Episode 8 If I were to use an analogy, it would be like a helpful character who joins for a bit at the beginning of an RPG.



 It had been a week since I became an adventurer.

 As a result of my daily dives into the dungeon, I am slowly beginning to understand how to use the cards ……, or rather, how to interact with them.


 First, let's talk about Zashiki-warashi.
The way to control her was basically automatic.
In other words, I let her run wild and only give her rewards such as sweets when she helps me in battle.

 In a sense, the feeling was similar to that of a helpful NPC in an RPG.
The character who temporarily joins at a low level and is the strongest in terms of strength, but does not accept any commands.
That's it.


 I've given up trying to control her, but I'm getting the feel to let her be helpful.
As a result of this week's feeding, the probability of Zashiki-warashi's participation in battle is gradually increasing.

 The point is that she is like a child.
Children in the rebellious stage will not listen to what you say if you just give out orders.
That's why they should be lured with toys and sweets at first.
Then praise them when they do it right.
In this way, little by little, children will be taught the joy of helping and the sense of accomplishment.

 I think that because her previous master didn't understand this and tried to make her do what he wanted, she closed her mind to him.

 I gradually began to think that way.


 Next was Ghouler.
This one was the complete opposite of Zashiki-warashi, a card that was completely manually operated.

 At any rate, she would not move unless I gave her an order.
Even if attacked by an enemy, she would not even fight back.

 Therefore, when fighting, I have to give an order immediately or plant an order in advance like, “If you are attacked by the enemy, you must counterattack.”

 At first, I thought this was too much trouble, but now I began to think that it was actually interesting in its own way.


 Ghouler will not move without an order, but if I give her an order, she will definitely obey it.

 For example, by incorporating multiple commands, such as, ” Always look for the enemy's signs,” “When there is only one enemy, attack by surprise,” and “When attacking by surprise, use your pheromone skill to mask your presence,” then she will attack by surprise when she finds an enemy without me having to say anything.


 The scary part was when there is a contradiction between the orders.
To avoid this, I kept a memo of all the orders and kept checking for any contradictions.

 Now, even during school classes, I am constantly thinking of battle situations and preparing the orders I will give to Ghouler in advance.

 I would think of as many orders as I could before entering the dungeon, and then identify and correct any problems during the actual battle.

 I was becoming addicted to training Ghouler like playing a training game.


 Finally, about Coosie…….


“Master! I found a group of enemies!”


 A dog as big as an ox ran up to me.

 The dog, which had beautiful emerald green fur and a big, swirling tail, stood up as soon as it reached me.

 Standing on two legs like this, its body was somewhere between that of a dog and a human.
Its body, which can act both on four legs and two legs, may be closer to that of an ape.

 Incidentally, this one was also a female, although that info was not important.


“There are three of them.
Two unarmed goblins and one battle wolf! They haven't noticed us yet.”

“I see, well done, Coosie.”


 When I patted her on the head, Coosie wagged her tail in delight.


 She is so cute…….
At home, my family has a dog named Maru, but it seems to think that I'm lower in the hierarchy than itself these days as it blatantly disrespects me.
Even though it flattered my sister with all its might.

 On the other hand, Coosie here knows exactly who she should respect.


 A dog should be like this.


 Because she has a good nose, she can tell me about monsters from afar, and she's very good as a scout because she can mask her presence.
But, she has one big drawback.


“What do you say, Coosie? You want to fight this time?”


 When I suggested this with a cough, Coosie shuddered and curled her tail.


“I'm not ready to fight…
yet,” she said.

“I see…….”


 This was Coosie’s only fatal flaw.

 Her timid nature made her incapable of fighting.

 In a way, it was a bigger disqualifying point as a card than the Zashiki-warashi that does not listen to orders.


 Actually, she should be corrected even if she has to be whipped a little…, but……


“I understand.
Then you can take us to the enemy and then I will switch your place with Ghouler.”

I’m sorry, Master.”


 I pat Coosie's head as she lowered her tail in dejection.
The fluffy fur that seemed to bury my hand was very pleasant to the touch.


“Don't worry about it, let's do what we can.



 I was being a bit naive myself.
However, Coosie was also very useful as a scout.
The fact that she is timid makes her quicker to notice the presence of the enemy.


 When I think about it, I wonder if I don't have to correct it right now.

 And when I yelled at her before, she was so frightened that she couldn't communicate well with even me for a while afterward.

 Now that Ghouler is sufficient for fighting, I don't want to force Coosie to fight and make her unusable even as a scout.

 I also had such a calculating thought in my mind.


“You're so kind.”


 I heard a sneer from behind me.


“You think you're a kind master by taking care of the cards? You're wasting your time and effort.
You’ll switch to a stronger and easier-to-use card when you get one anyway, aren't you?”

“No, it's not a waste of time and effort.
It's still very useful.”

“If you are talking about scouting, you are lying.
Even a lower rank can do that well.
It is rather easy to use low-rank cards because it doesn't hurt even if they die, right?”


 She had a point.
In fact, it was easier to use a low-ranking one for a scouting role that had a high risk of being lost.
This was because even if they die, the economic damage will be small.
Even the death itself can be an alert of the presence of powerful enemies from a distance.

 One of the tactics used by professionals was to release dozens of F-rank cards into the dungeon one after another, disposing of them and using them to search for enemies.



“That's assuming I’m going to use them up and throw them away, right? Between training them and using them up, my choice is the best.”


 ……Let’s keep quiet about the sad fact that even F-rank cards are not so disposable since I don’t have any spare money in my wallet.


“That's sweet.”

“You like it sweet, don't you? I'm the only master who gives sweets to cards that don't listen to me.”

“Heh, don’t try that shit on me.”


 Leaving those words behind, the Zashiki-warashi disappeared.


 I won this time, too.

 She would sometimes make a sarcastic remark like that, but I kept on fighting it off.

 Lately, I've even enjoyed these little wars of words.
It seemed that Zashiki-warashi was no different, and the number of times she talked to me gradually increased.

 It made me smile a little, as if she was a naughty little kid who really wanted us to be friends but was too shy, so she played tricks on me.


“Master, the enemy group is close.
Please switch me.”

“I'm on it.
Coosie, come back.
Come out, Ghouler!”


 At Coosie's words, I returned her and called Ghouler.

 Ghouler appeared, quickly assumed her boxing form, and checked her surroundings with her eyes gleaming,


“No enemy in sight, not in combat,” she said, then she released her stance.


 I told Ghouler to get ready for battle as soon as she appeared and to be sure to check her surroundings.
I had also ordered Ghouler to decide on what to do after preparing several options in advance.

 Just as artificial intelligence has come to surpass humans in chess and shogi1, this was one of many experiments to see if Ghouler's intelligence could be nurtured by gradually accumulating data little by little in this way.


“Let me explain the situation.
Currently, we are approaching the group of enemies that Coosie found.
There are three of them.
Two goblins and one battle wolf.
The enemy probably hasn't noticed us yet.
The distance is just outside the battle wolf’s sense of smell.
You can use whatever tools you have.
Now then, what should you do?”


 Ghouler began to answer my question in an emotionless voice,


“Yes, Master.
I will answer.
This situation can be applied to Situation No 27.
Therefore, I will sneak in at the slingshot range and snipe the battle wolf first.
Next, I will load the slingshot and attack the enemy group.
After that, regardless of the outcome, move on to the destruction of the enemy group with the stun rod.”


 The slingshot and stun rod Ghouler refers to were pieces of equipment for monsters purchased at an adventurer's specialty store.

 The slingshot was a custom-made device made of ten strands of hard rubber that a human could never pull off, and it was something that only a monster like her could ever handle.
The stun rod was also made to a level of power output that was illegal to use against humans and had to be reported to city hall before they could be possessed.

 I took the slingshot and stun rod out of my bag and gave them to her.


“All right! Go ahead, do it.
Make sure to properly record the battle with your camera.”


 I have Ghouler wearing a helmet with a wearable camera.
All the combat was recorded, and my recent routine had been to play back the video and correct my orders.


“Yes, Master.”


 As I watched Ghouler leave with a salute, the Zashiki-warashi suddenly appeared.


“………That wooden doll looks so different.

It's hard to believe it's a ghoul.”


 The usually sarcastic Zashiki-warashi groaned and praised.

 Feeling good about it, I replied,


“Well, it was a lot of work.
The most time-consuming part of the week was the training of Ghouler.
It feels like she's finally starting to sprout.”

“Is there really no ego in her?”

She can't do anything except for what I told her to do.
It’s like she is thinking of her own answers right now, but that is just a compound of past commands I gave her.
Ghouler is getting a little bit better at combining options, but she can't create her own options.”


 I am constantly ordering her to think, to come up with her own ideas, but on the contrary, if I don't do that, Ghouler won't think of anything.

 Therefore, I make all kinds of situations and keep inputting them into Ghouler.


 For example, if a normal person is hungry, they will try to eat.
They make choices based on their mood and physical condition at the moment.
However, Ghouler will not eat even if she is hungry unless she is ordered to eat.
She will eat only when I tell her to eat.
Even then, there was no question about preference.
She just mechanically tried to eat whatever food was available.


 So I give her a variety of choices, such as curry, beef bowl, omelette rice, etc., and order her to choose the most appropriate one for the situation.
After that, she will finally be able to choose and ‘eat food’ normally.


 Through the accumulation and more accumulation of these experiences, Ghouler had been able to move so far on her own.

 Even human beings cannot cope well with unknown situations.

 The fact that she was able to manage such a situation in such a haphazard way was largely due to her previous experience.

 I want to give Ghouler this collection of answers in the name of experience.

 My efforts were beginning to bear fruit, albeit slowly.


 I took out Ghouler's card and showed it to Zashiki-warashi.


[Race] Ghoul

[Combat Power] 110 (10UP!)

[Inborn Skill]

・Living corpse

・Firefield's fool power

・Corpse Eater


[Acquired skills]

・Absolute obedience

・Sexual skill


・Ambush (NEW!)

・Hollow heart (NEW!)



“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.




 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?”

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



 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.


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,


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~



 Japanese chess↩

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