The first half of the following week was a horror.
Once I handed in my resignation letter to the company, one big-wig after the other showed up, and tried to make me stay, saying things like, “Don’t you care about all the projects you’re leaving unfinished?”
In the first place, rather than stopping me from considering quitting, you should have just treated me decently from the start.
“I have heard about your recent mistake, we don’t have any particular intention to blame you for that.” The human resources guy said, but I only felt dumbfounded.
“I have done nothing wrong. The other party simply canceled the deal, after I was forced to apologize to them for troubles that had been caused by sales. Though I think that’s only logical, as I would also doubt the company’s sincerity if an unrelated underling came to apologize.”
“…I haven’t heard anything about that.”
“Even if you say that, it’s your company’s problem.”1
In short, I indirectly complained, 『First of all, I don’t wanna wipe Enoki’s ass anymore』.
As a result, my resignation was temporarily put on hold, but my paid vacation until pay day was approved.
And then, Thursday finally arrived.
I was about to brazenly head to Yoyogi Dungeon.
“Oh~, a sparkling, brand-new license. Unchallenged G rank. Somehow this is pointlessly cool, isn’t it?”
“Why unchallenged, albeit it’s the lowest rank?”
“Because there’s no one below it.”
In light novels, your card would be made of more expensive material the higher your rank, but the WDA license is a common plastic IC card. However, the rank indicator’s design is elaborate and it contains a hologram to prevent counterfeits, making it excessively stylish.
“A country with a culture steeped in manga and anime was guaranteed to make something like a dungeon card a big deal, even if it’s just a piece of plastic.” Miyoshi flips through the explorer guide book that came with the card, looking totally attached to it.
This book looks like some kind of game manual, it totally gives off a fantasy atmosphere. I expected that it would be a lot more government office-like, a dull and boring document.
What’s written in there is only common knowledge, though.
“Anyways, let’s head out then?”
We leave my apartment early in the morning, heading straight for Yoyogi Dungeon.
Yoyogi is a fairly spacious dungeon, but relatively detailed information is available up until the 21st floor, which has been completely captured. A fine map has been released on the official website, allowing one to even see the interior through Dungeon View. Kind of a dungeon version of street view.
It looks like you will often spot explorers wearing omnidirectional cameras.
“Different from a street, they are walking while moving up and down. The angle of view changes when they evade obstacles as well, doesn’t it? They have compiled this through clever tracing, huh?”
“Haven’t they been using drones or such?”
“I mean, those would be destroyed by monsters, no?”
It was written on a page of Yoyogi Dungeon’s dungeon story.
“How about installing cameras all over the place and monitoring it in realtime at this point?”
“There’s some kind of spatial rupture, so the electromagnetic waves won’t reach.”
“Rupture?” Miyoshi hugs her own body, shivering, seemingly imagining that her body would be scattered into pieces.
“It says that there’s no effect on objects that pass through.”
“Haah, I realize a dungeon’s strangeness all over again. But, in that case, what if it’s communication through wire, seeing as objects pass through it.”
“They say it’ll turn into fodder for monsters.”
Especially the damage from slimes seems to be amazing. The cable they brought in at first apparently didn’t last a single day.
While chatting about such stuff, we wrap things up at the reception in the entrance area, and go down to the first floor of Yoyogi Dungeon.
Most of the explorers take the shortest route to the stairs towards the second floor. As the first floor hosts slimes and occasionally goblins, it’s totally uninteresting to them. Another reason for the unpopularity of the first floor is that the stairway to the second floor is right next to the entrance.
While casting a glance at the stream of descending people, we try to head deeper into the first floor.
“For now it’s our first run, so I think we should get used to killing monsters.”
“Hey, hey, senpai. Let’s check the experience points of slimes.”
“Because quantification is the trend right now of course. We will sell that information later!”
“What kind of trend are you on about? In the first place, won’t we get asked how we measured it?”
“We invented a measuring device with some new technology or such?”
“Ain’t that scamming!? Besides, we would be told to sell the measuring device then, wouldn’t we?”
“Human trafficking is somewhat problematic.”
“The measuring device is me!?”
“You see, there are quite a few businesses using skills in the world, so it absolutely won’t be a scam. Of course, we won’t be able to publicize the method, but researchers all over the world are going to verify the accuracy of our information.”
What a magnificent way to rely on others for your own objective.
However, it’s a trait of researchers working in the same field to verify the theories of others by trying to replicate them, isn’t it?
“Oh, found one, found one.”
Meanwhile, we have stumbled across the first monster, not first villager.2 It’s bouncing and jiggling in a corner of the path, a slime.
“Its movements are slow, and it doesn’t look as if it’s going to jump at us or spew out something all of a sudden like in fiction, but weapons don’t really work against this guy, it seems.”
We don’t have any magic, so would it have been better to bring a flamethrower to an area mostly filled with slimes? I don’t own anything like that, though. Come to think of it, there was a movie where they burned something by igniting the spray of an aerosol can, wasn’t there?
“True. Slimes are mostly made out of something similar to water. Cutting or striking them appears to have little effect.” Miyoshi lowers her backpack, and takes out several objects that look like bottles.
“It looks like they die if you destroy the core located somewhere inside their body, but spotting the exact location of an orb with a diameter of around one centimeter is quite the task. Compared to how troublesome they are, they don’t seem to drop anything. Even as you kill them on and on, I heard that it doesn’t feel like you getting any stronger at all.”
“So, you’re saying they have no good points?”
“They sure don’t. That’s why everyone gives up on them and goes elsewhere.”
“Err, won’t we get discouraged by them midway, as well?”
“That’s where my secret weapon experiments come in.”
Miyoshi stands up abruptly, presses her left hand against her waist, and pushes up the bridge of air glasses, saying, “Now listen, okay? Most of the slime’s liquid is thought to maintain its shape by causing a minimization of the surface area by destabilizing the interfacial free energy between the inside and the outside of the slime.”
“Oh? Playing teacher?”
As she speaks, she points at the slime right ahead of us.
Once the minimization of surface area takes place, it closely resembles a ball. Sure, it’s still trembling slightly. Having said that――
“I really don’t feel like it’s a good idea to apply our science to a fantasy world, though.”
In reality, weapons at the level of small arms, including guns, seem to only work up to the 10th floor. Afterwards, they gradually work less, and mostly stop having any effect on the 20th floor, I heard.
That’s why it’s difficult to capture a medium dungeon. Though, in the case of gunpowder-based weapons, it appears that another reason they aren’t used more is that their offensive power doesn’t increase at all now matter how much stronger their wielder gets by killing monsters…
“I think modern science can still be applied to physical traits. So, if it relies on those conditions to maintain its shape, it should lose its shape if you lower the interfacial free energy.”
“Are you going to try spraying a slime with soap water?”
“Correct. For starters I prepared the following types: anion, cation, anion + cation, and non-ionized.” Miyoshi presses a switch on the camera attached to her helmet.
It looks like she’s going to record this.
“If something happens, I’m counting on you for defense.”
“Sure. However, with this?”
I audibly swing the 30 cm frying pan she took out.
“Senpai, its level as weapon and armor is high after all. Besides, it’s completely made out of titanium, you know? It’s tough, light, and resistant to corrosion. Since its thermal conductivity is low, it can deal with a bit of fire, too. As it’s a Chinese-style frying pan, you’ll be able to deflect attacks with its sloped sides. I think it’s far superior to some average shield, okay?”
“I really don’t get the idea behind making a frying pain out of titanium that conducts heat badly.”
“Probably because it keeps the heat?”
Miyoshi is puzzled, too.
“Well, whatever. I’m ready to go.”
I stand ready in front of the slime while holding the frying pan.
“Then, here I go. First the anion type. Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, fire!”
“That’s no different from a magic chant, is it?”
Miyoshi sprays the surfactant, that seems to be an anion type, out of the bottle in her hand.
The slime, which takes a direct hit from the solution, only trembles repeatedly while causing its surface to undulate.
“Doesn’t look like it had much of an effect.”
“Yeah. Though you seem to work pretty nicely for G, Mama Lemon3,“ she said to the bottle with a frown.
She enters a note on her tablet, while looking disappointed.
“Well then, next up, the cation type!”
“Won’t the surface active effect get reduced if you mix it with an anion type?”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. It’s not like I’m going to wash it, and it’s an experiment to kill some time anyway.”
“Kill some time, you say!?”
However, the effect is dramatic. The moment the cation type surfactant hits the slime, it pops with a bang.
“Huh? What’s this? Is it alien drool or something like that?”
“Its main component is benzethonium chloride.”
“Oh, somehow that sounds damn powerful.”
“Right? But when it’s sold normally, it’s called Makiron4.”
“You mean, slimes are weak against Makiron?”
“Looks like it.”
“Oh, should I buy shares of Daiichi Sankyo5 then?”
“Even if this becomes widely known, I don’t think there’ll be a significant demand.” While saying so, Miyoshi takes out a somewhat largish locksmith’s hammer, and beats the core laying on the floor with it. The core cracks, and dissipates into black particles.
“With this, slimes have stopped being enemies!”
“Though they wouldn’t actually be enemies if you ignored them from the get-go.”
“I told you, I believe that part of you is the reason why you’re not popular with women, senpai.”
Miyoshi hands the hammer and the bottle with the fake Makiron to me.
“Senpai, your skill also quantifies experience points, right?”
“Rather than experience points, it quantifies what seems to be the values added to each stat.”
“Well, let’s just call it experience points for the sake of convenience.”
We continue trudging along. Since traps haven’t been confirmed in dungeons as of yet, moving around a dungeon is pretty chill, as long as you pay attention to monsters.
“Found the second monster.”
“Making.” The usual display pops up after I mutter the skill name.
Name Yoshimura Keigo
Rank 1 / SP 1173.03
STR 14 (+)
VIT 15 (+)
INT 18 (+)
AGI 10 (+)
DEX 16 (+)
LUC 14 (+)
“Well then, shall I handle it?”
“Gush forth! Somethingonium chloride!”
“Senpai…is that necessary?”
The fake Makiron jets out with a spraying sound, and the slime explodes.
“Yelling a technique’s name is a Japanese tradition.”
The rest was simple work, as I only had to hit the core.
Name Yoshimura Keigo
Rank 1 / SP 1173.03 → 1173.05
STR 14 (+)
VIT 15 (+)
INT 18 (+)
AGI 10 (+)
DEX 16 (+)
LUC 14 (+)
“Let me see…an increase of 0.02.”
“0.02 you say…” Miyoshi enters the value into a spreadsheet on her tablet.
“Let’s go to the next one!”
And that’s how we continued beating slimes until the tablet’s battery ran low.
Miyoshi and I return to my apartment as soon as we’re done.
Miyoshi immediately transfers the data she brought back to her laptop, and then starts running statistics…not.
“It’s not enough to run statistics on it yet. You will know once you look.” Miyoshi hands the notebook over to me.
So we defeated 72 slimes in the end? And the acquired SP totals to…0.182?
“Bleh, even if they’re just slimes, only this much after defeating 72 of them!?”
“There’s a reason everyone ignores them.” Miyoshi answers, while working on something with the 5 liter plastic container she bought the other day and prepared in the kitchen in advance.
“But, at first…oh, hmm? Look, the first 10 are divided by the number of killed slimes, no?”
“Yes. It looks like the amount of experience points you get is divided by higher and higher numbers over time, based on how many you’ve killed. From the 10th slime on, it seems to always be 1/10th.”
“Though it would have been 1.44 SP if it remained 0.02 all the way.”
“Mmh? SP, what’s that?”
“Ah, I didn’t tell you, did I? What we’re conveniently calling experience points right now is expressed as SP.”
“Hmm, so status point or something like that?”
“Let’s go with SP from now on then.”
“Sure. But, it should originally be 1.44 SP and yet it’s 0.182. No matter how you put it, that’s way too much of a difference.”
“Doesn’t the experience point efficiency drop if you become stronger in a game?”
“It’s just that the necessary experience points for the next level keep growing if you continue leveling. Normally you get the same experience points when you defeat the same monsters, I believe.”
“Well, this one is more natural, isn’t it? So, at present――”
Miyoshi offers two hypotheses.
Hypothesis 1: SP decreases if you kill a monster repeatedly in succession.
Hypothesis 2: The real value is the one you get after you have defeated more than 10, and the first 10 are just a bonus.
“We can’t verify 1 unless we run into other monsters on the way, can we?”
“Goblins appear on the first floor as well, you know?”
“It appears they only spawn in the area around the stairway leading to the second floor. So, they get hunted down right away.”
“Please check it tomorrow, if possible.”
“Mmh? What about you?”
“Tomorrow there’s a short course for obtaining a trade license I applied to the other day. My aim is Oumi trader! That’s why.”
“Much thanks, wow. But, what about work?”
“Fu fu fu. I didn’t use up all of my paid vacation. Also, Thursday and Friday are consecutive holidays.”
“You did well to get it approved.”
“Right now, the projects are on hold thanks to you, senpai. So an underling like me can do what she likes.”
“No, saying it’s thanks to me…”
I’m pretty sure it’s thanks to Enoki, though.
Well, that’s okay. I don’t dislike doing this kind of laborious work. I will travel to Yoyogi for a while…huh?
“Say, isn’t the 71st kind of too little?”
“Ah, about that. Look, isn’t that the guy I hit with a stone that I kicked by accident?”
“I see. I suppose it became half because both of us attacked it. Quite amazing that it’s even.”
“I mean, the experience points will simply be split by the number of participants, unrelated to their contribution to battle, right? It’s all-you-can-hit, so to say.”
All you gotta do is throw a random pebble during someone else’s battle and pretend it was an accident.
“…Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
“It will turn into a huge uproar if it’s quantified.”
I see. Because it’s not being quantified right now, no one would think that it’s like that.
If this fact is publicized…it will likely give birth to brutal hunting grounds, I think.
“Since it truly looks like it’s better to not announce it, let’s discuss before making it available to the public.”
Even so, assuming that the explorers of the early beginnings have dived into dungeons almost every day, they will have adventured for around 1100 days by now.
Since it’s like this with slimes, they must have already accumulated plenty of points if they gained more than 1 SP per day on average. It’s weird that I’m ranked first.
Wait, does that mean 0.182 is normal?
“Umm, what have you been doing there all this time?”
“Well, I’ll be at the company for a while. I prepared some alien drool in advance. Since there’s five 5 liter bottles, it should last you for some time, right?”
“Oh, that helps.”
At that time I wasn’t aware that killing 72 monsters, even if they’re slimes, in one day, is abnormal.
Moreover, I also didn’t quite know that it was normal to dive into a dungeon as part of a big party.
- Adding the author’s note from the end of the chapter here: “御社 (someone else’s company in a colloquial way) is intentional. It’s sarcasm saying I have already resolved myself to quit anyway.”
- I think it’s a reference to RPGs where you run first into a random villager? No clue.
- A detergent with citrus aroma, look pict0re: https://cdn.yourmystar.jp/relivers/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/mamalemon-018-1-thumbnail-900.jpg
- Product of antiseptic solution
- The company producing and selling Makiron