§052 Appraisal (Conclusion) 11/28 (Wed)


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——–

Skill Orb – Darkness Magic (VI)

Summons hellhounds. The limit of summoned hounds is INT / 4.

If you open the gates of hell and summon its kin, the surface might transform into a paradise of darkness.

——–

“It’s actually hellhound summoning, but…”

“Seriously, just who’s writing these flavor texts?”

I smile bitterly after reading what Miyoshi has written down.

Man, is this supposed to be some kind of card game?

“I suppose that means you can summon four, Miyoshi. Use it at once. I’d like to get started on the tests as soon as possible.”

“Are we going to turn them into the watchdoggies of our office?”

“Hellhounds as watchdogs, I think that’d probably be a world’s first.”

While asking something along the lines of “Are they going to become named monsters if you give them names?”, Miyoshi touches the orb and mutters the usual phrase.

“I’m going to stop being and so on.”

Once the light is sucked into her body, she suddenly stands up, and no sooner than thrusting her right palm towards the sky, she shouts, “Summon! Cavall!”

“Oh my god, come on.”

As if to ridicule me, who said this with a fed up voice, a magic crest with a diameter of around three meters extends on the floor of the van, which isn’t big by any standards.

“W-What’s that!?”

And then something jet-black manifests from within.

“Uoohh…wait, isn’t this a hellhound?”

The one that has appeared is obviously bigger than a normal hellhound no matter how you look at it, it’s got a height of around 1.5 meters, and a body length easily exceeding 3 meters. A bengal tiger…?

“Holy smokes, it really appeared!”

Miyoshi rubs her face against its muzzle mumbling something, it being fluffy or something. No, wait, there’s not really much distance between its mouth and Miyoshi’s head… A huge, black, dog with a matte coat that would melt into darkness, and a tough build like that of a wolf… Huh? Its eyes aren’t red like those of hellhounds? They’re of a hue close to gold.

“By the way, Miyoshi, what’s Cavall?”

“It’s the name of the dog in King Arthur’s party. I’ve been constantly thinking about it since you told me about the summoning, senpai. If I got three more hounds, their names will be Aethlem, Glessic, and Drudwyn!” 1

“You won’t be able to remember those. Pochi, Hachi, Shiro, and Taro will do, right?” 2

“What are you talking about, senpai? Shiro or something like that will never work. Names and natures often agree, right? Come on, please take a close look at his imposing physique!”

“I’ll admit that it’s imposing, but can you go out on a walk with him? It’s no different from a Bengal tiger, is it?”

“It’ll be fine! It’s a mythical creature after all, so I’m pretty sure he can shrink down.” Miyoshi says with a grin, while patting Cavall’s body.

Cavall looks like his face is drenched in sweat as he looks my way, with eyes pleading for help. When I tell him to do his best with my eyes in reply, he tries to shrink his body by curling up while whimpering quietly, but fails.

Yep, no wonder. No matter how much of a rare species it might be, hellhounds don’t possess such a function.

“Kyaa, how adorable.”

Miyoshi throws herself at Cavall who has failed at shrinking. So you were a dog person, eh?

“So, can you send him back, Miyoshi?”

It’s spacious in here, but it’s still a camping-van. Cavall’s huge frame is a hindrance, not allowing much room to move anywhere. In the first place, this guy won’t fit through the entrance door, will he?

“I wonder?” Miyoshi says while adopting her previous pose once more, “Release!”

A deadly silence lowers upon the room. Cavall sweats once again…looks like.

“So you can’t…”

“I see…so that’s why the surface will become the darkness’ paradise. As soon as you open hell’s gates and summon its kin, you can’t send them back.”

I guess it was kinda pointless to make the hellhounds summoned by the barghest go back each and every single time…

“Eehh?! S-S-S-Senpai! W-W-What should I do!?”

“No, even if you ask me…”

Judging from the barghest, this guy will even leave a corpse behind. In that case, he’ll stick around until Miyoshi’s death, or until a resummon. But then again, it’s not like Miyoshi would approve of either method.

Wait a sec. As hellhound he can use darkness magic, can’t he? Since it’s called darkness magic, he should at least be able to dive into shadows, right?

“You can use magic, correct?”

Cavall nods. To me, he’s left the domain of being a monster with that.

“Then, something like being able to hide…right, can’t you slip into shadows or something like that?”

Cavall tilts his head, looking like he’s thinking about something, but in the next moment, his body vanishes into Miyoshi’s shadow, as if he melted away.

“”Ooohh!””

As Miyoshi and I yell out in surprise, Cavall’s head pops out from within the shadow, and he inclines his head as if asking, “How about this?”

“You’re great, Cavall!”

Miyoshi taps his head and makes him eat a ham sandwich while kneeling. Wait, that’s certainly what you’d do for training a dog, but this guy seems capable of understanding our words to begin with, so is there any need to train him? Also, hellhounds eat sandwiches and stuff like that?

I’m already bursting with all kinds of questions, but I give up on pursuing them, thinking that it’s fine since the two in question here are enjoying themselves.

“Alright! Let’s name that magic Shadow Hiding.”

“It just describes what it is.”

“Stone Cold would also work.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s the original title of Robert B. Parker’s 『Walking Shadows』.” 3

“It just describes what it is.”

“How about Shadow Evasion Arts, or Dark Evasion Arts, or something like that?”

I think those would be more appropriate for a hell dog than a hellhound, though. 4

“Let’s just go with Shadow Hiding.” Miyoshi waves her hand as if it doesn’t matter to her at all, and looks back at Cavall. “Hide yourself until I call you, okay? You fine with that?”

Cavall nods and sinks into Miyoshi’s shadow without any further ado.

“Hah~, how cute.”

“No, it’s fine and all, but you’ll be eaten if you act that way with a regular hellhound, okay?”

“You think I’m stupid, senpai? I know at least that much. I’m not a small child.”

I wonder whether that’s really the case, but I mustn’t give voice to that thought no matter what. That’s the trick to making relationships go smoothly (Wait, what am I saying? We’re not in a relationship, right?)

“Still, hellhounds can use some pretty cool magic, huh?”

Just imagining them slipping into a shadow during a battle in order to launch a surprise attack makes me think of them as troublesome opponents. But, I’ve never seen any of the hellhounds I fought before do something like that. I wonder, is this actually a trait of hellhounds? Considering that he had tilted his head slightly, it kinda seems like it’s a 『magic it became capable of using just then』, though… There’s also the matter of his eye color, so he might have attributes that are different from normal hellhounds after all.

“Should I summon the others as well?”

“No, wait. It’s better to do that outside, right?”

If one that’s a lot bigger appears, we’ll be crushed to death.

“Eh? But it’s the undead floor at night, you know? They’ll swarm us as soon as I open the door, no?”

“…We’ll do the test tomorrow then.”

“Makes sense.”

“The last thing is the page-like paper we obtained at the end, I’d say.”

I take it out and put it down in front of Miyoshi. She looks at it closely, and writes down the appraisal’s result.

“This appears to be a fragment of a book called 『Book of Wandering Things』.”

——–

Book of Wandering Things (Literary Fragment 1) – The Book of Wanderers (Fragment 1)

Original copy of a book that has come in contact with the dungeon’s abyss. The fragments have been enshrined in wandering mansions. There exists only one volume of the original. The dungeon epitaphs are equivalent to hand-written copies of these fragments.
Because of that, there exist variations in their contents.

Those touched by its wisdom might fall prey to madness.

——–

“Madness? The hell!? It sounds like Cthulhu.”

“Unfortunately it looks like you won’t understand its contents with <Appraisal> either. The western-style house we encountered is one of the 『Wandering Mansions』?”

“Likely. That probably means that fragments of the original will appear in mansions that are summoned by killing 373 specific monsters.”

That’s easy to say, but killing 373 monsters in one day would actually be quite hard. It’d be quite a chore using normal means, except in areas that don’t get cleared out much and have little explorer traffic, like the first or tenth floor in Yoyogi.

“The existence of just one copy of the original means…”

“It’s very likely that the mansion won’t appear even if you hunt the correct monsters, or even if the mansion does appear, you won’t find anything inside it.”

“Reporting this…is vital, isn’t it?”

“Of course we’ll do that, but the conditions for the mansions’ appearance and disappearance are completely based on guesses. I wonder what we should do about the details…and there’s also the matter with the characters on the pedestal.”

“Ah, the SoraHoto characters.”

“Stop that already. What are we going to do about their translation? We know that there’s differences between the words on the epitaphs, but either of them are gibberish to us…”

“Well, we’ve got no connections to the liberal arts. How about trying our luck with asking Ms. Naruse?”

“I guess we’ve got no other option.”

At that point a big yawn forces its way out. It seems I get sleepy even with <High Recovery>, if I relax my attention. But then again, without that, it’d just be insomnia.

“Okay, time to sleep. We’re going to focus on hunting for several days anyway.”

“You think the people from earlier are alright?”

“They’re probably people who received training in their home country, so let’s believe that they managed to get away.”

“I wonder what the scouts and aces of the various countries are doing around now.”

“I’d say they’re investigating our target floor while hunting monsters on a suitable floor. Once they find out, they’ll investigate the monsters on that floor to extinction, no?”

It’s a strategy that could be called giving it a try since you’ve got nothing to lose anyway.

“With tracking teams formed by scouts as cornerstones?”

“Yep. After all, we went diving after putting <Different World Language Comprehension> up for auction. I’m certain they’re thinking we’ve come here to get the orb.”

“Right?”

“That’s why there’s also the option of getting them to advance towards clearing by going down to the lowest floor at the end. But, since it’d be a pain to get back up to the surface from there, we’ll show ourselves on the ninth floor, which will hopefully inspire everyone to hunt the colonial worms.”

“Whoa, how cruel!”

“It’s hard to take you seriously if you say that while laughing. Anyway, tomorrow we’ll devote ourselves to hunting skeletons around here, stocking up on plenty of low rank potions. It seems handy to have them around.”

“Got it.”

“Miyoshi, you can use the bed deeper inside. Good night.”

“Okay, good night.”

 

 


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Translation Notes:

  1. Please read up here about Arthur’s hunting dogs: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Cavall
  2. Very typical Japanese dog names
  3. You can check author here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_B._Parker
  4. Hellhound is always written in English, hell dog is written as jigoku inu aka it’s the JP version of hell hound. Cuz the skill names are very Japanese, like Naruto-style. That’s the pun. ;-)

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