§039 Beginning of Exploration 11/22 (Thu)


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“Alright, you ready, Miyoshi?”

“I’m good to go. What about you, senpai? You’ve got our meals with you, right?”

“Aye, I’ve got plenty in stock. Let’s go then.”

“Okay.”

It’s my first set of decent equipment, albeit a beginner one. It feels like it might be a bit tight.

We head down into the dungeon underneath Yoyogi, teeming with motivation. Since I’d stand out empty-handed, I’m carrying the LBA Mini Shield, and have a Browning Tomahawk hanging at my waist for the time being.

 

◇◇◇

 

Unlike usual, we join the flow of people heading for the stairway to the second floor. Our primary goal is the Moon Clan on the 14th floor, but measuring the experience points yielded by the monsters on each floor is important, too.

Miyoshi and I have carefully predicted the environments and areas that are likely to have the fewest people on each floor.

It looks like the action cameras installed on our helmets are fully functional, and the depth sensors are also working normally. A depth sensor is a device that automatically plots a 3D map of the dungeon, I hear. They appear to be the original versions of the dungeon view provided by the JDA. Since we’re going to map all the places we’re going to visit anyway, we might as well use the opportunity.

Miyoshi has bought a mountain of batteries, saying that there’s an unfathomable value in information. It’s a sound argument and all, but it’s bullshit if you consider that it’s mostly impossible without <Safe> and <Storage>. Well, we don’t need to worry on that front.

“You’re beginners?”

“Ah, yes.”

A party of three men starts a conversation with us. They probably got that idea after seeing our equipment.

If this were a different world or a VRMMO, this would be the moment to suspect them of being robbers, but those kinds of incidents almost never happen in Yoyogi. It might also be owed to the disposition of Japanese, but since the JDA has full knowledge of the personal information of everyone diving into Japanese dungeons, it’s difficult to anonymously pull off a crime. Even if you got something out of attacking beginners here, it’s just not worth it in modern Japan. The risk is far too high for the return.

The man, who introduced himself as Yoshida, tells us about hunting grounds for beginners, and various other stuff, on the way to the second floor.

“Also, you’d be better off not going further than the fifth floor with that armor.”

It sounds like beginner equipment can’t handle the swarm charge of monsters called boar types, who start to appear after the fifth floor.

The fifth floor is split into a fun amateur section and a pro section. In Yoyogi, it’s very common for monsters down to the fourth floor to not drop any profitable items – commonly called “normal items” – if you defeat them. In other words, to make a living in the Yoyogi Dungeon, you always need to go down to the fifth floor and below.

Putting it another way, conflicts that would normally occur due to the extreme differences in attitude between amature and professional divers are more or less absent since the dungeon is separated into an amateur section and a pro section.

“I got it. Thank you.”

After I express my thanks and bid farewell, at the spiral staircase leading down to the second floor, we proceed to the second floor for the first time.

 

◇◇◇

 

“I kinda knew about it, but it’s a pretty mysterious view, isn’t it…?”

Isn’t it pretty neat for there to be a sky in a dungeon? Unintentionally the line of a past artist crosses my mind. But then again, unlike faces, a sky doesn’t exist in all of his works. Though, I guess you can create a sky in them if you get rid of the paintings’ contents.

This place has forests, hills, plains, and a sky, making it hard for me to believe that I’m in a dungeon. It seems this setup continues all the way down to the 9th floor.

As I look back, the stairway’s entrance has been dug into a steep hillside. Even when peeking inside from here, I can’t see the destination of the stairs, as they ascend while drawing a gentle curve. Normally you’d think that it’d penetrate the hill’s peak, but no spiral staircase piercing the heaven can be found atop the hill.

“You’re right, it’s definitely mysterious…” I pull myself together and turn my eyes forward again.

The monsters inhabiting the second floor mainly consist of goblins and kobolds as standard human-shaped monsters, and beast types such as wolves.

“Let’s start with the goblins and kobolds here.”

We start walking towards a depopulated area, while cross-checking with the map we had created in advance.

The sparsely frequented areas of the second floor can be reached simply by heading in the opposite direction of the route leading to the third floor. It’s not as extreme as on the first floor, but since the stairs to the next floor are relatively far away on the second floor too, there are very few people to be found in the opposite direction. Of course the number of people drops the deeper you head into the floor.

Once we move to a place with no people around us, I return all my stats to their original values, and try to run around for a bit.

“W-Whoa!”

“Wai-! Senpai! Where’re you going!? Please wait for me!”

My body has become as light as a feather, allowing me to move at a sickening speed, but as it looks that my perception has its time delayed, as if I’m experiencing everything in slow motion, it’s easy to control my body.

“Stats are really awesome.”

Traps haven’t been confirmed in the well-known areas of Yoyogi Dungeon. Or to be precise, there are no precedents of traps having been spotted in any dungeon. The reason is unclear, but that part is somewhat different to what you’d see in fictional fantasy settings. But then again, I’d consider it an enigma if traps actually existed, and would ask myself just who planted them. Anyone would think the architect was insane if searching a normal mansion actually led to finding a button behind a painting which caused you to be shot by a bullet, after the wall to another room opened up.

For that reason it wouldn’t be a big problem even if I were to move at a fairly high speed, although it’d also depend on the structure of the environmental section. For the most part all I’d have to worry about would be running into a monster after turning around a corner. But then again, I think it’ll be impossible for Miyoshi to keep up with me.

“Senpai, if you’re going to move at such a high speed, then do it while letting me ride on your shoulders, please.”

No, I don’t wanna do something like that, except in case of emergency. Anyway, I guess I’ll walk normally.

 

◇◇◇

 

Walking onward for several minutes, we stop after finding something like a small human figure deeper down the straight pathway. “Have we discovered our first goblin?”

“Most likely. Let’s first check how many experience points it’s worth.”

“Roger.”

I open up <Making>, and take out an iron ball.

There’s a technique to make it accelerate right as you take it out of the item box, but I can’t do it.
Since Miyoshi has been using that technique at will, it might be restricted to <Storage> as opposed to <Safe>. Assuming that the object is accelerated inside the item box at the time of retrieving it, it’d be impossible for <Safe>, since time is completely stopped in there.

Of course, it’s also possible that there’s a difference in talent between Miyoshi and me. If that were to be the case, I’d start to cry a bit, though.

With that said, I take out a 60 cm iron ball and simply throw it at the person. The instant the ball leaves my fingers, the head of the goblin-like being disappears with a bang.

“Wut?”

“Oooh~”

For a moment I feel dumbfounded, but this must be the power of all my stats being at 100. Come to think of it, my stats are higher than those of the guys who cleared the 30th floor. Probably.

The goblin yields just 0.03 experience points, just a little bit more than the exp 1 for a slime.

Against the next goblin we encounter, I try a <Water Magic> spell with the name Water Lance. There are limits to iron balls, and it’s a pain to retrieve them in forested areas.

Among magic skill orbs, there exist some with Roman numerals added to them, and others which are unlabeled. The ones with numbers attached to them are called Numbers. You can use spells corresponding to those numbers from the start, but on the other hand, you won’t acquire any other spells. With the unlabeled skill orbs, you can discover original spells, and spells at the same level as the Numbers, depending on your training and experience, but I hear that the difficulty of acquiring those is fairly high.

The orbs dropped by slimes were unlabeled.

We’ve learned spells like Create Water and Water Lance by referring to the already known spells of the Numbers. <Water Magic> consumes 1 MP to create one lance in its initial state. Its effectiveness isn’t as high as an iron ball, but the fact that a goblin will be killed with one blow hasn’t changed.

“This is nice n’ easy.”

Hereafter, I fully rely on using Water Lances. It’s great that there’s no risk that it will damage the forest, unlike <Fire Magic>.

In Light Novels it’s common for the effectiveness to rise if you continue using a spell, but if you continue using a spell in a game world, its effectiveness generally stays the same. I’m kinda curious which of those two versions is closer to reality. Since I’ve fully set my stats at the moment, my current maximum MP amounts to 190. When I confirmed with Making, I found out that MP recovers at INT value per hour. But then again, I don’t have a clue whether that’s normal or an effect of <High Recovery>. I’ll leave thinking about minor details to Miyoshi.

I single-mindedly note down the numbers, and just as I had expected, the exp for the second goblin is 0.015.

According to our prior investigations, goblins live in groups. Moreover, exactly because we’re in a sparsely-frequented area, it seems like they don’t get cleared out very often. Accordingly I have managed to reach nearly 100 kills after two hours. On the way, I’ve also killed several wolves. They also were instantly killed by a Water Lance. As might be expected of 100 INT.

The exp for the first wolf was 0.03, just like the goblins. Since the exp per goblin has already gone down to 0.003, it likely means that the exp decrease is calculated per race. And then, when I killed the 91st goblin, it happened.

“Eh?”

“What’s wrong?”

——–

Skill Orb – DEXxHP+1 – 1/5,000,000
Skill Orb – Premature Birth – 1/10,000,000
Skill Orb – Premature Development – 1/800,000,000
Skill Orb – Growth Boost – 1/1,200,000,000
Skill Orb – Premature Death – 1/2,000,000,000

——–

Before diving into the dungeon, the last two digits of the number of defeated monsters should have been precisely 00. By the way, I have defeated nine wolves.

“I suppose it doesn’t trigger on a hundred of one monster type, but on the 100th kill of any monster…”

This is a very important piece of information. After all is said and done, it’s doubtlessly good news that I just have to kill the Moon Clan Shaman as the 100th mob.

“Doesn’t that mean that you can get as many boss orbs as you want as long as you adjust it cleverly!?” Miyoshi begins to dance Swan Lake, while her eyes have turned into $ signs.

Well, you might be right there, but that’ll only work if you kill the boss in the first place, right? Putting that aside, this is definitely an array of friggin’ dangerous skills. Or rather, what the fuck is <Premature Death>!? What would happen if an old person were to use it!?

I tell Miyoshi about the orbs by reading them out loud.

“<Growth Boost> and <Premature Death> are unregistered skills.”

It looks like Miyoshi has downloaded the skill database on her tablet computer.

Goblins are monsters that can be killed by almost everyone. Given that there’s around a hundred million D-Card owners, <Growth Boost> would likely be dropped at least once if each of them kills twelve goblins, going by probability, but…

“There’s a considerable number of people who have killed goblins just in order to get their hands on a D-Card and then moved on right away, isn’t there? After all, goblins don’t have any loot that can be sold.”

“Makes sense.”

I mean, even I’d hate to eternally hunt goblins. On top of the exp being almost the same as for slimes, there are no reports of dropped items either.

“Goblins don’t have any loot, and it seems to be the norm to aim for the items they gather in their dens.”

“Eh? What’s with that?”

Up until now there’ve been quite a few places that looked like goblin dens, but we never searched them.

“Well, unlike loot, you won’t find those items unless you look for them. They seem to be called GTB.”

“Goblin’s Treasure Box, or something? I had absolutely no idea. Tell me something like this earlier!”

“Compared to the time it takes to look for them, they don’t seem to include anything of value. At most it’s a rank 1 potion, I heard. I thought that it’d be better for us to advance quickly.”

“Still, it sounds a bit like a treasure hunt, doesn’t it?”

“For an amateur, yes.”

Searching for a treasure chest during the date might be a nice idea as well.

“I can’t recommend a date where you walk around killing goblins. A normal woman would be put off by that.”

“How the hell did you know!?”

“Senpai, your nostrils expand when you think about girls.”

“Seriously!?”

“I wonder?” Miyoshi dodges my question, but if it’s true, it’s really bad.

<DEX×HP+1> is what you’d call a miss, but from the feeling I got after talking with Miyoshi before, it’s something that’ll likely become important in the future. Moreover, its drop rate is 1/5,000,000. A considerable number of those have probably dropped across the world.

“<Premature Birth> is a skill to give birth to a child quickly. Due to its excessive title, I heard it was first used on pigs.”

It seems a D-Card will also appear for living beings besides humans, as long as they manage to defeat a monster. But then again, the card will likely be lost in the wild. Moreover, probably because animals don’t have names, their names and rankings aren’t displayed either. Thinking about what’d happen if it’s used by a named pet piques my curiosity, but even if such a pet had entered the upper ranks, it very likely wouldn’t have been clear whether it’s a pet or a human.

Animals who acquire a D-Card, become able to use orbs as if it’s only natural. I don’t know how they use the orbs, but it looks like people made the pigs eat them. The orb having been used will be obvious from the effect of using an orb, and if the animal has its card, it’s recorded on there, too. It looks like the possibility of animals acquiring D-Cards has been proven like that as well.

Anyway, the pig, which was made to use <Premature Birth>, gave birth merely twelve days after becoming pregnant. And, the ghastliness of this skill lies in all of its children having been normal piglets. In other words, this is a skill shortening the pregnancy period to approximately a tenth of the usual time.

However, the mother will apparently become quite weak. It’s been conjectured that this effect is owed to the mother using ten times the energy compared to normal, in correlation with the shortened time.

At present, it’s apparently used in experiments to research the heredity of skills used on animals.

“<Premature Development> has been only found two times so far. It seems to boost the growth speed in dungeons to an extreme level, but…”

“Just going by the skill name, it sounds like you’ll reach your maximum immediately, right?”

It’s what’s described as a prodigy at an age of ten, a talented person at an age of fifteen, and a normal person beyond an age of twenty.

“However, this sure is a lineup full of orbs that are difficult to use for humans.”

In the end, the only one that seems safe to use is <DEX×HP+1>.

“Well, for starters I’ll get them in order of rarity, I think. But you know, <Premature Death>…is that supposed to be some assassination item!?”

I can’t think of <Premature Death> ─ which has a drop rate of 1/2,000,000,000 ─ as anything but a skill to shorten one’s life, no matter how I look at it. Using <Premature Birth> as a reference, it’d be by a tenth?

However, if it’s like that, it’d be full of demerits, and even for assassinations, it’d take too long, no? It might have some merit ─ becoming a genius or something like that? ─ counterbalancing all of it, but I’ve got no means to test it out. Of course it’d be absurd to test it on myself.

“I guess I’ll go with <Growth Boost> here.”

And that’s how I obtained <Growth Boost>.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

Since there was still a large number of goblins around, and as my MP recovered at 100 per hour, we continued to hunt them for another two hours. Even Miyoshi, who has apparently gathered enough data about goblins, has been killing them with compact Water Lances. For her, it’s one blow with an accelerated iron ball, but unfortunately the iron ball will be gone afterwards.

“Unlike with the iron balls, it kinda lacks that pleasant sensation, though…”

Phrasing it like that, you’re becoming a somewhat dangerous girl.

And just when I kill a kobold, which I had discovered in advance, as the 100th mob kill.

——–

Skill Orb – AGIxHP+1 – 1/20,000,000
Skill Orb – AGI+1 – 1/50,000,000
Skill Orb – Detect Life – 1/1,200,000,000
Skill Orb – Exchange Wrought Gold – 1/16,000,000,000

——–

“All except for Exchange Wrought Gold are known.”

It looks like the other skills are well-known. <Detect Life> is extremely rare in this place, but it seems to drop relatively often from superior wolf species.

“I don’t really know whether it’s called Wrought Gold because the name of kobold stems from cobalt, but…I wonder what kind of effect it has?”

“It sounds like it’d require some compensation, doesn’t it…? Truly fable-like.”

1/16,000,000,000 makes it definitely rare, but…

“But, the goblin and kobold orbs are really overflowing with ill will, aren’t they?”

“Maybe because of their nature as mischievous fairies?”

It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to sell them either, as they’re way too dangerous, and I don’t want to test them out either. I suppose we’ve got no choice but to come here once more after obtaining <Appraisal>. We meekly chose <Detect Life>.

“We’ve got an idea of the obtainable orbs now. So, let’s move on?”

“You’re right. Wolves will appear more frequently on the lower floors, and since the second to fourth floor of Yoyogi Dungeon house mostly the same monster types, with just their spawn frequency changing, and the opponents becoming stronger little-by-little, we should head for the fifth floor for now.”

“Okay, then let’s go.”

“Senpai, let’s first eat something in a place with no one around. I’ve gotten hungry.”

“Well, why not. Then, are you going to take that out?”

“Fu fu fu~! It’s time for the debut of the moving base car Dolly!”

Miyoshi takes out our base car in a somewhat wide spot. We enter it, and have lunch, after I take out the bento and side dishes I bought at the department store.

 

 


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Translation Notes:

  1. I doubt you mind me abbreviating it like that seeing as it’s a gaming term anyway

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