“Ah.” Sword suddenly raised his voice. “I think you should take the rank-up exam in the next town. That said, let’s dive into a dungeon.”
He mentioned out of the blue.
Then again, I know that he tends to be rather abrupt in his words and actions.
“In other words, you’re saying a dungeon is conveniently nearby?”
“Yep. It think it’s goin’ to be a breeze for you, but it’ll be your first time in a dungeon, right? Let’s go check it out.”
Dude, you’re saying it with a mood as if telling us to go check out a game center since it’s right around the corner.
“So, what’s a dungeon in the first place?”
Why did Sword’s expression immediately screw up when hearing that?
“…You sure love theoretical stuff, don’t you? No one thinks ’bout what a dungeon might be.”
No, you should actually think about it.
“That means it’s different from a simple cave which got infested by monsters?”
“Indeed. …Well, how to say it…it’s at least not that. Accordin’ to one theory, dungeons seem to pop up at places where magic elements accumulate, but the details are unknown. A dungeon core exists in the deepest part of the dungeon, and if you break that, the dungeon is goin’ to disappear, but that’s forbidden.”
“I get the reason more or less, so I’ll pass on asking any further.”
“As you’ve guessed, dungeons are quite profitable. A dungeon won’t be destroyed unless it’s an emergency. Breakin’ it counts as a serious crime. Then again, you won’t be able to return alive either way.”
Figures. If the dungeon collapses because the dungeon core has been destroyed in the deepest part, getting out sounds unrealistic.
“So, don’t break the core, even by mistake.”
“What should I do if I don’t know what the dungeon core looks like?”
“That’s why I’ll come along as your navigator. Don’t let go of my hand and do as I tell you, ‘kay?”
“Got it. …What about Ryoku?”
I wonder whether the dungeon is wide enough for him to enter.
“You’ve brought him, so just take him with you. He’s your golem. Take him to the exam as well since he’ll be counted as a weapon. …That’s only if you get him registered as golem, though.”
I didn’t mean it like that, but it sounds like he’ll fit in the cave. In that case, I’ll of course take him with me! I’ll have him learn lots and lots of new stuff!
“…For heaven’s sake, that thing is more like a tamed monster than a golem. He’s been regularly strikin’ up conversations with me.”
“The same applies to you as well. Ryoku’s learning function is doing its job. He’s memorized a lot of things already, hasn’t he?”
Sword turned red.
He always acts cold and indifferent towards Ryoku in front of me, but whenever I’m not looking, he’s chatting away with Ryoku like an old granny. With a feel closer to teaching a mynah language than training a dog to shake hand.
I guess he must have been quite happy about Ryoku remembering and then doing or saying whatever Sword casually taught him.
“Come on, let’s go!”
Yeah, yeah, good job at glossing over your embarrassment.
“I think doin’ a dungeon run yourself is quite a challenge. If a map of the place is bein’ sold, you should get it, even if it’s somewhat costly. I’ve got the map for this place, but this time we’ll go without map, just as it’s done durin’ the exam.”
Hmm, so they got the concept of mapping in this world? It’s that, isn’t it? What I’ve done in a game a looong time ago…writing a map on a piece of paper!
When I tried to enter the dungeon, I got stopped.
“It’s dark inside a dungeon.”
“The dungeon core isn’t tactful and provides illumination or something similar?”
“What do you take a dungeon core for? You won’t receive the same hospitality in a dungeon as in a noble mansion, idiot.”
…I see. What a bummer.
When I combined my otherworld knowledge and the stories I’ve heard, dungeons kinda sounded like attractions to draw in customers.
Since it couldn’t be helped, I equipped a lamp on my head.
“…Hey, what’s that?”
“It’s a Light magic tool. With this shape, it’ll allow me to use both my hands on top of illuminating the area ahead of me.”
“Usin’ light magic without a care, eh…? Usually you’d use a torch, you know?”
“Do you want to die?”
If you use fire in a cave with no ventilation, you’re going to suffocate!
“Why would it turn out like that…?”
“Fire steals an element from the air while burning. Humans have to breathe that element for their bodies to work.”
“…Before considering me to be too much of a theory nut, it’d be smarter for you to ask yourself how things work, I think? Certainly, it’s not like the common sense of this world and the otherworld align in everything, but I’ve already proven that fire burns on that principle.”
This world is based on magic elements. You can do anything as long as you’ve got magic elements. But, it’s also true that other components are required as well.
Yet, the people here think that nothing else is needed as long as you have access to magic elements. Though my thinking is gradually getting infected by that ideology, too.
“Torches might be fine if there’s an airflow, but I want to keep my hands free. Because of that, this way is more convenient. …Has no one ever built anything like this? I mean torches might have a certain charm, but they lack user-friendliness, don’t they?”
“You ain’t usin’ ’em for appearance sake. Also, I’ve never seen such a magic tool. Even if someone had created it before, I’m sure it’d cost exorbitantly. Or do you think sorcerers capable of usin’ light magic grow on trees!?”
That’s the problem? I mean this doesn’t even use light magic to begin with, but whatever.
While advancing through the cave, I explained what I’ve been thinking about.
“…In my eyes, you and other magicians are amazing. Once you chant a spell, fire takes the form of an arrow and flies off or similar, right? Things like golems move by simply ordering them to fight. I have absolutely no idea how that works.”
“If you tell it to fight, it’s got no choice but to do that, no? Moreover, golems do nothin’ but plain swingin’ their fists or tryin’ to trample somethin’.”
“But that’s actually amazing. When I tried to build my golem, I had to first teach it what it means to walk.”
“No need to get so surprised. People will walk if you tell them to do it because they know what kind of action it is. It’s impossible to expect that something that doesn’t know the concept of walking would be able to walk just because you tell it to do so, right? It could only walk after learning to understand that walking means 『Lift your right foot, and lower it frontwards. Lift your left foot and lower it further frontward than your right foot』. And yet even that becomes completely unnecessary by just telling a golem to 『Fight』… Making it actually understand all the motions included in that action is super, super difficult, you know?”
Sword was lost for words.
“…How are you makin’ Ryoku move then?”
“The basic movements have been handled through ［Programming］. In short, he can do them even without having to learn them first.” I smirked broadly, or at least intended to do so.
“I got it that your proud of it, but don’t give me that gross smile while linin’ up an array of incomprehensible terms.” Sword commented, and pulled on my cheeks.
“But, please teach Ryoku a lot more things. By just teaching him what you can, he’ll memorize it and become smarter.”
After all, it’s possible that a soul might form in an AI when it comes to this world!
I gently caressed Ryoku.
Fundamentally, I can do anything Ryoku can do. But, since I want him to learn, I let him do it.
“Mapping of the first floor finished.”
Ryoku displays the map with a hologram.
“Gaah!?” Sword got totally startled.
“Good boy, well done.” I stroked Ryoku.
“WeLl dOnE, iS, GeTtINg prAiSeD.”
“Aww～ you make me all shy.” Ryoku became bashful.
“Oi! Ryoku has…”
“Ah, sorry. This is part of his basic functions. It’s not that he memorized it.”
I just wanted him to do it since it’s cute.
“Hey, what’s with you wastin’ functions on such nonsense!?”
For some reason I got scolded.
“What are you saying? Cuteness is justice, you know? …Anyway, Ryoku, 『This』 is a trap, 『This』 as well.”
“THiS iS trap. THiS AS wElL, trap. THiS AS wElL, trap.”
He immediately learned it, and became capable of identifying other traps after understanding traps.
“Aww～ you make me all shy.”
“…Good grief, lately I’ve been wonderin’ whether your not actually a nutcase.”
The conversation between Ryoku and me earned me a very cold look from Sword.
We came all the way to the boss room without running into any problems.
“As expected, dungeon clearing with the support of a map is boring. It doesn’t let me feel the excitement of being on an adventure whatsoever.”
“…Listen, never say that in front of ordinary adventurers, got it?” Sword hurled a warning at me.
I got it. I’m a woman who learns.
I looked up at the door leading to the boss room.
I’m sure no one has wondered how this door came to be. It’s pointlessly extravagant with many ornaments, so it’d be ridiculous if this door had become like this naturally.
…Oh well, whatever. It just means that anything goes with magic elements.
Coming to that conclusion in my mind, I opened the door. The boss orc was sitting on its throne.
“…I’m sorry, okay. But it looks like you’ll be revived later anyway. Please forgive me since I’ll at least do you the favor of killing you in an instant.”
“Once again, why the hell are you talkin’ to monsters while actin’ all cool?”
I was asked by sword, but don’t you think it’s awful to selfishly trespass into one’s home and slaughter its inhabitants? If a monster were to trespass into my home, I’d certainly get angry, so it’s way too arrogant to consider it as fair to trespass into their homes.
Even though I say all that, I trespassed and killed the boss. I ran up to it in an instant and delivered a neck chop. Immediately following, the corpse turned into dust and disappeared.
“So there are monsters leaving behind corpses while others don’t, huh?”
“The monsters created in dungeons belong to the latter category.”
I see, I see.
After the dust had dispersed, a magic stone and a treasure chest became visible.
“…Hey! Why does a treasure chest appear after defeating the boss? This is definitely a present from the dungeon core.”
“Don’t mind the small stuff. Come on, open it.”
It’s not small stuff!!
“What is a treasure chest to begin with? Who has placed it there and why? Is it the management? The dungeon management?”
When I opened the chest while unleashing that flurry of muttered complaints, Sword commented, “Oh, it’s a winner!”
It contained a medicine bottle.
“…There are winners with treasure chests? It’s becoming more and more like an attraction. I suppose this is a giveaway for the sake of entertaining the customers, aka the adventurers.”
When I unleashed yet another flurry of grumbles, Sword retorted, “Not like it’s a problem. You ain’t losin’ out on anythin’, so stop bickerin’.”
“Thank you very much, kind Sir Dungeon Core. I shall humbly accept your gift and go back.”
If I remember correctly, it went like that.
On our way back out, no monsters appeared and no traps got activated either. The dungeon core might as well have provided a door with 【Exit】 written on it.
After we stepped outside, Sword faced me.
“Now then, I’m in no mood to criticize the dungeon clearin’ itself since your way too eccentric. But I’ll at least tell you what you need to watch out for when takin’ the C-Rank exam.”
Eh? So he’s not going to teach me the tricks of clearing dungeons?
“First off, I’ll allow you to bring along Ryoku from now on. It’d be best to expose him to many people for the sake of allowin’ him to become well-known, if your goin’ to act together with him in the future. However, even though the mappin’ will be fine, that thing, you know the one that brightened up the area in front of you, is a no go.”
“If you show off somethin’ like that, you’ll draw the attention of the army, idiot! Your already standin’ out by just bein’ together with me, so try to avoid to stand out even more!”
“Oh, it came out, your excessive self-consciousness.”
“Did you say something!?”
I fervently shook my head.
“I mean, you blabbed ’bout the clearin’ bein’ borin’ while lookin’ at a map, didn’t you? So show me how you do it without the light thingy!”
Is it going to become fun by doing just that? …Oh well, nevermind. I understand. I’m going to enjoy it while thinking of it as an attraction!
A map is boorish when visiting an attraction! It’ll be the best if I can feel excited by not knowing what might pop out!
Raising a fist in the air, I pledged, “You’re absolutely right! I’ll enjoy it with self-imposed restrictions! The thrilling feeling of an adventure is indispensable. I mean it’s my job after all!”
“Though I believe it’d be better for you to stop bein’ an adventurer ‘n focus on magic tool creation.”
Once I pouted, he stretched my cheeks again.
“Y-o-u! Get it into your head that your upsettin’ people by just breathin’! Adventurers are quick to pick a fight and very short-tempered, so it’s dangerous if you run around while naturally pissin’ off people!”
“Eiih donchdo aniiffin liek dat.”
“You do! Realize it, idiot!”
Pah, that’s not true!