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“What the hell? Two new skills!”

 

 Zashiki-warashi was astonished when she saw the card.

 

 It was no wonder, because it was so difficult for a card to acquire new skills.

 Basically, it was said that it takes several months to learn a skill or to get rid of a demerit skill.

 I'm told that they can also gain or lose skills in a short period of time by encountering extremely critical situations or by dramatic changes in their mentality, but that is rare.

 Despite this, Ghouler gained two skills in just one week.

 And this was despite the fact that she is an undead, which was said to be difficult to train.

 

 It was not that Ghouler is special or that I am a genius.

 

It was the result of a good combination of undead characteristics and the skill of absolute obedience.

 

 In a sense, the undead are pristine beings.
The fact that they do not think for themselves means that there is an infinite blank space.
Even if the master's commands are temporarily drawn in, they are quickly bleached out.

 But what if there is a pen called absolute obedience that can permanently draw things there?

 

 The skills she gained were also skills that were easy for ghouls to gain: [Ambush] and [Hollow heart].

 [Ambush] is a skill that allows the monster to attack without being noticed by the opponent.
I guess she got this skill because I kept having Ghouler use pheromones to mask her presence and attack stealthily first.

 


 And [Hollow heart].
I was feeling the greatest sense of accomplishment, or rather, the most rewarding sense of accomplishment, in this skill.

 This is what the skill description says:

 A heart with an infinitely thin ego.
Resistance to mental abnormalities, negative response for free actions.

 

 In other words, she has a little bit of ego.

 It is said that the lower-ranked undead has no ego.
But now that she has acquired [Hollow heart], an ego is sprouting within her.

 

“………………muuuu.”

 

 Zashiki-warashi stared at Ghouler's card with her eyebrows furrowed on her cute face.

 I grinned at her.

 

“How's that, I’m not that bad of a newbie, am I?”

“Ha……
you're going to have to break through at least one dungeon before you can say something so cheeky, Fledgling-chan.”

“Ugh.”

 

 I couldn’t help but get choked up by Zashiki-warashi's words.

 I’ve yet to conquer this dungeon.

 I've been continuing to challenge this dungeon for a while now and finally made it to the fifth floor.

 The only one left was the lowest floor where the boss resides, and today's objective is to find that staircase.

 Depending on the conditions at the time, I intend to challenge the boss of the dungeon by the end of the day.

 

 It had already been a week since I first came here.

 Normally, an F-rank dungeon such as this one can be conquered in about three days, depending on the depth of the dungeon.
If you have a C-rank card like I do, you can do it in one day.

 The reason it took me this long was partly because I spent a lot of time training Ghouler, but also because I had come this far just by groping my way through the maze.

 In fact, the guild sells maps of dungeons that have already been conquered and information on the boss' strategy, but I didn't buy any of that information.
At best, I just looked up the time zone and depths of the dungeons that were open to the public for free.

 This was partly because I had run out of money after buying adventurer's supplies, but also because I thought I would never grow if I had to conquer an F-rank dungeon by relying too much on available information.

 Therefore, my dungeon attack was a careful and deliberate one.

 

 Even though it was the first dungeon, I was aware that I was taking too much time.

 Therefore, if possible, I would like to complete the dungeon today.

 The dungeon exploration up to this point had given me enough sense of control.
I was confident that the current Ghouler would be able to defeat the boss by herself.

 

 In the first place, the reason you need at least a D-rank card to become an adventurer is because you can push your way through an F-rank dungeon by the difference in rank.

 It was said that the dungeon's boss is basically a monster one rank higher than the other monsters that appear in that dungeon.
In the case of this dungeon, it would be Kobold or Hellhound.
In addition, the bosses are backed up by the dungeon, and it is said that their life force is strengthened several times over the normal level, and they can summon an inexhaustible number of lower-ranked races.

 But even so, one D-rank card was all that was needed to clear the dungeon.
That was the difference in rank.

 

 In fact, Ghouler had so far been able to fight through multiple opponents almost single-handedly.
The destructive power that can defeat an enemy with one or two blows along with the corpse-eating ability that combined attack and regeneration were the reasons for her victory.

 

 Even if the boss is the type with several times the life force, with the corpse-eater skill, she will be able to fight an endurance battle, and even if the boss is the type that summons a lower race, her destructive power can decide a quick battle.
If there is a problem, it is when the boss has some kind of special skill, but there is basically a law that the higher the rank of the skill, the less effective it will be.
In other words, the boss of an F-rank dungeon does not have many great skills.

 

 What should I do? Should I try today? Worst-case scenario, there will still be Zashiki-warashi, and we would not lose.

 

 Just when my thoughts were starting to lean toward the challenge, Ghouler came back from the battle.

 

“Master.
The battle has ended.
Please check the spoils.”

“Oh, well done.
Did anything go wrong?”

 

 I asked as I received two black pebbles – magic stones- from Ghouler.
The guild will buy any small magic stone, no matter how small, in grams.
For two magic stones of this size, the guild will pay 500 yen in total.

 

“Yes, Master.
I tried to snipe the battle wolf, but the goblin happened to be in the line of fire, and I couldn't damage the battle wolf.
I moved on to the second phase, loading the shot, but the battle wolf approached too quickly, so I stopped the previous maneuvers and went into close combat according to Situation Number 4.
After that, I utilized the stun rod and my skills to annihilate the enemies, then returned.”

 

“I see ……
You did a good job.
You may return.”

“Yes, sir.”

 

 I put the saluting Ghouler back on the card and massage the spot between my eyes.

 

 Hmm, it's not going to go as planned.
Well, even so, she was able to defeat the enemy, so it's fine, but that's only because the opponent was a lower rank, and if it was an opponent of the same rank, it wouldn't be possible.

 As expected, I should not challenge the Boss today.
Should I just find the stairs?

 

 I called Coosie out and had her resume searching for the enemy and the stairs.

 

“What, are you going home with your tail between your legs without challenging the Boss today? Will you ever be able to conquer the dungeon like this?”


“Shut up.”

 

 I just shrugged off the grinning Zashiki-warashi, who was trying to stir things up.

 

 

“Well, if you're going to fight at the front, then it will be fine to challenge the Boss right away.
Will you?”

“That's impossible.
I'm busy reading this.”

 

 The thing that Zashiki-warashi held up to me was a comic book about a national game.

 Of course, I brought it from home.

 

We had an unspoken agreement that she would fight only when we are in a pinch and I will give her sweets as a reward.

 But when Ghouler was able to fight to a certain extent, the Zashiki-warashi had very little to do.

 

 Then, not only did she have free time, but also couldn't even get any sweets, she began to play tricks on me with her ability to manipulate luck and misfortune.

 For example, she tried to make me fall on the street, make me drop my wallet, and even almost stop my heart when she unexpectedly ran into me with a stray monster.

 Where was all that talk about the card not being able to harm the master? Or was it that this was not considered harmful?

 Anyway, I can't stand about her not participating in battle and also pulling my leg.

 

 But if I get angry……, I would’ve lost.

 I took the pranks as a test as a master of its own.

 It is sometimes heard that adopted children who are taken in by foster parents play pranks or commit crimes to test their foster parents in the beginning.

 Therefore, I decided to attract her interest with something more interesting than a prank.

 This strategy was a great success.
The little ruffian was now completely hooked on Japanese manga.

 

“But you know, the townspeople in this are really disgusting.
They even throw stones at the main character, who takes on a horde of 100,000 monsters alone to save the city.”

 

 Suddenly, Zashiki-warashi started talking about the manga.
I joined in,

 

“Hmm.
But in the end, they stood up for the protagonist.
They even lent him their magic power that allowed him to use his special move.”

 

“That's the most disgusting thing.
After all, they came out after the enemy's army was wiped out by Master's self-destruct magic! Most of them never came out, even.
They only lent their power at the end and played the ally.
It's that kind of thing that makes me the angriest.”

 

“Well, you have a point.
But it's not realistic to expect everyone in the town to stand up for the protagonist from the beginning, because the protagonist hasn't done anything yet.
From the perspective of the townspeople, it looks like he only invited misfortune.
Besides, some people worked to help the protagonist from the beginning, right? Like getting the protagonist's friends out of jail.
The protagonist did it because they had some sort of relationship before the attack, and if it weren't for that, I don't think the protagonist would have done anything either.”

 

“……
Well, I see what you mean.
I can see why the protagonist would risk his life to protect the residents of the city.
But do they need to throw stones at him?”

 

“The author wanted to depict the beauty and ugliness of human beings. Some people hit harder than necessary to cover up their own sense of guilt.
And while for most people, their own self is the most important thing, some people can lay down their lives for others.
The protagonist's suicide bombing taught the townspeople that.
That's the beautiful flow of the story that led to the awakening of fellow wise kings and the final development.
And by the way, this is the flow that leads up to the last boss fight, right? Here is the message that this manga wants to convey throughout–”

 

“But that's glorifying human beings too much, isn't it? The essence of life exists in both humans and monsters, and the three small-fry monsters taught me that.”

 

“But that–“

 

“That part was great.
It was a great scene! As far as I'm concerned…”

 

 After that, we had a very heated discussion.

 

[Tips] The depth of the dungeon

 The deeper the dungeon, the more powerful the enemies are.

A-rank dungeon: Estimated depth of 101 floors or more.
; summoning limit of 12 cards.

B-Rank dungeon: 51 floors to 100 floors in depth.
; summoning limit of 10 cards.

C-Rank dungeon: 31 floors to 50 floors in depth.
; summoning limit of 8 cards.

D-Rank dungeon: 21 floors to 30 floors in depth.
; summoning limit of 6 cards.

E-rank dungeon: 11 floors to 20 floors in depth.
; summoning limit of 4 cards.

F-rank dungeon: 10 floors or less in depth.
; summoning limit of 2 cards.

 

 If it is a C-rank dungeon, it is not the case that C-rank monsters will appear on all floors and only F-rank monsters will appear if the depth is less than 10 floors.

 The reason why the A-rank dungeon is only estimated is because mankind has not yet reached the deepest floor of the A-rank dungeon.

 On the deepest floor, monsters one rank higher than the dungeon's rank awaits, and they are called “dungeon bosses” for convenience.
Not only is the boss of the dungeon higher in rank, but they are backed up by the dungeon and given the power to enhance their abilities and summon their subordinates.

 

Translator(s) note: If you notice, we used both 'labyrinth' and 'dungeon' before, but to make it easier, we decided to just go with 'dungeon'.
Hope you enjoy the translation~

***

 Notes:

 Japanese chess↩

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