§010 A Legend Appears 10/5 (Fri)

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“Now then, I guess I’m going to energetically slaughter slimes today as well.”

Ignoring the flow of people, I head deeper into the first floor. I don’t even notice the odd looks from all the people heading to the second floor, as I march briskly into the depths of the first floor, wearing no armor to speak of and carrying nothing but a rucksack.
As soon as I put some distance between me and the stairs, I find an abundance of slimes, as expected, since there’s no one else here.

“Somethingbeam!”

“-onium” has already transformed into a beam, but no one cares anyway.

“Hammer Attack!”

It’s not really an original name, but no one cares anyw…huh?
The SP for the slime I just defeated was 0.02. Hmmmm? While considering that strange result, I defeat another slime….and it’s 0.01.

Hypothesis 1: SP gains are reset everyday.
Hypothesis 2: They’re reset every time you enter a dungeon.

I quickly go outside, in order to immediately check my hypothesis. And then I rush through the process of entering a dungeon again, and head inside once more.
This time I get 0.02 SP for the first slime I defeat. Excited, I continue walking on to the area near the second floor stairs. But I don’t spot any monsters besides slimes.
As I get ready to head down to the second floor, feeling like I have no other choice if I want to collect more data, I suddenly notice something.

“That reminds me, I got no armor, and my only weapon is a hammer. The somethingbeam won’t work against anything other than slimes, will it…?”

I guess I will focus on drawing up a verifiable model using only slime data for today.

“Phew, it’s a battlefield. Losin’ your composure means death.” While muttering such a line, I feel like the folks descending to the second floor are looking at me, as I start to walk deeper into the first floor again, as if I’m some kind of weirdo, but it’s probably just my imagination.

After this, I go in and out of the dungeon 14 more times, but one time among those I only get 0.01. That makes me retrace my steps from inside the dungeon, to just outside the entrance.
I check my hypothesis five times afterwards. I make sure to pause between each run, and keep increasing the distance little by little…
As a result, I confirm that you apparently have to leave the range influenced by the dungeon in order to reset experience gains. It looks like that boundary is at a spot exactly halfway down the path between the dungeon’s entrance and the entry reception. Time doesn’t appear to be a factor.
Satisfied with the testing, I’m about to enter the dungeon once again.

At that moment, I’m called by an unknown voice, “Umm…excuse me for disturbing you.”

A small, good-looking, woman wearing a JDA uniform is standing by the entrance.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

“What? Suicide?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

The woman’s name is Naruse. I’m taken to the Yoyogi’s Dungeon’s YD Cafe (of course it stands for Yoyogi Dungeon Cafe) by her, and there I’m informed about something unexpected.

 

 

“There has been a report that a man is repeatedly entering, immediately leaving, and entering the dungeon again, while not wearing any kind of equipment.”

“I see.”

“It’s been suggested that he may be trying to kill himself in the dungeon, attempting it over and over again as he can’t make up his mind.” She explains while returning my license card.

Sure, it makes sense that people would think something like that, after watching me go in and out of the dungeon in casual clothes like you’d wear downtown.

“That’s, how to put it…I’m sorry to have troubled you.” I apologize earnestly.

“No, it’s alright if that’s not the case.” Mrs. Naruse smiles, and looks straight at me after taking a sip from her café au lait. “So, Mr. Yoshimura, just what have you been doing then?”

Now that suicide is off the table, it seems like she’s interested in what I’ve been up to.

“Ah, no. I was just running a little test.”

“What kind of test?”

“A-Ah, it’s nothing I can publicize yet. Sorry.”

“You can’t publicize it? Are you a part of some enterprise?”

“No. It’s true that I’m a researcher, but…do I have some kind of obligation to disclose my intentions?”

“No, you don’t. However, since you might be misunderstood by onlookers who don’t know what you’re up to, it might be better for you to put on some simple equipment. Just in case, inform the reception desk in advance, though.”

“Okay, I’ll keep that in mind.”

It’s not like I can just say “equipment is expensive”, right?

“There are shops offering new and used equipment near the Yoyogi Dungeon, so please make use of those, if you don’t mind.”

“Ah, okay. Thank you.”

“Please excuse me then.” Saying so, she stands up, quickly draws near to me, and adds with a smile, “If you reach a point where you can discuss your research, please make sure to tell me aaall about it, okay?” She emphasizes that point, and then leaves the YD Cafe.

“Mrs. Naruse, huh? She ended up having a surprising edge to her.”

While I’m here, I open the notebook to sort today’s records. Combined with yesterday, I have apparently killed 99 slimes. When I look at my watch, it’s not even 3:00 pm yet. I’m not at a good stopping point yet, so I will dive a bit longer, and then go back home.
Leaving my seat with that intention was the catalyst for the next big development.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

“Okay, that’s number 100!”

I head to the core of the 100th slime ― I will probably acquire 0.02 SP ― and swing down the hammer.
As soon as I finish my swing some kind of list is displayed on the Making screen.

“Wut?”

It’s telling me to choose a skill since I defeated my 100th slime.
Skills have several inherent functions. Nowadays it’s known that you gotta meet some kind of conditions to unlock those functions. The initial function of Making has been the ability to allocate stats, but it looks like a new function has been unlocked by defeating 100 slimes.
However, the function’s details are…

“The heck?”

——–

Skill Orb – Physical Resistance 1 / 100,000,000
Skill Orb – Water Magic 1 / 600,000,000
Skill Orb – High Recovery 1 / 1,200,000,000
Skill Orb – Storage 1 / 7,000,000,000
Skill Orb – Safe 1 / 100,000,000,000

——–

That’s actually a listing of the abilities apparently owned by slimes. Perhaps it’s a list of skill orbs that could drop from a slime?
I frantically write down the contents of the list on a piece of paper.
Very likely the value on the right represents its drop rate. If that’s the case, the one that’s terribly rare is the last one, the Safe, no matter how you look at it. It’s literally at a completely different order of magnitude.
If I believe the values, it might drop once from among 100,000,000,000 slimes.
I don’t quite get the difference between Storage and Safe. I also don’t know whether you can say that skills are more useful the higher their rarity. I’m pretty sure it means that it’s rare for a slime to possess that ability.

“Well, even so, choosing the one with the highest rarity is in the nature of a greedy gamer, isn’t it?” After muttering that, I tap Safe.

An orb appears in front of me. It’s the same as when I obtained Making.
I hurriedly stuff it into my backpack. I don’t think that anyone has seen it, but just for caution’s sake.
The problem is the condition to trigger this function. I immediately hunt down and defeat my 101st slime, but I only obtain 0.01 SP.
There are too many variables to build a hypothesis. I immediately send an email to Miyoshi while retreating.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

In the evening, I hear a knocking at my door. Once I get to the entranceway, Miyoshi stands there, out of breath, and the first thing she says after opening her mouth is, “So, did a skill orb really come out?”

“Now, now, calm down first. Anyway, enter.”

Miyoshi sits down at the kotatsu as usual, and looks my way with sparkling eyes. I silently take out the orb while smiling wryly.

“Heeh, so this is a skill orb, eh?” Miyoshi pokes it timidly. “Whoa! That’s how you can tell that it’s an orb! This number is displaying the time since its discovery, eh? It’s handy, but it has a somewhat bad undertone, it kind of keeps you on edge in an understated way, doesn’t it?”

With a sidelong glance at Miyoshi, who’s grumbling something along the lines of “Just write an explanation for us while you’re at it anyway, will you?”, I make some tea.
Miyoshi immediately opens her notebook, apparently accesses the JDA database, and looks up “Safe.”

“It’s unregistered, as expected.”

“The drop rate is one in a hundred billion, you know?”

“One in a hundred billion? What’s with that?”

“Look.”

——–

Skill Orb – Physical Resistance 1 / 100,000,000
Skill Orb – Water Magic 1 / 600,000,000
Skill Orb – High Recovery 1 / 1,200,000,000
Skill Orb – Storage 1 / 7,000,000,000
Skill Orb – Safe 1 / 100,000,000,000

——–

I pass the orb list I jotted down yesterday to Miyoshi, and explain the newly unlocked Making function to her.

After listening to me with a dumbfounded look, she sighs and says, “Haaah. Depending on the circumstances, the world could be turned upside down with just this.”

“There are too many possibilities. Too much that’s unclear. We need to run more tests.”

“The skill’s unlock conditions could be defeating a certain number of the same type of monster, a certain number of kills in succession, or merely a certain number of subjugated monsters. Even if it’s a magic number, the next skill trigger might be after 100 more monsters, after some other number, or maybe it was just a special condition for the 100th kill…you’re right, it’s completely unknown.”

“Just searching for a magic number is much too obscure, making any logical testing useless. For starters, I will try killing 100 more slimes in succession next.”

“Makes sense. That means you’re going to try hunting 100 goblins in a row afterwards?”

“Well, something like that. If it goes well, we could even raise some funds for the examination, right?”

“From among the slime’s orb list, only Water Magic seems to have a price attached to it, the others are all unregistered skills.” Miyoshi reports, after swiftly looking up the other orbs.

“Heeh, Physical Resistance is unregistered, that’s a bit unexpected.”

“Umm, the Water Magic orb costs…around 80,000,000 Yen.”

“80,000,000!?”

“That’s also just the initial price set by the buyer. I wonder how far it’s going to climb, if you give it some time. If the military gets involved, it wouldn’t be weird even if it would cost around as much as a cheap fighter jet, don’t you think? If you consider cost-effectiveness.”

I have no clue what that skill does, but depending on the circumstances, it might be able to neutralize a missile defense net or something like that. I guess it wouldn’t be odd for it to cost any sum of money.

“What about the taxes?”

“Trades using a license issued by the WDA take 10%, since it has been consolidated as a dungeon tax.”

“Eh? What’s with that? Isn’t that way low?”

“In addition, you will also be charged a 10% JDA administrative fee. Normally the rate would go up as the amount increases, but the tax rates are fixed as a stimulus measure. And unlike stocks, orb sales don’t affect your tax bracket either.”

“Tax bracket, you say, but what’s being taxed then?”

“Isn’t it your life?”

“…There’s no friggin’ way to tax that, is there?”

Miyoshi has been poking the orb on the kotatsu table throughout the entire conversation.

“Say, senpai.”

“Mmh?”

“I’ve been thinking about it all the time, but this, after all it’s…”

Yep. I actually think so as well.

“Yeah, a requirement for any light novel protagonist. An absolute necessity. It’s an item box, right? Probably.”

Miyoshi sighs and leans back against my bed. “Since there’s a skill called Storage on the same list, it’s unlikely that it’s a mistake to call either of them an item box. But, if this list…were to become open to the public, it would trigger mass slime hunting, wouldn’t it?”

It would become common knowledge that the slimes, which have been considered to be trash so far, drop five kinds of orbs, including the legendary item box.

“Having said that, even the one with the highest drop rate, Physical Resistance, still is in the range of one in a hundred million…”

“That’s why I said they’ll be overhunted, didn’t I?”

“B-But, slimes have been left alone because it’s a bother to defeat them, no?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if folks started doing things like spraying gasoline all over floors where slimes appear, and setting it on fire.”

“I-Indeed…”

As a result of Yoyogi Dungeon’s first floor having been continuously neglected for three years, it currently boasts an overwhelming density of slimes.
After all, no one tries to actively hunt them. It doesn’t look like they have any natural enemies in particular either. So to speak, a slime paradise. It wouldn’t be weird even if there were places where you could hunt several hundred slimes at once if you possessed offensive area-of-effect magic.

“Let’s refrain from making it public for a while.”

“I agree. We can’t explain how we investigated it anyway. What are we going to do about the slime melting fluid?”

“If we were to publicize this information, it might sell like hot cakes, but on the other hand, there’s actually no one hunting slimes. I think we should watch the situation here for a while, too.”

“Gotcha.”

“So, what to do with this?” I point at the skill orb on the table.

“What to do, means?”

“Miyoshi, how about you use it? You’re going to be my dedicated merchant in this fantasy world, right?”

“But, if the skill is what we’re imagining it to be, I think that you, the one actually entering dungeons, might need it more than I do, senpai.”

“Maybe, but…can you acquire several skills? The previous one won’t vanish or such?”

“It doesn’t seem like there’s any reports stating that it’s not possible, but since the precedents are few in the first place, saying it with absolute certainty is…”

If there’s a limit in the number of skills that can be acquired, it would result in Making being thrown before the swines.
Seeing as I could choose an orb, I’d like to believe that it has an UI function confirming a possible overwriting, though.

“But, if you consider it calmly, I kind of feel like an item box isn’t all that necessary in modern Japan, unlike a medieval times world like the ones in light novels.”

“True. Luggage you can’t carry will usually be transported by someone. Even in regards to disaster control, the JSDF will immediately show up. It seems handy for robbers, or otherwise…smuggling?”

“Hey, somehow I have started to get a really dangerous vibe from this skill now.”

“A little while ago it was a hot topic, something about a group freely smuggling consumption tax-free gold around, wasn’t there? With a skill like that, you could easily make hundreds of millions just from smuggling…”

Moreover, if people found out that you possess that skill, I bet you’d end up being suspected of all kinds of shady things.

“How about leaving it alone as is, letting it fade into nothingness?”

“That would be a waste, though…”

Even though we haven’t ascertained it’s actual effect, we both continue to groan, with the orb on top of the table between us.

 

 


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  1. Pingback: D-Genesis – Chapter 10: A Legend Appears 10/5 (Fri)

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