Before the tutorial begins chapter 49,5 part 1

Interlude, or a Prologue for a Young Girl


Let’s talk about what happened next.

To cut to the chase, I, Kyouchiro Shimizu, was hospitalized. Yay!

…Well, yeah, it’s because I overdid it a bit, you know.

From what I’ve heard, it seems I passed out right after the Keraunos battle, and was then transported to the hospital by Szilard and the others.

Being emergency evacuated from the dungeon to the lower world is definitely an attention-grabbing event, but with the help of Szilard and the members of the “Burning Ice Blade” clan, it seems they were able to resolve the issue without incident.

And I’m being cared for in a super high-class special room at the hospital, paid for by Szilard!

The thing that’s crazy is that the interior looks just like a luxury hotel.

That Szilard is such a good person, to introduce me to such a well-equipped medical facility just for simple exhaustion (and the backlash from my arts, and the toll of removing my body’s limiter, and the excessive use of [Four-Dimensional Defense] in a flow state).

As expected, having connections with the leaders of the Five Great Clans is the way to go, haha!

At the special room of Sakurabana City Dungeon Hospital

[Yes! With this incident, I am convinced that Kyouchiro Shimizu-kun is the rising star who will lead the adventurer industry from now on!]

On the TV, Szilard was spouting nonsense.

Huh? What’s this?

It’s a dream, right? Please tell me this is a dream.

“Ah, this…”

Next to me, Haruka was peeling an apple diligently while explaining.

“Szilard has requested various media to hype up this incident.”

I see, so that’s today, I nodded while chewing on the apple (which for some reason was shaped like a castle tower) nonchalantly.

Hey, why are you mindlessly producing these artistically impressive apples and eating them in my hospital room?

Aren’t you being a bit too free-spirited, Haruka?

“Well, in that case, I’ll generously give this Kleines-style apple to you, Kyou-san.”

“Thanks… Wait, no, the press conference! The press conference!”

If I believe Haruka’s words, Szilard should be talking about the Keraunos subjugation and all that.

And yet…

[At that moment, Kyouchiro-kun said, “Leave this to me and go on ahead. I’m the one who’s going to face off against this guy.”]

[The enemy was a terrifying beast. But Kyouchiro-kun, disregarding his own danger, endured the lightning strikes of the black thunder beast solely through spirit and grit!]

[“Humanity are all brothers. Helping family is a given, isn’t it?” He proclaimed boldly, and when I saw his figure, I couldn’t stop my tears. Whenever any of you have troubles, please rely on him. That gallant young man, with his strong sense of duty and kindheartedness, can resolve any problem in no time.]

Hey, who is this Kyouchiro-kun?

He didn’t participate in the Keraunos battle, did he?

“Eh, I guess Szilard’s press conference might be exaggerating a bit, but Kyou-san is usually kind of like that, isn’t he?”

“No, he’s not.”

This Kyouchiro-kun definitely wouldn’t do something like a butt drill or yell “Hyahha!”

He’d probably be misinterpreted if he did.

“In fact, a lot of the other parts are dramatized too, aren’t they?”

The episode around Jupiter is completely different.

Somehow Keraunos has become this lowlife who only attacks Jupiter (well, the real one was pretty much a piece of garbage too), and the reason Kyouchiro-kun left the “Burning Ice Blade” has been changed to this shonen manga-esque thing about touching his passionate sense of justice.

Hey, wait a minute, this means…

“…Could it be that the purpose of this press conference is…”

“Figured it out, huh?”

Haruka grinned mischievously.

“To publicize the fact that Jupiter smoothly transferred to our side…”

“Yeah. And apparently, it was with the full consent of the ‘Burning Ice Blade’ members.”

It seems the members of the “Burning Ice Blade” were actually quite fond of Jupiter.

“While you were sleeping, I had a chance to talk to the ‘Burning Ice Blade’ people. And they all bowed their heads and said, ‘Please take good care of Jupiter-chan.'”

Haruka, whose brow was filled with a softness like the very embodiment of the word “gentle”, spoke with wonder.

“It seems there was just an unfortunate misunderstanding, and everyone actually loved Jupiter-chan.”

“I see.”

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My chest warmed up just a little.

Wow, Jupiter, you’re quite popular., aren’t you?

“So we can’t lose either, you know? We have to work hard so that Jupiter-chan won’t say that her old home was better.”

“Yeah, of course. But there’s one more thing I’m curious about, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“What is it?”

Haruka, with eyes like sapphires, leaned closer to the bed.

The blue camisole with exposed shoulders looked very cool and beautiful, and the high-quality material made it glimmer radiantly.

That was good. It was extremely good,

“Hey, haven’t you been in the hospital the whole time?”

After a few beats of silence, she said.

“No, that’s not true.”

It was an overly casual way of speaking.

“A lot of people have come to visit these past three days, but you’ve been here the whole time, haven’t you?”

“The whole time…? Geez, Kyou-san, you’re so dramatic. You know I’ve been leaving during the lights-out time, right?”

“No, I asked the nurse. They said you’ve been staying in my room even during lights-out.”

“But, it’s not often I get the chance to stay in a room like this, it’s like a hotel!”

“Then you should just stay at a fancy hotel instead.”

“You just don’t understand, Kyou-san.”

She waved her finger in an exaggerated gesture.

“There’s a big difference between staying in a fancy hotel and staying in a fancy-looking hospital room. It’s like the difference between real crab and imitation crab.”

“That’s why I told you to eat the real crab then.”

While I don’t mean to disparage imitation crab, if given a choice between the two, I’m confident I would choose the real thing,

and I imagine most people would too.

However, Haruka seemed to have a different opinion.

“Eh, I’d eat the imitation crab though.”

“But, the imitation crab is made by the manufacturer trying all sorts of things to make it resemble the real fish. Doesn’t that idea of them putting so much effort into imitating the real thing excite you?”

I wasn’t particularly excited, but I understood what Haruka was getting at.

“So you mean the more effort they put into imitating it, the more heart and feeling gets put into it, is that right?”

“Yes, yes! I’ve always loved things like that since I was little. I used to collect these fake diamond things-“

“Zirconium?”

“That’s it, that’s it! I would save up my allowance to collect those little zirconia things.”

She showed me the star-shaped necklace on her collar.

As she brushed her long hair aside, a refreshing citrus scent tickled my nose, nearly making me trip, but I managed to maintain my composure.

I focused my gaze on the necklace and gave my thoughts.

“It doesn’t look cheap at all. The more I look at it, the more captivating it becomes.”

“Right? And it’s big and blue too!”

It seems the color blue was still non-negotiable for her.

“Well, I guess that’s just your particular passion or hobby, huh? Okay, feel free to hang out here as much as you like.”

Having someone to talk to by my side would make me feel more at ease as well.

“Ehehe, thanks! But the reason I’m here isn’t just that, you know?”

“Oh? What other reason is there?”

Haruka then gently pressed her well-groomed index finger against her own lips and said,

“That’s a secret.”

◆ In Front of the Main Entrance of Hospital in Dungeon City Sakurahana

Four days later, on the day of my successful discharge, I forcibly dragged the reluctant healthy child out the hospital gates, despite their pleas to “stay a little longer!”

“Come on, let’s at least stay one more night before going home.”

“No way, that’s not happening.”

You’re perfectly healthy, aren’t you?

You’re so healthy it’s ridiculous.

“But what if some unknown illness I don’t know about yet…”

“That’s just an excuse because you don’t want to leave, isn’t it?”

“I actually got permission from the nurses and Szilard-san. I even did the checkups.”

“And I bet the doctor was amazed at how perfectly healthy you are, right?”

“Yeah!”

Well then, there’s absolutely no way.

You’re probably the rarest person in the world who needs the hospital the least right now.

“We can’t keep troubling the hospital any further, so we’re going home as soon as possible.”

“…Stingy.”

“I’m just being reasonable.”

Truthfully, I also didn’t want to add to my debt to Szilard-san over such a trivial matter, but I suppose silence is golden.

Szilard James is a truly peculiar man.

He approached us with his true intentions concealed, and while it was understandable that he had some unavoidable reason, he essentially pushed Jupitor out in a semi-forceful way. Yet he also fully cooperated in the subjugation of Kerauno, and even put on a show to celebrate Jupitor’s departure.

I don’t know whether to be grateful, resentful, apologetic, or still upset about the press conference…

How should I evaluate this refreshingly devious handsome guy? He’s anything but straightforward – even if you bound him with ropes upon ropes, he’d still break free laughing effortlessly.

In any case, he’s asked me to consider an additional “token of gratitude” separate from the hospital fees, so I’m plotting something suitably audacious.

Well, regardless, I hope to maintain a good relationship with Szilard-san and the rest of the “Burning Ice Sword” group going forward.

And once the heroine joins in the future, ahaha.

“You’re thinking something shady, aren’t you?”

“No, I’m not.”

I just want to get an autograph from the heroine and frame it! How gentlemanly is that!

But I can’t just blurt out the cries of a Dungeon Magi otaku, so I forcibly change the topic.

Time for a course correction.

“Phew. But speaking of which, it’s really starting to get hot around here.”

“Bad! Your topic change is way too clumsy, Kyō-san!”

What do you mean? The universality of weather-related topics is common the world over!

“The sky is clearing up nicely too, so the rainy season might be ending soon.”

“This person isn’t at all disheartened! In a way, they have a steel mentality!”

“The sky is blue, and the clouds are white.”

“Your impressions are at the level of a kindergartener!”

Engaging in such idiotic conversation, the two of us crossed the parking lot side by side.

It was just after that when we made eye contact with a familiar figure.

“I’ve come to pick you up.”

It was a silver-haired girl.

Her eyes were crimson, and she was petite in stature.

Today, she was dressed in a white one-piece dress and a straw hat.

“Jupi-chan!”


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