, we’ll settle the score with [Keraunos].”

“…Mm.”

“It’ll probably be a difficult battle for you. You may suffer a lot.”

” …………………… ” “

No response comes.

Of course.

It’s frightening, isn’t it?

You want to run away, don’t you?

I understand your feelings, Jupiter.

But listen,

“In those hard times, remember the happy memories.”

“Happy memories…?”

“Yeah. Like when you found a fun game, or ate something delicious, or just cherished the time you spent with us. Even just reminiscing can be a power-up in a climactic game, right?”

“That’s so hype…!”

Jupiter nods enthusiastically, her eyes sparkling.

When the conversation turns to galge, she becomes remarkably perceptive.

“And one more tip – if the thunder god starts nagging at you, just punch him right in the groin. Most males will shut up after that.”

It may be a rather vulgar suggestion, but this is probably the most effective one.

As someone who has had the symbol of masculinity kicked by evil gods on a daily basis, I can say this with certainty.

The weak point of males is in the groin area.

“I wonder if I can…”

“You can do it, you’re the one…”

The dirty rain clouds that had covered the sky are now fleeing into the distance.

Thanks to the removal of the pesky filter, warm sunlight pours down onto the cherry blossom town, making the entire town reflect prism-like colors.

“…Amazing.”

A tiny exclamation comes from beside me.

“It’s a breathtaking view, isn’t it? This hidden spot is one that even the town’s residents don’t know about.”

The townscape glistening in the clear sunlight.

A fantastical scenery with tall trees and buildings standing side by side.

The view of the cherry blossom town from the shrine never gets old, no matter how many times you look at it.

And on top of that, there’s a special bonus today.

“…A rainbow.”

The seven-colored bridge of heaven is vividly reflected on the azure canvas.

Such a clear rainbow is not something you get to see every day.

Damn, this rain, while a nuisance, has left us with a fine parting gift.

“Rain summons thunder, but also rainbows – it’s kind of well-balanced, isn’t it?”

“…Yeah, that’s true.”

Standing side by side, we continue to gaze at the rainbow in the distance, wearing the now unnecessary rain ponchos.

“Let’s win this.”

“Okay.”

The slightly cold water droplets cling to the girl’s clenched fist as she lightly bumps it against mine.

READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

And the next day, we set out for the dungeon [Eternal Darkness].

First, we teleported to the midpoint on the 5th floor.

From there, we headed to the rental house and joined up with Szilard-san, who had disguised himself with a mask, sunglasses, and a cap.

This made our temporary party official – within the confines of this adventure, James-Szilard has become a member of our party.

“I’ll be counting on you, my lord leader.”

Szilard-san laughs lightly, as unfazed as always.

No, you should be the leader, not me.

“Alas, that role is one I’ve been reluctantly fulfilling far too often. It’s about time I get to move around freely as a mere pawn!”

I’m utterly exasperated, but I painfully understand his sentiment.

Being the one giving orders is really nerve-wracking, seriously.

“And if I, the guest commander, were to meddle, your lady companions might get angry, you know.”

I suppose that’s how it is.

When I tentatively asked Haruka about it,

“Absolutely not ☆”

she replied with a smile.

Her eyes looked rather stern, but that was probably just my imagination. I want to believe so.

Anyway, with our temporary party formed, we headed to the 10th floor.

The floors below 9 have other adventurers, and the ones above 11 risk incursions from other enemies (though this applies to any floor, really).

We couldn’t afford to cause a ruckus at the midpoint, and the 15th floor’s Kamak recreation is a real hassle.

The demonic and white ogres on the 5th floor were also considered, but that area was rejected due to the overall darkness and difficulty of movement.

And so, through a process of elimination, the 10th floor was chosen as the battlefield stage.

What was once an impregnable fortress is now just the right location.

Compatibility differences can be really scary, huh.

“Leave the transportation to me.”

To our surprise, the mode of transportation Szilard-san provided was a griffin.

We enjoyed a comfortable aerial journey aboard the massive griffin, a mount-type divine revelation, and reached the 10th floor in no time.

Ah, the griffin.

Mount-type items are quite rare, you know.

If I get the chance, I’d love to acquire my own special mount.

“Come to think of it, if we had just sniped you guys from afar using this, we could have won decisively that time, right?”

“Hahaha! That would be unsportsmanlike, my friend!”

Well, even if we had crushed them with such a cheat, it probably wouldn’t have fulfilled Szilard-san’s objective back then.

Anyway.

Having reached the 10th floor through cheat-level speed, we immediately faced off against the “Death Demon” for the third time.

◆ Sakura Flower – 336th Dungeon [Eternal Darkness], 10th Floor

“Oh, you beast!”

“Easy-peeled veggie!”

Cries of agony echo through the room filled with coffins.

The lich re-creation has, as always, been slain.

Freed from the restraint play, I bid a small farewell to the vanishing particles of light that were the “Death Demon” re-creation.

Thank you for always making a swift exit. I’m truly grateful. Namu san.

…Well, that’s enough of the sideshow.

Time to move on to the main course.

“Now that we’ve driven off the nuisances, let’s get started, shall we?”

As lightly as possible.

Saying it as if it’s no big deal.

“Jupiter, are you ready?”

“I’ve got it right here.”

The silver-haired girl raises the drawstring bag wrapped around her neck.

The sound of metal rubbing against metal can be heard from inside.

“That’s the key this time. Don’t let it out of your sight.”

“Okay.”

The twin-tailed girl nods slowly in a languid motion.

Her movements were sluggish,

She spoke even less than usual, so she must be quite tense.

“Hey, Jupiter. If you’re not feeling well, you should take a break—-“

“No, I’m fine. I won’t run away. I’ll fight alongside everyone.”

Jupiter spoke haltingly but clearly expressed her determination to fight.

Geez, talking all big like that. How cool.

“Alright then, let’s get started without hesitation. ……Haruka.”

With the signal, Haruka carrying the magic sword moved out in front of Jupiter.

“……I’m sorry, Yupi-chan.”

With an unwilling expression, Haruka apologized, and then swung down the magic sword.

“—-Ah”

It sliced through Jupiter’s throat.

With a crisp cutting sound, the secret technique of Aono flashed through the void.

For a moment, everyone there recalled the death of the young girl.

Even though they knew it was a planned fake-out, the sheer force of that blade was enough to fool the brain.

The living sword technique, akin to murder, planted the recognition of being “slashed” in Jupiter’s mind.

A distorted perception.

A moment of flustered confusion and a blank in thought.

A murmur arose.

The impact struck their hearts.

And then—-

“AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

And then, she appeared.

The gushing black lightning.

The forming limbs of a beast.

The embodiment of paternal rage, roaring to protect her beloved daughter, enveloped Jupiter with its tremendous energy and absorbed her into its own body.

At first glance, it seemed like a rehash of the previous fifteen layers.

However, there was one decisive difference from that time.

“It seems you’ve recognized us not as indiscriminate targets of destruction, but as the criminals to be eradicated. That’s right, we are your enemies, [Keraunos]!”

The lightning father, clearly seeing us as his enemies, hysterically shouted.

“Bring it on, lightning father. We met here a hundred years later, and we’ll show you exactly what happens when a quadruped dares to defy its human masters!”

The great showdown had begun.


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