§063 What if You Searched for Unknown Genômos in Dreams 12/10 (Mon)

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David Jean-Pierre Garcia was in a foul mood. Even though he had come in person to this Far Eastern island country, going as far as clearing his sect’s calendar, he’d failed to grasp a single clue.

“D-Powers is the name of the fucked up party who organized the auction, causing such a huge racket, and otherwise, nothing else is known?” He was fuming as he folded his arms and looked down at the city from his hotel room, pretty much fed up with the lack of interest in anything to do with dungeons by the upper circles of this country.

He had sounded out various members of the economic and political circles in Japan he was acquainted with through his ties to politics and industry. The ones he’d developed while still in Europe by bringing them over to his side with the powers of Marianne. However, not only were they unable to provide even a single detail, they were actually entirely surprised by the orb auction itself. Having perceived it as little more than an auction for paintings or something similar.

“The ones I have to win over are the JDA’s upper ranks and JSDF personnel…and also those related to the media, I guess.”

If it’s the organization managing the dungeons, or the military which is conquering those dungeons, they should know more about this. Also, the mass-media is like a dumb mutt sticking its nose into every pile of shit. Sometimes they’re lucky, and make a big find. So there’s no loss in winning them over just in case. First…I wonder where I should start…if only I could narrow down the target group precisely, the rest would fall into the sphere of 『Nightmare』. Though, that’d only work if the other party is male.

The Hibiya Park spreading beneath his eyes was filled with the lush greenery of trees despite it being midwinter. Lodge-like buildings with red and green roofs crowded around a big fountain. Just like ants, people with black heads dressed in black clothes busily walked past those buildings. David extended a hand towards the window, pressing his index finger against the glass, as if to squash those ants. Curling his lips, he made a sinister smile.




『Tokyo sure is cold around this time of the year, isn’t it?』


As she spun around, surprised by the French words thrown at her from behind, she was greeted by the smile of a woman giving her an oddly lascivious impression despite the chic, claret colored dress cladding her body.

『Oh, you’re the young lady of Jain’s, aren’t you?』

『Yes, indeed』

She had answered in French on reflex, but Ayesha’s French was rather questionable in comparison to her English.

Just who’s this woman? She has a rather conspicuous appearance, so I’d probably recall a prior meeting with her. But, somehow it doesn’t click, Ayesha doubted her own memory.

『It’s wonderful to see you healthy. Because of that, my plans for a vacation in Miami have changed to visiting such a dull and boring place like Tokyo. I sure would like for David to finally give it a rest with all of his whims. If it had at least been Okinawa, I could have come to terms with it』

『Excuse me, but what could you be talking about?』

『Ah, don’t mind me. Well then, please give my regards to your Tokyo magician, okay?』

Ayesha didn’t understand what was going on, but the other woman came to some sort of conclusion on her own, and walked away. As Ayesha dazedly watched her leave, a trained man well into his thirties, and whom she occasionally saw among Europe’s high society, called out to her.

“How are you?”

“Oh, Sir Michel. Thanks, I am doing fine, how about you?”

“I can’t complain. So, are you alright?”

“No, I was just wondering who that lady is.”

Michel followed Ayesha’s gaze.

“Oh, if I recall, she’s a close associate of Mr. Garcia.”

“Garcia? The one from Altum Foraminis?”

“Ah, you know of him? Oh, come to think of it…”

Ayesha’s terrible injuries were a well-known fact. It wouldn’t have been strange for her to have approached the Deep Hole Sect which was known as a Sect of Healing within some circles. But then again, her miracle took place in Japan.

“If I remember correctly, she’s called Sarah Magdalena.”

“That’s yet another peculiar name…”

Sarah was said to be the name of one of the attendants serving with the three women who watched over Christ’s burial after his crucification. However, in recent years, the theory of her being a child born between Mary Magdalene and Jesus became popular through various fictional stories.

“Well, the saint of their sect is called Marianne Thérèse Martine, so it fits to a tee in a certain way.” Michel shrugged his shoulders, obviously joking around.

In France, Thérèse Martine was a popular patron saint holding roses and a cross.

“Though I doubt that’s her real name.”

“Because names and characters often suit each other? But──” The man said while casting another glance at Sarah as she happily chatted with a man slightly ahead of them.

“She’s a glamorous, sociable woman, so beautiful that you could actually call her lascivious, even though she’s a core member of a religious sect preaching purity and selflessness. I’ve also heard some bad rumors about her. Please be careful.”

“Bad rumors?”

“Oops, I think I’ve said too much. Well then, please excuse me.”

As the rumors about a magician spread by Ayesha’s father took on a life of their own, growing more than even he had expected, Ayesha was constantly swamped with questions about it from various people. Among them, those likely connected with Altum Foraminis had pressed her persistently for answers about the events in Tokyo. Occasionally with such a drive, that she considered it borderline rude.

They have approached me in various ways, but basically, all of them are asking for the identity of the one who cast magic on me. That sect seems to be very interested in Kaygo. I might have considered it, if the ones asking for information were people in a similar situation, but those sect members are way too creepy and probably crazy.

“I wonder if they’ve managed to figure out some clue…”

Sarah said she had plans to go to Miami, but those went up in smoke since she had to come to Tokyo. What could be the reason for a sect who sells miracles to come to Tokyo at this point in time?

Ayesha made a mental note to discuss this with Kaygo later on.




The next day after we learned of the epitaphs’ sensational contents, Miyoshi and I started getting ready to confirm some of the functions they had described, such as <Mining>.

Of course, it’s not like we can test the benchmark of 500 million explorers by ourselves. That’s why we’ve determined to check all the information except for that one, before we get too busy with the upcoming publication of Heaven’s Leaks.

That said, although I call it getting ready, it’s mostly just waiting for the delivery of all the items we ordered. Because it means that I’m going to have some free time, I plan to keep Ms. Mitsurugi company while she’s training over the weekend.

That damn Miyoshi keeps teasing me, saying it really sucks since it’s a dungeon date. But, since it’s more of a training session than a date, I think it’s fine like that. Anyway, she sees me off, reminding me one more time that it’d be too early to use the party function as its existence hasn’t been disclosed anywhere as of yet. I don’t think that it’d be such a big deal, but I suppose it’s better to play it safe when it isn’t necessary to go looking for trouble.




“Yo, yo, YoshiP. Long time no see.” Ms. Saito is sitting together with Ms. Mitsurugi at the usual, inconspicuous corner table of the YD Cafe while acting all big.

“What’s up with that weird greeting? In the first place, only two weeks have passed since our last meeting, no?”

“Bein’ able to enjoy my company twice in a month, you’re one lucky fellow, Mr. Yoshimura, y’know!?”

“Yeah, yeah. So, what’s the plan today?”

Ever since the last time, she’s apparently gotten quite attached to her compound bow, and would like to try hunting wolves, who appear in large numbers on the third floor.

“Since they’re quick-witted and agile, unlike goblins, they feel like more worthy prey, don’t you think?”

“Hmm, I don’t think they’ll pose much of a danger for you two, so sure, why not.”

Different from hunting a real animal, in a dungeon hunt, where no corpses remain, it’s more like playing a VR (Virtual Reality) game. There’s almost none of the guilt and other unpleasant feelings of killing living beings. So far, not even an animal welfare organization has denounced it.

When it comes to training for increasing stats, the slimes on the first floor are far more efficient. However, because that has something of a 『Zen』 feel, it’s almost as if you’re going to reach enlightenment, as you keep beating on slimes single-mindedly, free from obstructive thoughts. If you go at it with the intent of a simple stress relief and amusement, the wolves will definitely be more fun, I think.

Actually, it’s no wonder that the floors down to Yoyogi’s fourth floor, commonly known as beginner floors, are also known as amusement floors. Of course, the first floor is excluded from that. Even though I think it’s foolish to see it like that; after all, it’s still a dungeon. It’s quite likely for one to lose their life if you get careless, but the same can probably be said about hunting or fishing outside.

As was kinda typical for Ms. Saito, although she started saying some stuff like, “Y’see, they’re fun as they’re nimble, unlike goblins,” while being merry when it was a fresh experience, it soon devolved into her complaining, “They don’t have anythin’ like GTBs, and since they don’t drop anythin’, it sure gets borin’ fast.”

Once the number of explorers goes beyond 500 million, they might also start to drop food, but it’s inevitable that the adventurous spirit of somewhat higher leveled explorers quickly fades away when killing monsters on the first four floors. Especially, as they don’t leave any trophies behind, whatsoever. I think it’d be different if they could see scores like in a game, but something like that is── no, wait a sec. Wouldn’t it be possible to turn this into some sort of an amusement park, if you made goggles similar to military safety glasses capable of counting the kills through cameras and turning the number into scores?

The explorer registration for the sake of food dropping will likely be lackluster in dungeons close to cities of advanced countries such as Tokyo or New York. But, what if people regarded it as an amusement park? Well, if you actually try to implement something like this in reality, you’ll probably run into many issues that have to be solved first, but isn’t it worth at least considering?

The reason why no one has introduced such a service so far is probably the low return for the initial investment, on top of the matter of it being life-threatening. If casualties appeared right off the bat, that alone would be enough to have it closed down after a few months of continuous bashing by the media. But, if you were to compare the risk of the customers’ lives being almost the same as what it would be due to bungee-jumping… Well, if you included a bodyguard service run by explorers, it might actually work to increase the number of explorers in advanced countries.

While thinking about all of that, I secretly killed the last monster for hitting the 00 digit. I’ve been killing wolves to keep the two girls safe.


Skill Orb – AGIxHP+1 – 1/7,000,000
Skill Orb – Hypersensitivity – 1/500,000,000
Skill Orb – Sense Danger – 1/2,000,000,000
Skill Orb – Detect Life – 1/24,200,000,000


As expected, the wolf drops <Detect Life>. However, it’s an extremely rare drop. If people were to hunt kobolds, it might actually be possible for two or three orbs to drop per month. Let’s go with <Sense Danger> here.




The following Sunday, Ms. Mitsurugi and I walk around, beating the crap out of slimes like ascetic monks. I’m pretty sure she’ll be in the major league of explorers by next year. While wondering whether this might have been the last opportunity to accompany her this year,, we eat lunch, promising to do this again, and split. She’s invited me to contact her whenever I feel like it as she’ll have plenty of free time towards the end of the year.




“Oh, senpai, welcome back. How did your date go?”

“Do you think a kind of date exists where you’d keep slaughtering slimes like an ascetic monk?”

“Well, it’d definitely mean that the couple is rather peculiar.”

After draping my coat over the hanger in the office and sitting down on the sofa, Miyoshi brings me some tea.

“Which reminds me, Ayesha called.”


Ayesha Ahmed Jain is the Indian billionaire’s daughter who we got to know through last month’s <High Recovery> incident. I’ve heard that she made her comeback in high society after getting completely healed, but just what could be wrong for her to contact us within less than a month?

“She was a bit angry, saying that she couldn’t reach your cell phone.”

“Oh, yeah I’ve been inside a dungeon, so that’s why. Don’t tell me, there’s been some kind of side effect or something?”

“If that were the case, her papa would have contacted us first.”

Ayesha’s father, Ahmed Rahul Jain, is a very rich and an extremely successful business man. But, when it comes to her, he’s a totally lost cause, doting on his daughter who closely resembles his late wife.

“I guess that makes sense.”

“As far as I understand, she’s got business over here on New Year’s Eve, and is planning to visit us on that occasion.”

“New Year’s Eve?”

“It sounds like she’s traveling here together with her papa to attend some business party or something like that.”

“Hee, nothing less of a celebrity.”

“It sounded like she had something she wanted to talk about in person.”

“Something she wants to talk about, eh…? That’s cool as long as it’s nothing bothersome.”

“Senpai, she’s expressly come all the way to Japan from India or Europe, you know? It’s unimaginable that it’s some trivial chit-chat…maybe she wants to propose to you?”

“Stop it, I’d get killed by her papa. However, even if she says that she’s going to drop in at the end of the year…it’s not like we can properly host her here in the office, right? Just where should we take her? If it’s some Japanese place, I’d say the Meiji Shrine or Daishoji Temple?”

“You mean to take her for a shrine visit on New Year’s Eve? Both will be crowded by bazillions of people, all pushing and shoving around.”

She’s right. Every year, the compound and grounds of the Meiji Shrine are blanketed by a carpet of people, it’s nothing but a sea of heads.

“Maybe the Asukusa Shrine would be better for a foreigner?”

“Whichever you choose, all of them will be jammed with people.”

“Yeah…I suppose Disneyland is a no go as well?”

“Well, she’s only mentioned New Years at this point, and I don’t know how long she’s going to stay, so let’s talk about the details once we know how much time she has.”

“Makes sense, but reservations will be a bit difficult in that case…”

“By now we won’t be able to get a booking for the popular spots anyway. If push comes to shove, couldn’t you take her out to beat the crap out of slimes like an ascetic monk?”

“Shut it…”

Continuously beating up slimes after specially coming to Japan, what kind of penance is that supposed to be?

“Food will also be an issue, don’t you think?”

The taboos in regards to foodstuff in Hinduism are more annoying than those in Islam. Moreover, depending on the individual and caste, even an expert could only prepare to handle it by comprehensively matching the strict criteria of the various practices. Beyond that, you’ve got no choice but to ask the person in question.

For those who belong to the upper castes, who are strict in this regard, there are some who won’t even eat together with people eating meat. Not to mention eating with people of different castes, I hear. It’s apparently due to their saliva being impure, but I think that makes deepening friendships with Western businessmen at restaurants rather difficult.

“You sure? I don’t know how Ayesha’s family handles it back home, but it seems like they take a rather flexible approach when abroad. You know, depending on the respective country they’re visiting.”

“Oh, really?”

“I mean, last time they invited us over to a sushi restaurant, no?”

“They said fish meat was fine, didn’t they?”

“Senpai, usually Hindu believers don’t eat any raw food.”

But then again, isn’t it just that they don’t eat it? I don’t think they label raw food as pure or impure.

“I got the impression that her papa is cleverly using the 『Manusmriti』 as suits his own means.” 1

It’s only after the 『Manusmriti』 was written that Hinduism began forbidding the eating of meat. The fifth edition of this code of law has 56 clauses prescribing which foodstuffs are permitted and which are forbidden, leading it to have a big influence on the eating habits of Hindu believers. If you summarize its content, it’s quite vague, preaching stuff like 『You mustn’t destroy life. But, killing for the sake of offerings during rituals and feeding your family doesn’t count as destroying life』. In other words, it’s something that’s liable to be interpreted in many ways, depending on the interpreter.

What Miyoshi means about Ayesha’s father is that he’s conducting himself in a way that doesn’t violate the doctrine by cleverly interpreting the 56 clauses. Of course, as an Indian celebrity, it’s not like he can just ignore the influence the purity/impurity issue in Indian culture has on his eating habits.

“That’s blasphemy!”


In the end, the cultural exchange between different religious beliefs only requires a mutual understanding and explanation with both sides being open-minded. If that’s not possible, the only choice left is to either ignore or destroy the other side. Suddenly the idea that it’s similar to meeting with whatever is on the other side of the dungeons crosses my mind.

“So, senpai, are we also going to dive into Yoyogi, starting tomorrow?”

“Yep. Since we’ve got lots to do this time, our stay will be longer. I think we’ll start by testing out the party function.”

“Great, I’ve also got plenty of things I want to try out.”

“Like what?”

“While we’re getting the reward for Arthur’s, I want to check the influence of LUC on the drop rate, along with several other minor things.”

“The tenth floor then?”

“It’d be wonderful to focus on that place in the beginning.”

“Please tell Ms. Naruse that we’d like her to come early tomorrow then.”

“Eh? Ms Naruse has a key to our office, remember?”

“I think it’s necessary for her to meet with Cavall and the gang before we head out.”

“Ah, if they suddenly run into each other while we’re not here──”

“It’d be great if that only ended up as a funny story, but well…”

“It’s unlikely for it to end up that way, isn’t it?”

Honestly, I don’t even know how she’s going to react if they meet each other under our supervision.

“To begin with, can you actually keep hellhounds? What are we going to do if we’re told to get rid of them?”

“Then we won’t have much of a choice but to live our lives while concealing ourselves in darkness.”

“What kind of apparition-like human is that supposed to be?”

“Leave it to me, I’ll do my very best!” Miyoshi psyches herself up with an unusually serious look.




Sporadic dull clouds painted the sky over Tokyo on a windless, chilly day.

“Good morning.”

Ms. Naruse visited our office earlier than usual, her breath condensing into white steam as she stood at the entrance, just to sit down at our dining table wearing a face full of worry.

“You two are going down all the way to the 18th floor this time, right?”

“That’s the plan, but is there something wrong with that?”

“About that…” Ms. Naruse, not knowing how she should break the topic with us, begins to explain while carefully choosing her words. “Once I tried looking it up, I discovered that the 18th floor has a rather problematic past…”

“Problematic past?”

She retrieves several documents from her bag. Even nowadays with tablets allowing one to browse various kinds of information without the need for leafing through an extensive number of pages, paper is still much better when it comes to laying out things comprehensively. There’s the sense of touch, and the arrangement of the papers. In short, it’s full of information, beyond just the meaning of the words, which acts as a trigger for one’s memory.

We look down at the papers depicting the information of the 18th floor as Ms. Naruse lines them up. In the middle is a floor map.

“Huh? The 18th floor hasn’t been…completely mapped as of yet?”

The map shows quite a few blank spaces. Especially to the east side of the stairs leading onto the 18th floor is a wide patch of unexplored area.

“It appears you’ll find a cliff with a sea of clouds expanding out over there──”

According to Ms. Naruse’s explanation, the JSDF unit, which first saw it, circumvented that place, leaving the investigation of the cliff for a later time. It seemed too dangerous at that time or some such. And as a result of them investigating the area radially around the stairs leading back up to the 17th floor, the scouting party luckily spotted stairs descending from the top of the cliff, allowing them to continue onto the next floor.

“There were no further investigations besides that one?” I ask curiously while tracing the investigated areas on the map, extending all the way to mountains that conspicuously deviate from the circular area, with a finger.

“Yes. The reason for that can be found in the route.” With those words, she points at the top of a mountain, recorded here as Batian, located at the edge of the area I’ve traced.

That place isn’t unexplored land, but instead off-limits.


It’s a label I’m seeing for the first time where the interior of dungeons are concerned.

“What’s the deal here?”

After taking a short breath, Ms. Naruse lowers her voice, and begins to narrate an incident as if recounting a ghost story.

“There were climbers among the JSDF unit that first surveyed the 18th floor.”

Seeing that mountain, they apparently called it Batian Peak. 2 Those troop members apparently played a key role in the following expedition to the area around the summit.

“Is that the reason why they diligently surveyed the mountain region that looks like it would be a major pain, despite not investigating much else outside of their circular survey range?”

Seemingly finding it quite ridiculous, Miyoshi butts in.

“It’d have become a legend if they slipped away during the survey, climbed to the summit, and got locked away for 28 days as a punishment!”


The first climb of Point Lenana, one of Kenya Mountain’s peaks, was achieved by three Italians during the Second World War who were apparently held as prisoners of war by the British Army. Of all things, they climbed the mountain during their escape, and then returned to their POW camp after they descended once again. As punishment, they were put into solitary isolation cells for 28 days.

“『We’re No Angels』, was it?”

“The part about them coming back despite having fled before has been adapted just like that. But you see, I can’t really approve of that movie.”

“Why? The 1955 version is a nice Christmas movie, isn’t it? I like it more than 『It’s a Wonderful Life』 and 『Miracle on 34th Street​』, you know?”

“Now listen, senpai, I’m talking here about after the Christmas dinner ── afterwards, got it? Almost all of the 1888 d’Yquem, more than 3/4th, was left undrunk, okay!? Back then it was a friggin’ 30 years old wine! Almost as old as the protagonist! That Ducotel family is absolutely unforgivable!” 3

Rolling my eyes at Miyoshi who’s totally wound up, even clenching her fists, I retort, “I think you should really consider revising how you watch movies.”

Even while some would care about Christopher Walken heartily draining a Glenfiddich when watching 『The Dogs of War』, all this girl would worry about is the brand of the champagne being drunk by the last soldiers. When I watched the movie with her on satellite broadcasting by chance, I nearly shouted at her to pay attention to other stuff in the movie when she commented, “Unexpectedly they are drinking it out of ordinary glasses. Though I kinda feel like it’s a scene where they should drink straight from the bottle or something like that.”

Either way, it sure is a weird idea to go mountain climbing while escaping. Of course, if you were to do something like that inside a dungeon, you’d immediately get ambushed by monsters, and probably die.

“Those troop members apparently lost sight of everything else, single-mindedly aiming for the peak of the mountain.” Ms. Naruse, who’s listened to our chit-chat with a smile, continues with her story while shifting to wear a dark expression.

Well, I’d say it’s the nature of climbers to aim for the peak when they’ve come so far, right?

Ms. Naruse thrusts a copy of a report in front of my eyes as I’m pondering such thoughts.

“This is?”

That report states how two of the three troop members, who went to climb the peak, received the two rank promotion immediately after having entered the mountain area.


“Because of this accident, any further investigation of the remaining area was suspended, I hear.”

“Accident, you say…”

I read through the full report, but nowhere does it mention the cause of their deaths.

“Is the cause unknown?”

Ms. Naruse bobs her head up and down, muttering, “It looks like there’s something there.”


It appears no further details are known. The report doesn’t mention the cause of their deaths, nor any autopsy by a doctor. All it does is coldly announce their deaths and declare a prohibition against trespass into that area.

“Now, now, senpai. Isn’t it our motto: ignore troublesome stuff?”

While Miyoshi blithely says that we just have to avoid getting close to a place like that, I ask Ms. Naruse, “Even if something is up there, it hasn’t left the mountain, right?”

“So far, that is correct.”

Hearing that, I secretly wonder whether that’s the reason the 18th floor is avoided by explorers.

“Okay, I got it. We’ll make sure to not approach──”

“But, umm…the genômos dwell in the underground caves spread out in the vicinity of this mountain.”

“──that area as much as possible.”

“Please be careful, okay?”

With this, the explanation about the 18th floor has come to its stopping point. While casting a sidelong glance at Miyoshi who’s receiving various pieces of information as data from Ms. Naruse, I nonchalantly change the topic.

“You see…how should I say it…before leaving, we’d like to introduce something to you, Ms. Naruse.”


Since I’ve gotten awkward explaining it, I nudge the flank of their owner (?) with my elbow. After all, this is about introducing Arthur’s. We plan to leave one of them here as a guard, and if he runs into Ms. Naruse without warning her ahead of time── it’s damn obvious that it’ll turn into a huge mess, with a hellhound walking around our home and through the garden.

“Come on, Miyoshi.”

“Ummm, Ms. Naruse, please calm down and listen.”

“Ehh? That sounds really scary? Just what’s going on?”

With a slightly stiff smile, Ms. Naruse recrosses her hands on her knees, trying to act composed. Then, pointing her palm to the side like a bus tour guide, Miyoshi asks Ms. Naruse to look in that direction.

“Pardon?” Turning to the right side while seated on the sofa, Ms. Naruse spots Cavall curled up over there, and abruptly screams──

“Heeeey! Wait!” I swiftly block her mouth.

We’re in a residential area. No matter how soundproof our office might be, something like a scream loud enough to burst windows coming out of our house in broad daylight would be quite bad for our reputation.


With her eyes widened in shock, Ms. Naruse knocks her body into me while scrambling to get away from Cavall, thrashing with her hands and feet.

“I-It’s alright! Calm down!”

I somehow manage to soothe Ms. Naruse even while feeling kinda like a kidnapper here. Once she stops kicking and putting up a fuss, I remove my hands from around her.

Even after being released, her mouth keeps flapping open and closed like a well-bred goldfish for some time. Eventually she stammers, “T-This, w-what’s that?”, with her eyes fixed on Cavall, not sparing a single glance at Miyoshi.

“Umm…our pet?”

“Pettt!?” Ms. Naruse yells out full of disbelief while looking at Miyoshi incredulously.

“Well, she’s right. Look.” The instant Miyoshi says so, Cavall begins to lick Ms. Naruse’s cheek.


Gulping in surprise and jumping to her feet, Ms. Naruse whips her head around, audibly twisting her neck, making eye contact with Cavall. For a while, woman and dog stare at each other just like that. With the strangely tense atmosphere dominating the entire room, even Miyoshi and I hold our breaths, watching how the situation is going to pan out.

After some time, Ms. Naruse breathes out, and timidly strokes Cavall’s nose tip while saying, “L-Looking closely at him, he might have some charm, he’s even, maybe, somewhat cute.”

Even Cavall apparently loosens some of his bracing, seemingly released from nervousness. I feel like his head and the outer corner of his eyes have dropped somewhat.

“Besides, he feels nicer than expected.”

The fur of Cavall and the other three is far softer than you’d imagine. Since it’s felt relatively hard when they’re fighting, they might be adjusting its strength through mana. In any case, it’s no exaggeration to describe their fur as fluffy.

Apparently as she becomes gradually used to Cavall, Ms. Naruse is rubbing and petting him all over. It looks like she’s reached a point where she can calmly enjoy the fluffy feeling.

According to her, I asked her after she’d calmed down, no licenses and medical inspections are required by the regulations of the WDA. It’s because tamers or summoners have yet to appear. Also, if you keep a pet, you are supposed to report it to the administration, but it’s very unlikely that hellhounds have been added to the list of controlled dangerous animals by Japanese law or the register of exotic species, so neither of those is likely going to apply here, she says.

In other words, we don’t have to do much more than report them as simple dogs, have a license issued for them, and vaccinate them against rabies. So, the only issue is that we have absolutely no idea how an immunization against rabies would affect them.

“Anyway, since a bit of a time delay should be okay, I’ll look up the various details. Let’s check the situation while keeping him hidden for a while.”

“We’ll be in your hands.”

Nothing less from an exclusive deputy chief. How very reliable.

It was also possible that she’d try to ship Cavall off to some research facility as a subject for experiments, once she learned that we’re keeping hellhounds. But, willfully doing something like that with personal property is difficult in Japan. As long as the owner doesn’t give their consent, it’s virtually impossible. Viva, Japan!

There’s also the possibility of abducting him ── is a line-of-thought I try to follow, but seeing Cavall curled up over there, I rethink it as impossible.

In the end, the rules in regards to dungeons are always lagging behind since they first appeared three years ago. The true state of things is that people have no choice but to play it by the ear each time a problem springs up. This matter will likely become yet another one for the books.

Either way, before heading out, we tell Ms. Naruse to work hard at the translation while having no reason to worry as we’ll leave one hound always guarding the office.




“Sheesh, I sure hadn’t expected her to become so surprised.”

“It’s just normal to be surprised when, after you turn around, to find a hellhound sitting around, right there in front of you, isn’t it? Rather, she did well to not faint then and there.”

I’m pretty sure she must have believed that Cavall was simply sampling her taste when he licked her cheek.

“You’ve got a point. And all that despite them being soooo cute.”

“You only say that because you see them through the positive bias as their owner.”

Describing them objectively, those guys are damn scary. Though you’ll start relaxing and regard them as cute after a while since they act like perfect doggies.

When we had entered and descended from Yoyogi’s entrance to the first floor, we moved to a corner of a room with no people in it.

“Okay then, let’s start by testing the party function.”

“Sure thing.”

We still haven’t announced the dungeon party system to the public. It’s because we’re going to use it as verifiable material to prove the credibility of Heaven’s Leak during its launch at Christmas. After our initial test, we haven’t formed a party with anyone. This time we’re going to party up while also testing its functions.

I touch my D-Card with Miyoshi’s, and chant in my mind, 『Admit』. It doesn’t generate any special effect with my sense of sight or hearing in particular, but just like last time, it feels like I’ve formed a mysterious link with Miyoshi.

“Is this 『Sensation of being connected』 something like an UI notification informing you of the party’s establishment?” Miyoshi asks while looking at the backside of her D-Card.

“Maybe. It’s somewhat intuitive as a function, though.”

In the first place, a list of the party members is shown on the backside of the D-Card. Thus it’s actually possible to visually confirm whether the party formation succeeded by simply looking there.

We continue descending to the tenth floor while carefully testing the telepathy function, the experience point allotment, and the function to locate party members.




It might cause any other explorer to topple over if they hear it, but we plan to spend the night on the tenth floor, since it’s relatively safe for us. After all, that floor has no monsters capable of overturning Dolly (our camping van), and there won’t be any explorers asking unnecessary questions either. For Miyoshi, who can attack monsters from within Dolly, this floor is truly like heaven.

“Are we going to aim for 373 monster kills once more?”

“About that…if the way it works is that the mansion’s monsters wouldn’t vanish until midnight of the next day, it’d result in us being constantly chased around after leaving through the gate, you know?”

Worst case scenario, if any other explorers are around, it might very well develop into a PKing train. Moreover, unlike in games, the people who got dragged into it and died couldn’t revive afterwards.

“So, if we’re going to make it spawn, let’s wrap up the killing by 11 p.m….”

It requires around six hours of leisurely walking and chatting while taking the shortest distance before we arrive at the stairs to the tenth floor. Normal explorers hate the tenth floor, but actually it’s very suited for running tests. A reasonable number of monsters, which drop normal loot, keep spawning. Furthermore, they will directly approach you of their own volition. Because the types of monsters of this floor are limited as well, it’s simple to kill droves of the same type. It’s a floor that’s practically perfect for checking out how LUC influences the drop rate of normal loot, and the drop rate of magic crystals.

While efficiently killing droves of undead, we head away from the stairs to the 11th floor. After making some good distance, we find a deserted place, take out Dolly, and go inside.

“Pheeew.” I flop down on the dinette’s sofa with my eyes shut.

Miyoshi boots up all her monitors, thereby activating the surveillance of our surroundings.

“Keeping track of the number of monsters to make sure the last two digits of the kill count is correct is a major pain. I wonder, can’t you count the kills through the camera’s video or something like that?”

“Since all such convenient recognition APIs are stored on clouds, you can’t access them inside a dungeon. And even if it was possible for argument’s sake, transmitting the video would take quite some time, so it wouldn’t actually be feasible. If you had an AI learn to recognize monsters, it might be somehow possible to use it as a standalone, but to judge from a video whether a monster has been actually killed is unreasonable once you take the changes in the angle of view into account, isn’t it?”

Even if an AI could distinguish the monster that was hit, it won’t really know whether it actually has died until the body vanishes. If it vanishes when the camera isn’t pointing at it, the AI won’t be able to tell whether it moved away while still alive, or vanished after being killed.

“Then, would it be possible if you go with having it make a suitable decision?”

“You mean as in simply judging whether an attack landed or something like that?”

“Yeah. Afterwards it’ll assume that the monster died once it vanishes from the camera’s sight. There’s no need to be overly strict there.”

“It might be possible if a precise distinction isn’t necessary…”

Having a good, general sensor for others, she sits down on the sofa, which is broad enough for three people, to my left side, leaning her body forward, she smiles seemingly telling me to cough up what’s on my mind.

“So, senpai, what are you going to do with something like that?”

“W-Well, look, the other day I dived into the dungeon with Ms. Saito and Ms. Mitsurugi, right?”

I tell Miyoshi how Ms. Saito was at first hyped about hunting wolves, but then got bored of it after only a short time.

“In the end, Yoyogi’s beginner floors are nice for playing around a bit, but isn’t it only a very small handful of professional folks who genuinely challenge the deeper floors?”

“Well, you’re not wrong about that.”

Those aiming to become professionals from the start will always do their best using that goal as motivation. Butotherwise, the fun floors are exciting and thrilling at first, but once you get used to them, they become quite a drag. They have no incentives, and those craving for the spotlight won’t be satisfied either. If you say that it’s inevitable, that’s certainly the case, but that being the case, the number of those aiming to capture dungeons won’t continue to grow no matter how much time passes.

“That’s why I kinda thought more people would have fun while increasing their stats, if we can create goggles that can display scores for the number of killed monsters…”

“While at it, it might also be possible to use it in urban dungeons for the sake of the threshold five hundred million explorers, huh?”

“Well, yeah.”

If we release that information to the public, it won’t be odd for the number of explorers to increase through national policies in areas which are expected to run into a food shortage, and areas already suffering from famine. However, the registration of dungeon explorers located in advanced countries might not change much from what it is now. Moreover, there’s less than a hundred dungeons all over the world.

“Even if the number of explorers grows by a million per dungeon, it still won’t amount to a hundred million in total…”

“Assuming ten or twenty thousand people would register every day, you still won’t be able to reach ten million in a year.”

“That’s how it is. If we’re talking about the number of registered explorers, I think the numbers in urban areas will also shoot up once we announce the party system.”

After all, you’ll be able to use telepathy, and that’s something anyone would like to use, right? However, if it comes to capturing dungeons and so on, the overall number proceeding beyond the fifth floor will become an issue.

“It might be tough to have small goggles handle all of the necessary functions, but──” Miyoshi begins by recounting the current situation, “Since you can apparently lay out a power cable from the surface to the second floor, it might be possible to create such a system as long as you carry in some servers, and connect the devices through WiFi.”

The distance between entrance and exit on the first floor is very short at Yoyogi. Hence, even if you pull a cable all the way to the second floor, the danger of it getting melted by slimes would be low if you employ some guards.

“It’ll be somewhat too big of a scale to manage as a hobby for a few individuals. If it’s run by the JDA and private companies, it could potentially become popular as a survival game if you set up a matchmaking system and charge some money for a 30 minute game. For example, 『Annihilate wolves as a team!』 or similar.”

“I’m sure some people would get really excited about that if there’s a site where the points and rankings are listed, too.”

“However, it’s still a dungeon, so yeah…”

“But, it sounds interesting, no? A real VRMMO, right? Though it’d make the meaning behind the letters kinda pointless.”

“However, it’d also be a real death game, wouldn’t it?”

“──Yeah, okay, I can’t deny that.”

“Unless you have people properly sign liability waivers, you won’t be able to clear all responsibility once casualties appear.”

“Makes sense.”

And even if you can avoid legal accountability through waivers, it’d still put a damper on people’s mood to play it.

“Bah, just who’d willingly play a game like that!? If they could have logged out from SAO, everyone would have logged out of the game immediately when the incident took place, right?”


“…Are we possibly…idiots?”

“Now, now, senpai. I think your idea is interesting. Look, of course you could describe it as a real death game, but wouldn’t it work better if you call it E-Sports? I mean, people die in accidents while Boxing or in the F1 as well.”

“So you’re saying it’ll be OK as long as it’s organized as an amusement and sports event while paying as much consideration to safety as possible, huh?”

“Maybe there’s someone out there who would want to promote this.”

“Hold up, now why do your words sound like you want to outsource this?”

“I mean, senpai, do you want to run that kind of a business?”

Now that she’s asking…sure, I’d like to try playing it for a bit, but I haven’t spent any time thinking about how to make a business out of it. No matter how I look at it, it sounds like more trouble than it’d be worth.

“No way…”

“See!? Development or playing around with grass-root movements seems fun, so that’d be fine, but doing business with a real death game? That’s a non-starter. Absolutely, a no-go.”

After deciding to have a bit of fun by giving the basic goggle development a try, we eat our meal, and then get going on what we actually came here for.

“No choice. I suppose I’ll have to count the number of defeated monsters in the normal way.” With those words, I move over to the bunk bed. “Okay, let’s start with both of us killing 100 skeletons individually to compare how many bones each of us acquires.”

“Sure thing.”

“Oh, but before that, let me check how much LUC you’ve got right now, Miyoshi.”

Checking Miyoshi’s stats is somewhat troublesome. That’s because, Miyoshi has to appraise me, and the smallest value of my stat that shows as zero can be deduced as her stat value. Since we know Miyoshi’s stats from before, I just need to raise each stat starting from her previous values, which makes finding her current stat value relatively easy, if tedious. In preparation for that, I activate <Making>.


Name: Yoshimura Keigo
Rank 1 / SP 673.86

HP 250.00
MP 190.00

STR (-) 100 (+)
VIT (-) 100 (+)
INT (-) 100 (+)
AGI (-) 100 (+)
DEX (-) 100 (+)
LUC (-) 100 (+)


> Miyoshi Azusa

“Hm? ──Ehhh?!” I unintentionally raise my voice upon seeing a new option.

Beneath my stats, the name 『Miyoshi Azusa』 is displayed.

“Don’t tell me…”

Once I lightly tap on her name, a screen appears, displaying what I had expected.


Name: Miyoshi Azusa
SP 2.863

HP 21.70
MP 32.50

STR (-) 8 (+)
VIT (-) 9 (+)
INT (-) 18 (+)
AGI (-) 11 (+)
DEX (-) 13 (+)
LUC (-) 10 (+)


“M-Miyoshi, take a look.”

I lean forward from the bunk bed, pointing at the display. Of course, it’s impossible for Miyoshi to see it.

“What’s up? Did something happen?”

“Ah, no…tell me once more, how much SP (Experience Points) have you obtained so far?”

“Mmh? Please wait a moment.”

Miyoshi opens the list on her PC, and checks the value.

“…Around 4.86.”

According to the screen of <Making> it’s 2.863. In other words, around 50% of her total SP has been allotted automatically.

“What is it, senpai? Now you’ve got me curious.”

“Hmm, as a matter of fact…” I explain to Miyoshi about her name showing up in <Making> when it displayed my stats, and what happened when I tapped it.

To put it simply, it’s a function allowing me to tamper with the stats of my party members.

“For real!?”

“It looks real enough to me.”

Miyoshi’s eyes sparkle for an instant, but seemingly regaining her sanity right away, she calmly starts with, “But, senpai…,” as she tilts her head to the side and continues as if to confirm an unclarified issue, “…doesn’t that mean that the SP you acquire is naturally allotted to each stat depending on your actions?”


Going by what has happened with Ms. Mitsurugi and Ms. Saito, that conclusion should be correct. I haven’t experienced any natural SP allotment, but that might be related to my having acquired <Making>. If I consider that it took some time until I obtained <Making>, my SP might have been automatically converted into stats for a little while longer after I got <Making>. Kinda like it takes time for nutrients to be absorbed by the body.

“The stat editor you told me about before can’t turn stat points back into SP, right? Isn’t it somewhat pointless to be able to edit the stats at this point?”

It might be possible to weaken her stats, but if we can’t reallocate them, she’s right by describing it as meaningless.

“No, you see…” I tell her that she actually has 2.863 SP remaining as only 2 SP have been allotted automatically.

“That means roughly 50% of the obtained SP are allotted naturally?”

“If we base that assumption on just your example, you’re correct. Though it’s possible that the remainder will also be allotted into stat points over a longer period of time.”

“Wait, could that possibly mean…” Miyoshi gets excited again, braces herself, and asks, “…that one can allocate half of the acquired SP to any stat they like, as long as they party with you, senpai?”

“W-Well, that sounds about right.”


“No, wait, Miyoshi. Using that with explorers I don’t really know or turning it into business is unreasonable, isn’t it?”

After all, it’d be necessary for them to party with me. Just that alone is already quite a tough hurdle for me. Naturally, I could only do that for maybe Ms. Mitsurugi, Ms. Saito, and Ms. Naruse, besides Miyoshi. It’s way too unrealistic for me to say, “Yo, wanna join a party with me?”, to some random stranger. Even if this were only a game world, that’d be asking too much of me.

And even if we assume that such a stranger would be interested in it, such a scenario would likely result in them asking me to show them my D-Card and confirming the existence of such an ability first, which would be impossible since it’s nothing I want to show to others.

After pondering on it for a while, Miyoshi asks, “Doesn’t that part depend on how you go about it?”


“Let’s see…for example, if you were to advertise it as a dungeon bootcamp or something like that, and have them do some mysterious activity for several days after forming a party with you.

“Mysterious activity?”

“It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it causes them to have dead eyes. And then, if you were to add just a bit of SP to their desired stat once the camp ends, they’d go like “Oh, what a surprise! If you join the bootcamp, your stats will grow just as you hoped for!” Of course it’s important for you not to raise their stats all at once, but increase it little-by-little with several adjustments.”

“Dead eyes…now listen…”

“It’s easier for people to accept power they obtain as a result of repeated, strenuous effort than what’s obtained easily, isn’t it?”

If you were to ask me which I’d prefer, it’s definitely the latter. However, I can’t refute the fact that the former alternative is easier to agree with.

“You know, you’re probably right about that.”

Having said that, it’d likely end in a flood of applications from all over the world if such tremendous effects were to be confirmed after attending a bootcamp with me. I want to live my life while enjoying freedom as much as possible. That alone is reason enough to refuse being forced to take part in such a scheme.

“I’ve absolutely no interest in a life where I’d be forced to run such bootcamps on a daily basis.”

“Hmm, what if we narrow down the participants by adding some conditions?”


“For example, they must help with Yoyogi 『Explorations』 for one year, or something similar?”


“If you were to call it capturing, it’d have a strong taste of joining the front lines, but only a handful of people are capable of that, right? Besides, unlike with Evans, I feel like many people would be quite troubled if Yoyogi were to disappear for real.”

“That’s…very likely, yeah.”

Above all, urban dungeons are deeply connected to the city they’re situated in. They’ve become embedded in the social and economic systems, so it’d likely cause quite a few problems if they were to suddenly disappear.

“Even if it’s nominally a capture effort, I think it’ll be fine to call it exploration as the condition.”

“Setting up participation conditions, eh? If you do it skilfully, it might decrease the number of applications from other countries, but…in the end, the number of people capable of participating in one camp would still be limited to seven. If 200 hundred people were to apply per month, it’d still take an entire month to handle all of them, even if you reduced the camp’s schedule to one day, you know?”

“You remember the fund we talked about before? If we make it large enough that we can commercialize it, we could just hire people to work on the actual training itself after the camp participants form a party with you, couldn’t we? Of course it’d be a different story if you want to become Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, though,” Miyoshi laughs. 4

Those drills, eh…? Sure, I’d be kinda interested to try those out a bit, but the mental state to play such a part…no way. In the first place, isn’t that simply screaming to be shot to death immediately after completing the bootcamp. 5

“Besides, if they kill monsters during their training, and you get all the experience points, it’d be a clear gain.”

“Eh? Isn’t that kinda cruel?”

“Reward, it’s your reward. It wouldn’t amount to much experience per person anyway.”

I suppose it’s kinda like making a big buck by embezzling all the fractions of a yen from each money transfer in a bank, like what pops up in the news every once in a while.

“Besides, if we’re going to do it anyway, it’d be easier if we could screen the participants by assertively using an open selection process.”

Oh, I see. I guess it means we would pick the participants as it suits our tastes.

“If it goes under the pretext of capturing Yoyogi, it wouldn’t be strange for us to prioritize veterans who have been actively entering dungeons. I mean, even if we allow beginners to participate, the bootcamp’s effect for them would be close to zero.”

The main objective would be to allot all excess SP. Hence it’d make no sense to have novice explorers, who don’t have any excess SP, join the camp in the first place.

“Still what should we do if some bigwigs push explorers with zero potential for growth on us? It’s not like the camp would show any effect with them.”

“If push comes to shove, I’ll just handle it by publicizing <Appraisal>.”


Wait, she could be right. It might be just enough if you can say that you have <Appraisal> when you reject an applicant because they show no potential for growth. After all, they wouldn’t have any means to deny it.

“So far as it goes, I’m receiving quite a bit of compensation as the frontwoman of D-Powers, and it’s not like I’m suffering in obscurity now anyway.”

Well, she’s already being called a legend as the sole orb hunter in the world… It’s a big help that Miyoshi’s ID is a bit older. If it had been a new ID, her sudden appearance might have caused a lot more of a ruckus. Although it’s a development that follows along the course of what we laid out at the Italian restaurant in the beginning, I’ve still got mixed feelings. After all, it might increase the danger to her life. Although, nowadays she’s being protected by her doggies, who’re even capable of preventing her from getting sniped. Overlooking the threat when the usefulness exceeds the danger is a principle that proved to be quite effective for Duke Tougou. Though, that’s a fictional story.

“In such a case, I’m pretty sure that I’d be swamped with a flood of appraisal requests from all over the world! Besides, it’ll also explain why we were able to develop a Scouter. So it’d be like killing two birds with one stone!”

She’s saying it as a joke, but I’m well aware that it’s this girl’s peculiar way of acting tough.

“Okay, okay, I get it.” I flash a wry smile at her.

There’s other things I want to bring up, like what she’d plan to do if another appraisal holder shows up, but if it’s a private camp run by a private organization, I doubt that anyone would have a reason to complain if we went about drafting applicants in our own way.

“Anyway, whether we can really get such a camp going should come after making sure whether <Making> can really be used to manipulate the stats of child-party members.”

“Yeah, it’d make it much easier if that’s possible. At the same time it’d greatly increase the number of applicants we could accept.”

“If it’s not possible, the maximum will be six people.”

“Not seven?”

“It’ll be inconvenient if the instructor doesn’t join the party, right?”


There’s a shitload of things we must find out in advance, like, for example, whether the party persists even if I’m on the surface while the rest of its members are doing their training camp inside the dungeon, but we can leave those tests for later.

“Either way, this matter needs to wait until we get back to the surface and run various tests with our acquaintances. The objective of our current dive is to check the effect of LUC on the drop rate, and <Mining>, okay?”


Thus we start our tests to determine the correlation between LUC and the drop rate.

Since I’ve got just about ten times as much LUC as Miyoshi, it’s quite convenient for our testing. As a result, we could see that the drop rate for the standard drop items ─ though it’s only the bones of skeletons this time ─ isn’t affected by LUC much, with Miyoshi and I only having a difference of roughly 20%.

“It doesn’t feel like there’s much of a difference in our results with regards to the bones, senpai, but the impact on the drop rate of magic crystals is quite amazing.”

Magic crystals have a drop rate approximately equal to the drop rate of normal items multiplied by LUC divided by 100. In short, the number of crystals dropping for Miyoshi was a tenth of my crystal drop rate.

“And, only three potions after killing 125 skeletons feels a bit depressing.”

The special drops ─ in this case Healing Potion (1) ─ can’t be estimated at all. After all, Miyoshi wasn’t able to obtain a single one.

“Senpai, you’ve got three Healing Potions (1), and I didn’t get a single one, so it’s very likely that LUC plays some kind of role in this, however…”

Both of us stopped killing monsters once we reached a count of 125. Us not ending at 100 simply stems from us having been unable to stop. Given that we’ve killed quite a lot of skeletons in the past as well, it has allowed us to build the following hypothesis by collating with our previous results:

・ A BDR (BaseDropRate) exists for monsters. At present it’s around 0.25.
・ A RDR (RareDropRate) exists for monsters. At present it’s around 0.02.
・ Standard Drop Items follow the BDR without really getting affected by LUC.
・ Special Drop Items have a drop rate of approx. RDR x (LUC / 100). (Temporary)
・ Magic crystals have a drop rate of approx. BDR x (LUC / 100).

“That should be all?”

“Yeah. It’ll be fine if we can gather the data of other people for the rest, but…finding people who would diligently record all the different types and numbers of monsters they defeated sounds like a chore.”

“No kidding. I mean, I’ve been doing it because I have my quantification of the various values as a driving force, but with just two different types of monsters it’s already quite troublesome.”

Since the first floor is only inhabited by slimes, it wasn’t much of an issue, but the tenth floor has a mixture of skeletons and zombies. Counting them separately was a lot harder than I expected. It’d be easier if I could use <Making> to display a log of the monsters I’ve killed, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have such a function.

“The reason why the WDA doesn’t publish the basic drop rate of monsters must be rooted in their inability to even ask the explorers how many monsters they’ve killed.”

That makes sense. Even if they were to ask, I doubt they’d get any decent statistics as the answers would be full of errors. The JSDF, who entered the dungeons first, might have its own statistics, but they’re probably treating them like military secrets. It’s hard for me to imagine that they’d be willing to publicize their results.

Tomorrow we’re going to aim for the 18th floor. Having given up on any further pursuit of this troublesome task, we each take a shower, and quickly go to sleep.




Some of you may remember, I posted in §056 that I’d decide how to proceed with this series after Volume 2 finishes. In Japan unpopular series usually get cancelled, but luckily it’s not unpopular over there, and Volume 5 is slated to be released soon. Unfortunately same can’t be said about the West. Even after running ads for it etc., it remains less popular than Hakai no Miko, another bi-weekly series on this blog.

As it wouldn’t be fair to the other series and their readers, this series’ release speed will drop to once every two weeks starting with this volume. Of course, this isn’t set in stone. If readership picks up, so will the release rate and vice versa.

Also, as this series is reasonably popular among my patrons on Patreon, it’ll remain on a weekly schedule there.


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Translation Notes:

  1. The Manusmriti is an old book describing the behavioral codices of Hindu. You can google it if you want more details.
  2. A/N: A height of 5199 meter. The second tallest mountain on the African Continent, one of the many high peaks in the Kenya Mountains. By the way, as a side note, It’s not Kenya Mountains because they’re in Kenya, but Kenya got its name as a country because of the Kenya Mountains.
  3. The wine in question: Château d’Yquem. Miyoshi is raging about stuff happening in We’re No Angels.
  4. A/N: Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is a character appearing in the movie “Full Metal Jacket.” He’s likely the world’s most famous drill instructor.
  5. All references to the movie, so you need to wiki or watch it to understand.

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