Episode 5 Khuhuhu, I guess the best way to attract Loli's attention is with sweets!



I walk through the forest cautiously.


 The path was about two meters wide, with ankle-deep weeds and a wall of trees that seemed impenetrable to humans.

 In reality, it would be possible to rush into these trees if you force yourself, but the results of experiments by the Self-Defense Forces have proven that there is nothing to be gained by forcing yourself through the walls of the labyrinth.

 Worst of all, adventurers were strictly forbidden to enter such a forest-type field because of the possibility of getting lost.

 For a while, I had Ghuouler leading the way through this labyrinth, but I gradually became uneasy and asked the unseen Zashiki-wrashi,


“Hey, Zashiki-warashi.
Do you know how close the enemy is? Do you think it's safe?”


“Aah? Why do I have to answer such a question?”


 What came back from the void was such a tasteless reply.


“Why? You're one of us, aren't you?”


“One of you?”


 The child appeared in front of me with a laugh.


“I'll tell you something first.
I hate humans.
Just looking at them makes me want to vomit.
As well as the slaves who do as they are told.”


 Her eyes were filled with a resentment that she could not hide.


“Give up on seeing me as a fighting force.
I don't even have the slightest bit of motivation to do something for you.
Didn't I tell you that it’s unfortunate of you to have to grab such a defective product?”


 After saying that, Zashiki-warashi disappears again.
I scratched my head.


 ……Wow, what a mess.
What the hell did the previous owner do?


 When a card changes masters, it is initialized and its memory is erased.
However, the feelings that are stuck in the card are not erased.
The look in the Zashiki-warashi's eyes was one of hatred toward human beings.


 In that case, should I put her card down and let Coosie out?


Such a thought crossed my mind.


 …No, but the minimum defense is according to the rank of the card.
It will be safer with the C-rank Zashiki-warashi.

 Besides, if I put her card down here, I feel like I've lost…


“By the way…
it's so hot.”


  I whispered while wiping the sweat off my forehead.
It's only been a few minutes since I entered, but I'm dripping with sweat.

  Unable to resist, I took out a sports drink from my bag and gulped it down.
The faint sweetness and the sensation of moistening the throat were irresistible.

  I also took out a chocolate bar and bite into it.
The sweetness soaked into my body, which had not eaten anything since lunch.

 The sugar content was pleasant to my brain because I also had been using my head.


“…Oh, hey.”


As I was enjoying my late 3 o'clock snack like that, the Zashiki-warashi, who should have disappeared before I knew it, was looking up at me beside me.




what is… it?”

“What…? It's a chocolate bar.”

“Ah, is it sweet…?”

“Eh, well, it’s chocolate.”

“Hmm~n……I, see.”


Could it be…


“Do you want some?”



The Zashiki-warashi jumped up and down like a frightened kitten.
Her round eyes looked a little bit cute.


“Ha, haa!? No way! I'm not a kid!”


No, you're a kid.
You are a zashiki-warashi after all.


Feeling a little amused by this girl who was too easy to understand, I took out a new chocolate bar and handed it to her.


“Would you like to eat?”



 Zashiki-warashi stared at the offered chocolate bar.
She bit her lower lip.


“D, do you think I’ll be lured by something like that? Too bad, it won’t work.”

“No, I didn't mean it like that, but ……
you're right, they say that if you don't work, you don't deserve to eat.”


 I shrugged and tucked the chocolate bar into my pocket.

What are you going to do now?


“Oh, uh, …….”


The Zashiki-warashi stared with sad eyes, but eventually, she gritted her teeth in frustration and said “Baka!”, then disappeared.


…Hm, did I fail? I thought it would be like, “Then I'll work just once, so give me some chocolate.”

Perhaps the reason why I couldn't break through the Zashiki-warashi's stubbornness was that she didn’t know how delicious the chocolate really was.

 But the failure just now is plain painful.
I feel like I've become even more distant from the Zashiki-warashi.
No, is it the other way around? Whatever the form, it was great that we were able to squabble.
We were able to communicate.
And I got to know what she likes.


Perhaps it was because I was thinking about that.

 I didn't notice the shadow that jumped out from my blind spot.


“Huh? Ghouler!”


 The identity of the assailant was a gray wolf.
It was probably the size of a large Tosa dog, and it was powerful enough to be described as a ferocious beast.

 The sight of this large, ferocious wolf snarling and biting Ghouler terrified me more than I had imagined.
I felt a chill run down my spine.

 The wolf was pushing her down and biting her on the neck, and she was not even able to put up a good fight.


 No, no.
She is completely unresisting.
Why isn't she fighting back?!


 Just when I was confused by the sudden attacker and Ghouler's unresisting behavior, a bullet of light flew out of nowhere and pierced the wolf.

 The wolf screamed and rolled several meters on the ground.
A moment later, its right hind leg, which had been ripped to shreds, slumped to the ground with a thud.


 What, what is it? Wh, what is going on?


 The answer to that question was close at hand.


“Don't just stand there.
Move that little wooden doll, quick!”


 The girl who had been standing by my side for some time before I know it said to me in a bored tone.

 Then I finally understood.
It was the Zashiki-warashi who had just attacked the wolf, and the reason Ghouler did not resist was that I hadn't given her any orders!


“Ghouler! If you can get up, fight back against the wolf right now! Use all your available skills!”


 I immediately give the order.
Ghouler's eyes widened as if a switch had been flipped.
As if her previous movements had been a lie, she got up and attacked the wolf with agility.

 She held the wolf, which was unable to move quickly due to the loss of its hind legs, down to the ground and bit down on it, opening her mouth so wide that it looked as if it would split open.

 While the wolf's pitiful screams echoed around, Ghouler devoured the wolf with a single-minded determination.

 I was standing there, stunned by the horror movie-like scene, when I noticed the Zashiki-warashi standing beside me with a grim look on his face.


“Ah….., you helped me out earlier, thanks.”


 I thanked her in a slurred voice, but she didn't reply in particular.


 She was doing her job at least.
Just did the bare minimum of her duty? No, she wanted to say something.
I wonder what it is…
Oh, maybe…


“Oh, yeah, right.
I have to repay the hard workers, right? Here, I'll give you this.”


Following a sudden flash of inspiration, I offered the chocolate bar, and the Zashiki-warashi’s face brightened and she snatched the chocolate bar away from me.


“Heh, it's not like I really wanted this.
I just unintentionally put my hand in it because it smelled so bad! Don't get me wrong!”

“Oh, yeah.
I understand.
I understand properly.”


 Did you really want sweets that badly? You’re like an easy-to-understand tsundere character already, aren’t you?

 But, well, it's much better than being hard to understand.
I'll have to prepare some snacks next time.


 But more importantly, is Ghouler okay?


 Worried about her, I turned my gaze towards her, and there was no longer any wolf, only Ghouler with a red mouth.


“…Yeah, it looks like you are safe.”


When I approached her to check her condition, there were no more scars on the nape of her neck where the wolf had bitten her.
It was probably thanks to Ghouler's skill, regenerating by eating corpses.


Whatever the case, I'm glad she’s okay.


“Ghouler, next time you are attacked by an enemy, fight back immediately.
You can use whatever skills you can use.
Nod your head if you understand.”


 Ghouler nodded her head and I lightly patted her on the shoulder, saying, “I'm counting on you.”

 Now for the loot.
It is said that when you win a battle with a monster, they may drop an item or card on rare occasions……


“Oh! A card!”


 I picked up a card with an illustration of a wolf on it that had fallen to the ground.


 It's an F-rank [Wild Wolf] card.
The combat power is ……
only 15.

 If I'm not mistaken, the purchase price up to D-rank should have been about 10% of the list price.
The list price of the F-rank monster card is about 10,000 to 100,000 yen.
The Wild Wolf is a small fry among small fries, so it's about 1,000 yen.


 If you think of it as a thousand yen for a few minutes in the labyrinth, it seems like a tasty hourly wage, but it's not like they drop cards every time.
I have heard that the drop rate of F-rank cards is only one in ten.

 Considering that there is a risk of death, it is not very fruitful at low ranks.
I heard that if you get a C or above, you can earn a lot of money.

 It's always hard at the start……


I almost let out a sigh for a moment, but I managed to endure it.


  Now that I think about it, getting a card in my first battle was rather lucky.
Even more so if I think about the possibility of losing Ghouler if not for the Zashiki-warashi.


  As expected of a Zashiki-warashi, a C-rank card.


  Thinking that, I looked at her.
She looked depressed as she stared at the empty bag of chocolate bars.


“Was it delicious?”


 She really is just a kid, isn't she? I asked her, and she looked at me as if she had come to her senses.


“…Uh, ah?  It's not so bad for something that humans eat.”


“If you help me again, I'll give you other sweets.”


“Oh, are you serious!? Ah, no…
ugh, once in a while, when I'm in the mood for some snacks, I’ll think about it.”


“Well, then…
look forward to it.”


 I couldn't help but smile when I saw how much more obedient she was compared to the first time.

 I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm sure we'll be able to get along better than I thought.

 Well, should that be enough for today?


 I had actually come here today intending to fight at least ten times to get a feel for battle, and if all went well, to clear the first floor.

 I was naive.
The pressure of moving and fighting in the labyrinth was much greater than I had expected, and it was mentally draining.

 Even though I had only been in the labyrinth for a few minutes, I was mentally exhausted.


 I needed to think about the orders I would give to Ghouler, and I also needed to buy sweets for the kid.


 I headed home, ruminating about today's events in my head.



[Tips] Inside the Labyrinth

 The labyrinth is a different space, and there are various types such as forest type, mountain road type, seaside type, tunnel type, maze type, and graveyard type.
In addition, it has been found that the season, weather, and time of day do not change, and the food brought in does not spoil.
Experienced adventurers are younger than their actual age, so it is widely believed that the flow of time has stopped inside the labyrinth.
However, if time actually stopped, it would be impossible to move, so there are many mysteries.

 Many adventurers take advantage of this characteristic to enjoy skiing, surfing, and other seasonal sports in the labyrinth all year round, whether it is summer or winter.
And sometimes they let their guard down and die.

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