Having spent a pleasant evening at 『Morille』, we greeted a new week, refining our plans to raise Miyoshi’s level.
“The tenth floor?”
“Yeah, I think it’s high time you were able to defend yourself, Miyoshi, but suddenly raising your stats would be difficult, right?”
Even if we keep diving and fighting together, you get less and less exp over time, due to the tricky rule that each kill of the same monster type within the same trip is worth less. Due to that, even that special Hound of Hecate was worth no more than 1.02 exp. I suppose that means the Mitsurugi system is really efficient. But then again, that method only really works in Yoyogi, since its first floor is populated exclusively by slimes, and doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic.
“You’re right. If I did it as diligently as Ms. Mitsurugi, I could be in the top one thousand explorers within a month, couldn’t I?”
“If you were to use <Detect Life> as well, you could easily defeat 300 slimes a day, or in other words, get 6 SP. Wouldn’t that be enough to reach the top two or three hundreds in rank, since you’d be able to earn 180 SP in 30 days?”
“Impossible. That’s definitely out of the question for me.”
Hearing about Mitsurugi’s regimen, and imagining repeatedly sprinting to and from the dungeon entrance over and over, Miyoshi reflexively shakes her head at the excessive rigorousness.
In the first place, Ms. Mitsurugi’s progress is probably due in part to the fact that she was blessed with an improved physique, so much so that she became one of the top few hundred explorers in the world. But yeah, it’d be hard for Miyoshi to pull that off all of a sudden, I guess.
“I see. Well, you can take it step by step──”
“So I’m going to do it anyway!?”
“You don’t want to die, do you?”
I think that Miyoshi, who possesses <Physical Resistance> on top of <High Recovery> and <Water Magic>, is relatively strong for someone of her stats, albeit lacking guts. But, if someone were to ask me what’d happen if an opponent came at her for real, she’s basically no more than a simple girl. It’d be better for her to raise her stats as much as possible, so that she doesn’t die instantly.
“Enough of that. Our targets this time around are these two.”
With those words, I point at the names barghest and monoeye on the list of the monsters on the tenth floor.
“Senpai, you defeated a barghest the other day. It’s the base species of Hound of Hecate, isn’t it?”
“Aye. That mob possessed <Darkness Magic (VI)>.”
“VI? That’s an unregistered skill.”
“It’s probably summoning magic. Of hellhounds, that is.”
“Eeehh!? I don’t think that summoning magic has been reported yet at all.”
“You’re saying that now, at this point? Anyway, using that skill, it might be possible to make it through sticky situations, even if the summoner themself is somewhat weak, right?”
“Well, that makes sense, but it wouldn’t be enough to handle a bunch of enemies on par with Mr. Simon would it?”
“It’d be enough to buy you some time to run away at least.”
“You’ve got no basis for that claim, though. Okay, so what about the monoeye?”
I look at Miyoshi while grinning broadly, “Don’t you think that this one is predestined to possess <Appraisal>?”
Right, the standard skill of any story about reincarnating in a different world, right up there with Item Box – <Appraisal>.
Seeing how Miyoshi doesn’t seem to be all excited, I try to pour some gas onto the fire.
“If you have that, it might be possible to check stat values, don’t you think?”
“!? Senpai! Please, get it by any means necessary!”
“No, you’re coming with me, remember? …Whether we can get it depends on whether they possess it, though.”
“Eehh～ I’m going as well, you say? The tenth floor…isn’t that place crowded with monsters? Moreover, it sounds like it’s a smelly floor.”
It seems that the route through the tenth floor wasn’t like that in the past, but after the adaption potion was discovered, it’s become standard to get through the tenth floor by using that potion. Assuming that to be the case, I’ve got no doubt that the floor is swarming with monsters.
“I guess it’s kinda similar to the slimes on the first floor.”
“Well, yeah. Moreover, it appears that undead will swarm towards humans.”
“Are we going to be okay?” Miyoshi pulls a reluctant face.
Having said that, I doubt there exist many women who like zombies. There might be quite a few women who like zombie movies, though.
“Since zombies and skeletons seem to appear whether it’s day or night, we’ll go for numbers with them. Matching that, we’ll aim for monoeyes during the day, and barghests during the nights, I’d say.”
“Does <Water Magic> work on them?”
“Since I have an INT of 100, I can overpower them with strength as long as they aren’t immune to magic…at least I think I can.”
“What about me?”
“If it doesn’t work, you can use the iron balls.”
“Gotcha. It kinda sounds like that method would be more effective against skeletons and the like anyway.”
“As long as you don’t run out of balls, that is.”
Hearing that, Miyoshi starts to laugh fearlessly.
“Since I have so much space in my <Storage>, I bought an order of 10,000 iron balls from Funabe! It’s exactly twenty tons with the 8 cm ones!”
She’s throwing out her chest in pride, saying stuff along the lines of “Two buses of Fuso 1 are easy peasy.” In my case, 500 iron balls would be the limit, but I guess it’ll be okay if I get her to share some with me.
“Fu fu fu, please leave it to me. The problem is that I was told that it’d be impossible to deliver all the balls in one go, though.”
“Come on, that sucks!”
“Ugh, I-I think it’ll be alright since they’ll deliver a reasonable amount in the first shipment. Well, if it doesn’t work out, won’t it be okay if you acquire <Fire Magic> from a lesser salamander on the 11th floor first? Although I don’t know whether they can drop that.”
“Hmm, you’re right, they kinda sound like they might. Okay, let’s go right away then? There’s still more than enough supplies left from our last run.”
“Eh? Right now? That’s no good. I mean, it’s today, right? The answer from the JDA.”
“Oh, true. By the way, I haven’t mentioned to the JDA that we have two of the orbs.”
“Eeehhh? Not even to Ms. Naruse?”
“She’ll cry if she finds out, you know?”
“Even if it’s someday in the future, <Different World Language Comprehension> will spread sooner or later. I mean, the dungeons are designed to aim for that, no? Hence, plucking the fruit while we still can──”
“──is what an Oumi trader is about, yep.”
Both of our mouths leak a dark black laughter. Argh, no good. I feel like I’m getting influenced slightly too much by the Oumi trader.
Getting serious again after clearing my throat with a cough, I casually add, “Well, it might be fine to give Ms. Naruse one of the orbs after auctioning off the other.”
We’re going to force one of the important orbs on her in order to ascertain which of the two other skill owners is correct whenever they say something contradictory. With this it’ll be like telling her, “The fate of the world rests on your shoulders.” I’d say it’s kinda something like a small political party, which is stuck between two, rival, large parties, skillfully holding onto the deciding vote in order to expertly interfere. Yep, yep.
“Once again you’re being… how to describe it? Bold, or no, more like evil. Well, let’s get her to bear with at least that much, seeing as how she also earned 2.4 billion in the two auctions.”
The second I thought, No, Miyoshi, it’s not like that’s actually Ms. Naruse’s money, the doorbell rang.
“Speak of the devil, huh?”
Once Miyoshi checks the video of the entrance on her PC, she says, “Please come in, I’ve unlocked the gate.”
Ms. Naruse, who entered with a meek expression, lowers her head before she has even said anything.
“I’m terribly sorry!”
“No, wait a sec please. Even if you apologize all of a sudden, we won’t know what’s what…”
After lifting her head, Ms. Naruse begins to very hesitatingly speak, while wearing an extremely apologetic expression. “Let me start from the conclusion. Even if you were to obtain the orb in question, we apparently won’t have the budget to buy it.”
That’s a rather big surprise. I hadn’t expected a conclusion where they might give up on purchasing it. I had expected that they would merely try to beat down the price after estimating the lowest, predictable price, but such a ridiculous conclusion of throwing national interest to the wind makes me feel doubtful about whether they’ve actually brought up the issue with the folks at the top of the country.
“That’s yet another…drastic conclusion. I can’t quite believe that to be the opinion of the leaders of the JSDF, the government and Public Safety.”
Ms. Naruse fidgets around, looking hesitant to speak. I guess there’s a hitch somewhere.
“What else were you told? Since it’s not like it’s actually your opinion, it’s fine for you to give it to us straight, Ms. Naruse.”
In response, she looks as though she’s resigned herself, and begins to speak, “And ── they said that if you’re a Japanese citizen thinking of your country, they’d like you to contribute the orb to the country for free.”
Ooooh, a template statement that shakes the principle of capitalism! No, they think that our side is rich enough already!
“Who is it that said something so utterly wild?”
“Directly, it was our Executive Director Mizuho.”
Executive Director Mizuho…the old guy telling us to hand it over quickly since he’s going to buy it for 10 million Yen, huh? Why is a mere executive director of the JDA involved with a matter of such global importance?
“Why does that idiot know about it?”
Uh-oh, Miyoshi, you show no mercy. Well, I also think that he’s an idiot, though…
“After Saiga brought it up with his superior, the representatives of the Dungeon Agency and Ministry of Finances apparently gathered at the JDA and held a meeting at the bureau director level, but it looks like the executive director attended that meeting, too.”
“The bureau director level? Isn’t this a matter that should be handled at the undersecretary level, at lowest, if we’re speaking of the bureaucratic side? Why the bureau directors?”
“It’s because the executive director took the initiative by calling out his own acquaintances or something like that.”
What’s the deal with that? I thought he was an idiot, but I hadn’t expected him to be a person lacking that much awareness. He really did well to become an executive director.
“So you’re saying, the other ministries and government offices took advantage of him trying to look good in there, and went along with his ideas?”
“Yeah, I think that describes it well.”
However, is our country really alright with letting mere bureau directors make the decision on this matter? Moreover, Public Safety hasn’t even participated. I guess I’ll give a certain Tanaka a hint later on.
“I’ve fully understood what you’ve told me. As for us, we wanted to sell it to Japan, but it can’t be helped. ──Miyoshi.”
“You can get the auction started now.”
“Eh? You sure?”
“If they held such a meeting without any sense of caution, it must have been leaked a good while ago already. I wouldn’t be surprised even if many observers have been set on us by now. I can’t really believe that to be the right attitude to deal with a situation that affects the power balance in the world.”
“No, it’s not your fault, Ms. Naruse. Let me ask just in case, but that meeting was held to decide what to do in the event that we actually managed to find the orb, right?”
“That’s right, but don’t tell me…”
I stop her from saying anything further by pressing my index finger against my lips.
“Once you put it up for auction, we’ll have to avoid being arrested until there’s a winning bidder.”
If they continuously come at us while mixing hard and soft approaches for 24 hours a day, we won’t be able to hold out. The other side might have a lot of personnel, but we’re just two people. It’s certain that things would become bad once we got exhausted. After all, some countries specialize in using such tactics.
“Oooh!? Somehow it’s getting really exciting!”
“It’s a big help that you’ve got that kind of character.”
Still, I feel like we would be tracked if we went on a trip somewhere, so a place where we could get away even after being spotted…
“The safest place might be inside of the dungeon, don’t you think…?”
“Then let’s put the plan we talked about a while ago into action while we’re at it.”
It’s the Grab-<Appraisal>-and-strengthen-Miyoshi plan.
“Umm…if you were to do something like that in this situation, won’t people think you are diving in order to get the orb?” Ms. Naruse asks while looking worried.
“That’s precisely the reason why any country, which doesn’t possess the orb, can’t cause any harm to us until they confirm where we go, right?”
It’s what you’d call deterring movements. This doesn’t work on a country possessing the orb, but the top explorer of that country still hasn’t arrived in Japan yet, so I’d like to believe that only the second stringers would follow us into the dungeon.
“Ms. Naruse, seeing how things turned out this time, I’d be willing to let you join us, if you don’t feel like staying with the JDA.”
“Eh? Pupupu, are you proposing to her?”
“Senpai, that’s the moment where you lift her face by her chin.”
I ignore the mockery of Miyoshi, and continue, “I mean, Miyoshi probably intends to create a corporation anyway, once her project with Ms. Midori has launched.”
“That’s because I have no other option due to the dungeon tax.”
“Once you do it, you’ll need staff you can trust.”
“Hmm, you’re right there. Now that I think about it, aren’t you the perfect candidate, seeing as how you’re Midori-senpai’s big sister? I’ll treat you well with a high salary, okay? I’ve got plenty of funds.”
“Well, that’s only after you’ve launched the whole thing, though.”
“For me it’s already set in stone.”
“Understood. I will keep it in mind for the time being.”
Taking Ms. Naruse’s reply as a signal, I clap my hands together, and say to Miyoshi, “Alright, let’s use Thanksgiving as a cover for the start of the auction. With the implication that this is a gift to the world from D-Powers.”
“Mmh? It’s called thanks-giving, so it fits to a tee, no?”
America’s Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November.
At that moment, Ms. Naruse says with an exceedingly reluctant face, “Umm, Mr. Yoshimura, the first day of this month was a Thursday, so…”
Wha-, don’t tell me…
“Senpai, the fourth Thursday was last week.”
“Oh, nooooooooo!” 2
“We won’t be able to gloss that over even by behaving like foreigners.”
To mistake the date of Thanksgiving, you’d expect nothing less of me, a Japanese!
“Kuuh, the 28th…is a commemoration for Mauritania becoming independent of France!”
“That’s completely unrelated to America, isn’t it?”
“In that case, we’ll call it the commemoration of the beginning of Rawhide’s broadcasting! It’s super-American, right!? As long as you’ve watched Blues Brothers.” 3
“Yeah, yeah, at this point anything’s fine. In short, it’ll be the 28th, right?”
After all, it should take around one day to publicize the information.
“Anyway, I will go all out on spreading the news before the day is over. Also, senpai.
“The 28th is a Wednesday, okay?” Miyoshi says with a weird giggle.
Thanks to that, the event is now completely unrelated to Thanksgiving, but since we’re gonna be late by a week anyway, it doesn’t matter anymore.
“So, once you’re done with the PR…”
“We’ll take refuge in the dungeon, right? Is it fine for me to splurge a bit on the preparations?”
“Use as much as you want.”
“Senpai, saying things like that might make you slightly popular.”
“I won’t be happy even if I’m popular among such women.”
Having said that, wild merrymaking in a shop with girls sounds fun. Well, at least it’s something used for business entertainment. I’ve never done something like that, though. 4
“We might be able to avoid trouble until the bidding ends in the dungeon, but the most dangerous time will be──”
“The day before…and the day after, on the way to the place of the hand-over, right?”
I nod at Miyoshi’s remark. On the way towards the meeting place for the hand-over, we’ll definitely have the orb with us. That would be the best time to steal the orb, or stop us from handing it over.
“A chase in the middle of the city would make it feel like an action drama.”
We laugh, and bump our fists.
“Umm, that would mean that Tokyo will become the stage of a fierce competition, no? I beg you, please keep it peaceful and gentle.” Ms. Naruse worriedly interrupts us from the side as we start getting carried away.