The Hero and the Dungeon
Hero Wataru dove into the dungeon. Passing through the first floor with ease, he entered the labyrinth area.
Although the usual pattern for here was to search and explore, today he passed through the labyrinth area farther inside, making his way to the riddle area.
“Now then, the unexplored area’s after this huh… Gotta focus from here on.”
He wasn’t speaking to anyone in particular, he just talked while looking at the door in front of him.
The riddle door. Wataru leisurely solved the door, typical known as the [Gate of Wisdom].
“… Yeah, this is arithmetic. Just need to solve it with some basic algebra.”
“I remember this from that Japanese game show, that matchstick guy. Just need to reverse the triangle.”
“Aah, this one’s a famous riddle. In this world, at least. [Northern Sea].”
“… [Easy], I guess? This doesn’t seem that hard.”
Expressing an opinion that would earn him a headbutt if Haku heard him, he made his way to the spiral staircase area.
Beyond this point, nothing had been reported to the guild at all.
Although Wataru thought that Kehma probably had some information as the person who had delved the deepest into the dungeon, it would’ve been hard for him to ask due to his debt.
As something that gave one an advantage, information in this world was to be concealed. And that if he’d asked for information, his debt would continue increasing.
Of course, that included information on how to deal with parts of a dungeon. As an exception, information about traps that would be particularly dangerous for adventurers who didn’t know about them—placing the magic sword back into the pedestal in the [Avarice Trap] for example—would be purchased by the guild to be used as common knowledge. As for the adventurers who still died to those traps, the guild just viewed them as unfortunate losses.
“… So there’s a hole in the middle? Wonder if it’d be faster to jump down from here?”
He thought that when he saw the hole… but seeing as he’d likely wind up with fractures even if he landed skillfully, although the idea crossed his mind, Wataru discarded the thought of jumping down.
While paying careful attention to the steps, he descended the spiral staircase step by step.
… On the way down, a wall projected outwards.
“Whoops, that was dangerous.”
For Wataru, it wasn’t dangerous. He evaded the suddenly projected wall so as to not fall.
“I probably would’ve fell if I was any slower huh.”
He finally noticed the point of there being a hole down the center of the staircase. Then again, there wasn’t much meaning in him realizing it either though.
When he finished descending the spiral staircase, there was an area that strikingly resembled some man-made ruins. It was as though there was something dividing the areas.
He entered the near room while confirming that there were no traps.
“Oh, a treasure chest! Fufufu, I wonder what’s in it? Maybe it’s some manga magazine~”
Wataru, someone from another world, hoped there would be some Japanese item inside the chest. However, it just had a sword in it. Although he was a little disappointed, he saw a magic stone in it when he took a better look. It was a magic sword.
“Ooh, come to think of it there was some talk about being able to get magic swords here huh. Hmm, it feels like I can fill it with magical power and it feels like it’ll get sharper, I think? Well, it’ll go towards repaying my debt… Would’ve preferred something from Japan though…”
Magic swords that improved their sharpness were, among magic swords, located in the lower rank. High rank ones had magic effects. In the case of the magic sword he currently had, by being at the level of being purchasable with several gold coins, it was a third-rate piece of equipment for an S-Rank adventurer hero.
As for C-Ranks, they would go into a frenzy for equipment at that level.
While defeating the iron golems that constantly appeared on his way, he found even more magic swords in the other rooms. All of them were sharpness improving magic swords. Although he stored the magic swords together with the iron golem corpses with his [Storage] magic, he was slowly reaching his full capacity.
“Maybe it would’ve been better to come after getting rid of some stuff… No no, I had to perfectly prepare since I’m travelling alone, can’t be helped, can’t be helped.”
Collecting twenty magic swords somehow or another, he found the stairway to continue going down.
Although he felt that it was [Still Safe], he didn’t think that he [Still Had Room]. When the time comes, he’d probably discard the iron golem corpses for room.
Thinking that, Wataru decided to take a look at the next floor for now.
I’ve been going a little easy on him, but doesn’t it feel like he’s progressing just a bit too easily through the dungeon?
However, I can’t use my never-before-seen lethal traps on him because Haku-san asked me to keep him alive. We’re only able to repel him with monsters, but we’re just losing out since he’s so strong. How the heck is he slicing my iron golems in two with simple strikes of his sword, oi.
Because of that, we adopted the strategy of giving him a ton of treasures so that he’d hurry up and leave.
“There’s a lot of magic swords today aren’t there?”
“Yeah. Since someone finally made it to the warehouse area, let’s use the opportunity for some advertisement.”
If it’s the level of magic swords we’re showing off this time, high-ranking adventurers probably won’t come.
“The iron golem corpses are slowly filling up his [Storage]… wait, eh? Did I make a passage there?”
When I looked to see how Wataru was doing, he was working on going down stairs that I don’t remember making… That isn’t the prison area, right? The heck are those stairs?
“Eh? I made those you know… wait, right! I forgot since the hero arrived, but I made a dungeon!”
Oh right, I completely forgot about that. Come to think of it, Rokuko did make a dungeon, didn’t she.
“… So, what kind of dungeon did you make?”
“Fufun, well, take a look! It’s super ground-breaking! Please see what I made, it won’t lose to Kehma’s ideas!”
That sounds good, let’s watch this hero’s strategy for capturing it.
“… Hey, it’s suddenly way different.”
When he descended the stairs, there was a pool of magma. The heat that gathered seemed to burn his skin.
In the sea of magma, there was a path dotted by stepping stones to be used as footholds. Even magic tool footwear would burnt up if someone lost their footing.
“There was that hot spring, so maybe this is something like a volcano… A natural sauna, I guess?”
In truth, this couldn’t be a sauna. The magma was hot enough to melt even bone, but it wasn’t much of a threat to Wataru, a hero. Using his magical power, he produced a barrier that stretched around him like a membrane. With that, even if the stepping stones collapsed and he was submerged in lava, it should last around thirty seconds.
Even so, since it consumed so much magical power, he slowly advanced, checking his footing step by step.
He heard a bird’s cry. When he looked, he saw a small white bird flying towards him like a dart. With a bang, he took out his sword to stop it, causing it to clang as it got hit. Knocking against his solid sword, the bird fell into the magma with a plop.
“What kind of bird was that?”
Though he was a little worried about it, the small bird that fell into the magma was already on fire.
While not minding it too much, he just noticed there weren’t any golems on this floor. He looked around him once again, searching for the presence of monsters.
Anyhow, he didn’t feel the presence of any other than that small bird that would’ve gone great in yakitori. However, it was true that he wouldn’t be able to notice golems that were completely unmoving.
“… Guess I’ll go on?”
Then, when Wataru moved his foot, something hit his back and he received a light impact.
“Uoooh!? … T-that was dangerous!”
He almost lost his footing, but he held out. Looking around, he saw the small and still-burning bird flapping its wings.
“A fire bird… phoenix! Right, it wasn’t because of the magma, it was on fire from the start!”
The small bird hurled itself forward once again…. although it was a phoenix, for surprise attacks, they stopped working once they were figured out.
While thinking he saw something rare, Wataru cut down the phoenix.
The phoenix cried as it was cut down, wrapping itself in flame… However, a few seconds later, the phoenix revived and attacked him again. Reviving faster than he thought it would, Wataru cut it down yet again.
However, again and again and again, the phoenix kept reviving and attacking him.
Even though it was very weak, its revival cooldown time was quick, so it looked like there was no point in attempting to defeat it, however—
“Ah! But couldn’t it become some great raw materials!? Come to think of it, Kantra-san said that he wanted rare fire-type materials huh! Booyah!”
—Probably because it felt something dangerous, the phoenix ran from Wataru.
“My my, saved from cleverness.”
Wataru let out a small mutter. As a matter of fact, he didn’t know how to retrieve the raw materials from a phoenix that would just burn away the moment it dies, so he wouldn’t have been able to do much either way.
Deciding to come back and examine it next time, he put the thought in the corner of his mind and decided to continue advancing onward.
On the way, a foothold suddenly collapsed, but he somehow or another managed to make it to the interior. There, there was a door.
When he threw his body’s strength against it, the door opened and he saw a cave filled with heat like what he’d just went through.
Although its magma didn’t overflow, he was able to see red lizards and magma slimes appear.
Apparently, the real thing started here.