The author published 16 new chapters the past couple of days after a month of inactivity https://ncode.syosetu.com/n0358dh/ Happy New Year
117 Part 2
Both his feeling of tension and concentration rose to the top in an instant, and Haruki’s field of vision burst open like white firecrackers.
He got goosebumps all over his body and his hot blood fell behind as it coursed through his body.
Karen quickly moved to a corner of the room.
Her staff had already been charged up with a lot of energy.
Rhea fixed her nozzle on Haruki’s shoulder.
Esta hardened up on Haruki’s abdomen.
They waited for the dungeon’s reaction for about 30 seconds.
However, there was no change.
Nothing happened, other than the sudden shining of the egg-shaped stone.
Haruki slowly put his short sword back into its scabbard while calming his fast-beating heart.
“What did you do, Karaboshi?”
“I just touched the stone?”
Did she think he had made a mistake somehow? Haruki pursed his lips in response to Karen’s gaze.
However, that change only occurred after Haruki had touched the egg-shaped stone, so that possibility could not be completely denied.
Something like this had happened before.
But that time, instead of it bursting into an intense flash of light, it had started to lose its light.
Still, what those two events had had in common was that they only changed after Haruki had touched them.
If this was like that other time, there had to be something in the log.
With that in mind, Haruki took out his Skill Board.
<< Forcibly retrieved the energy from the Second Core successfully >>
<< Obtained 1,000 enhancement points >>
Haruki took his eyes off the Skill Board, looked at Karen, then looked at Esta (who was already playing explorers in the middle of the room), then looked at Rhea, and then put the Skill Board away.
— Let’s pretend I didn’t see anything.
However, he soon felt Karen’s cold gaze piercing through him.
He could almost hear her saying “See, I knew it.”
A cold sweat began to appear on Haruki’s forehead.
It seemed that there would be no point in trying to play the fool.
Realizing this, Haruki kneeled on the ground and told Karen the truth.
The room had shined brightly precisely because he had touched that egg-shaped stone.
In other words, Haruki was the cause this time as well.
No matter how much he would try to squirm his way away from this, there was no escaping the truth.
“Oh, for a moment I thought my heart was about to stop.”
Karen brought her hands to her chest as she said that.
Tension was rising after such a sudden and unexpected event took place as soon as she entered the secret room. Haruki’s careless behavior seemed to have put a lot of strain on Karen’s heart.
Of course she would complain.
So Haruki remained in his kneeled position, waiting for the usual bashing of his head against the ground.
— Thankfully, Karen seems to have forgiven me before that had to happen.
“Was this egg-shaped stone the Second Core?”
Groaning, Haruki scratched the chin of his mask as he stared at the pedestal.
Unlike the core found in Asahikawa, this was nothing but an egg-shaped stone on a small pedestal.
Haruki found it weird that this would be the same kind of core as that one.
Moreover, when he absorbed the energy from the core in Asahikawa, the stone stage became darker.
But the egg-shaped stone itself didn’t change at all.
The change took place under the egg-shaped stone. The pedestal had turned a little darker.
— Maybe the pedestal itself is the Second Core, and not this egg-shaped stone?
There was yet another difference with the one in Asahikawa’s dungeon.
When he drew out the energy from the core in Asahikawa, it said “absorbed”.
But this time around, it was “forcibly retrieved”.
Was the reaction this time different because it had been “forcibly retrieved” and not “absorbed”?
Or was the wording different depending on which core he interacted with?
No matter how hard he thought about it, he couldn’t come up with an answer.
“In the end, there was no treasure chest in this room, huh…”
A disappointed Haruki dropped his shoulders.
While he didn’t find any treasure chests, at least he obtained some enhancement points.
In a sense, points could be more beneficial than treasure chests.
Getting more points meant he could soon further enhance his mask.
— Alright, let’s enhance the mask and get a stronger presence!
Regaining his composure, Haruki took out his Skill Board and looked through the list of items he could enhance.
“Ah, are there any items you would like to enhance, Karen?”
“Umm, how about my staff?”
Karen’s staff was a magical weapon that she obtained as a drop in the dungeon.
Haruki could safely enhance it and say it had just grown by itself. He quickly searched for her staff in the list.
However, her staff didn’t show up on the list.
Karen’s staff looked just like a pilgrim’s cane, but it was a magical weapon that had been created in the dungeon, just like Haruki’s Magic Sword.
Haruki wasn’t sure whether it didn’t show up on the list because it was a magical weapon, or because it was already a high-quality item.
In any case, it seemed that the staff could not be enhanced at the time.
“Looks like I can’t do it right now.”
“Ah, I see.”
“But I might be able to enhance it later someday.”
By further upgrading the Skill Board –the “Demo Graph”.
Then, perhaps he would be able to enhance short swords and staves.
And when that happens, he would prioritize upgrading Karen’s staff. That was Haruki’s plan.
He had obtained 1,000 points, but it took him nearly 3,000 points to enhance Rhea’s Potato Stones, and 5,000 for his mask.
— What a bummer…
It seemed that he didn’t have a choice but to refrain from enhancing anything at this point.
Karen asked the resigned Haruki a question.
“Umm, Karaboshi… could you carry this egg-shaped stone?”