Thanks to the Editor for pointing out issues
Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 147
Let’s Say Hi to the Renowned Hero!
“…She’s dead, isn’t she?”
Those were the first words Haruki said as he entered Akane’s shop. They had unconsciously escaped his mouth as soon as he saw Akane melting over her desk.
The prefab, heated by the midsummer sunshine, had risen to a temperature that would make anyone sweat a waterfall just by being there.
Meanwhile, Akane was lying down on the counter as if her body had melted due to the heat.
Her eyes were facing off somewhere.
They must be staring into the underworld.
“Heeey, Akane. Come back to us…”
Perhaps we should come back again first thing in the morning tomorrow while it’s still cool?
Haruki sighed at Akane’s extreme exhaustion.
“I wanted to show you the materials we’ve got from the boss of the 17th floor, but… Oh well. Guess we’ll come back tomorr–”
“Boss materials? Yes, yes, let me take a look at them! Take ‘em out, quickly!”
Akane’s spine stretched all of a sudden.
It was as if her melting had been a lie all along.
The thought of getting her hands on some boss materials must have energized her.
Her skin and eyes were clearly more lively and vibrant than before.
What a self-interested woman!
Haruki was glad that she was so easy to read, but he was still here as a customer.
If she was going to be so enthusiastic about doing business, he wished she would behave like that as soon as he would set foot into her store.
“–ow. But on second thought, the attitude of the clerk here is so bad. Karen, I’m leaving this store and going to Sapporo.”
“Waaait! Wait! Don’t go to Sapporo!”
“That’s right. Let’s go to Sapporo, I haven’t been there for such a long time.”
“Ah! Karen, why do you agree with him!? Are you going to betray your teacher!? Stop Air! If you’re my disciple, don’t let Air go anywhere!!”
Akane’s eyes showed that she was furious as she protested against Karen.
She’s hopeless. I have to do something quick.
Nah, it’s already too late for her.
The color from Haruki and Karen’s eyes vanished in a twinkle.
“Oof… All right. Why don’t you buy the things we’ve hauled in today?”
“Got it! Phew…♪”
Why was she so happy that Haruki wouldn’t go to Sapporo in the end?
The moment Haruki gave up, her face became brighter all of a sudden.
Upon seeing that face, Haruki became even more dispirited.
“What do we have here…? First of all, a deer’s antler. Is this the boss’ antler? It’s quite big. It looks like you can make a long sword with just one of these. There are no scratches… Well, I can buy it for 100,000 yen.”
100,000 yen is a considerable amount for a single piece of monster material.
Other than materials such as magic iron and hot stones whose price varied depending on their weight, this antler was the highest price-fetching item in Haruki’s history as an adventurer.
“Next up is this silver-colored lump… But this is actually what we call Mithril.”
Haruki got very excited the moment he heard the word “Mithril”.
Mithril used to be a fictitious material that was very popular in Japan.
It “used to be”, because ever since the first Stampede, actual Mithril would occasionally be found in dungeons.
The characteristic of Mithril in fantasy works was that it resembled silver, it was tougher than ordinary iron, and it had the property to conduct magic easily.
It was unclear whether this Mithril, which could now be found in dungeons, would actually conduct magic easily.
However, it was still named Mithril because it resembled silver and was tougher than iron.
Ichibishi sold Mithril gear as well, but they are considered to be at the top of the middle-level gear.
Their price was equivalent to that of the least expensive luxury cars, causing it to be considered high-class gear that the average intermediate adventurer could simply not afford.
“It weighs… 2,431 grams. I pay 1,000 yen per gram of Mithril, so I can buy this for 2,431,000 yen.”
After hearing its price from Akane’s mouth, Haruki’s mouth exploded with the something that barely resembled words, while Karen choked on whatever she was trying to say.
“T-Two million four-hundred and thirty-thousand yen!?”
“–Thirty one thousand. That’s not surprising, is it? Mithril is the material used for the strongest middle-level gear there is at the moment. One could make two weapons out of a single kilogram of Mithril, and you have more than two kilograms here.
Unlike most materials obtained from monsters, there are only limited places where you can get Mithril, and even then not much can be mined at those places. Even if I buy it for 1,000 yen per gram, I’m sure to make a nice profit from this.”
Haruki slowly digested Akane’s words while trying to hide his excitement.
At the price of two Mithril weapons, one could instead buy a second-hand house in the countryside.
Indeed, Akane could afford to buy it for 1,000 yen per gram.
“But I was surprised. I would have never expected that defeating the boss on the 17th floor would produce such an expensive material…”
“Mithril can come out of basically anywhere, though the drop rate is minimal.”
“Does such a high material drop even in the upper levels of a dungeon?”
“Yeah. I mean, you did get that Magic Bag as a drop on the upper levels, didn’t you? That kind of thing would sell at any store for no less than a hundred million yen, you know? And yet you get surprised after getting Mithril as a drop…”
“…Yeah, you’re right.”
Haruki was surprised at the price of Mithril and had completely forgotten about that fact, but the Magic Bag that Karen had was a highly-rare commodity with a plethora of advantages.
As Akane said, considering that an item worth 100 million yen was dropped on the 1st floor of the dungeon, it wasn’t that surprising that an item worth 2 million yen could be obtained on the 17th floor.
Aside from the Mithril, they sold the other materials obtained from regular monsters to Akane as well.
Today’s payout was about 1.5 million yen per person.
With this, Haruki could go about on his own business without having to worry about money.
With a blissful expression on his face, Haruki headed for the door to leave Akane’s shop.
But before that…
“Yo, long time no see.”
A familiar voice called out to them.
A man dressed in something that resembled a military uniform, and with a face that combined sharpness and tenderness.
The longsword on his waist was called Excalibur by many adventurers.
That person was…
He squinted as if he was laughing at Haruki’s astonishing appearance.
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
Van, who had just finished making furniture, left home to get some groceries.
However, when he saw towards the idle plot of land across the road, Van completely forgot about buying food.
A fully geared Masatsugu was standing still in the middle of the fallow land.
(…Am I seeing things?)
Even though he shook his head and blinked several times, the figure of the man standing on the fallow land did not stop being that of Masatsugu.
(What in the world is Masatsugu, a hero who operates in Tokyo, doing all the way here in K-Town in Hokkaido?)
In front of the fully geared Masatsugu, there was a fully geared Air as well.
A man who had just become an intermediate adventurer.
Unlike usual, Air wasn’t being parasitized by plants or bugs.
Perhaps they were familiar with each other. They were checking their equipment while having a casual chat.
It looked like a friendly atmosphere, but Van had a good idea of what they were about to do.
“…A duel? But why…?”
“Hello, Van. Did you also come here to see the duel between Masatsugu and Air?”
“–!? Ah, no…”
Van was taken aback by the voice that suddenly called out to him.
Before he even noticed, that Ichibishi clerk– Yuzuki Akane, was standing right next to him.
In a scale from 1 to 10 of mesmerizing smiles, hers was a solid 9.
Van couldn’t even tell for how long she had actually been standing next to him.
He shook his head without letting his surprise show.
This must be nothing but a coincidence.
“…So that guy is the actual Masatsugu after all?”
“Yes, that’s right. He’s the real hero Masatsugu in the flesh.”
“…How is he related to Air?”
“They’re something like acquaintances. Today was a hot and hard day, but it’s going to be a good day.”
“Because we can see a match between Masatsugu and Air, you know? You don’t usually get to see adventurers fighting each other. This kind of duel is very helpful because you can see what kind of equipment each of them will need.”
“…Ah, I see.”
Van had met this woman several times because Kagemitsu had a contract with Ichibishi.
She is a woman whose face changed depending on the person she was dealing with.
Now she was playing the part of a friendly person, but he had seen him take off that mask of hers in front of Kagemitsu, revealing a disgraceful behavior.
Van, who wasn’t very good at socializing, didn’t know which was the real Akane.
But he could tell what was at her core.
She has the strongest inquisitiveness in regards to matters of equipment.
By getting along with various adventurers and getting all sorts of information, this woman was constantly thinking about what kind of gear she should sell and what kind of armor she should recommend to adventurers.
As evidence, there were almost no losses in the gear that this woman had selected for her shop.
Even if she recommends something that the buyer did not intend, when they dive into the dungeon, they will instantly understand why she recommended that specific piece of gear.
This woman had honed her selection to that extent.
Contrary to her personality, Van felt she could really trust this woman’s skill.
“This duel… It shouldn’t last too long.”
“Oh? I think we’ll see about that.”
Akane had a mischievous smile on her face.
Van tilted his head to the side, confused by its meaning.
Masatsugu was known as the strongest of all Japanese adventurers.
In fact, he and his team members continued to reach the lowest parts of Japan’s most difficult dungeon, Shinjuku Station.
They had reached way deeper than any other dungeon in Japan.
Air would be fighting him, even though it was only going to be a friendly duel.
Van didn’t think that someone who was at most an intermediate adventurer could compete with an advanced adventurer like him.
“Looks like they’re about to start.”
Urged by Akane, Van focused on Masatsugu and Air.
All while holding a mental image of Air yielding to Masatsugu’s attacks…
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
How did it come to this…
Haruki was preparing for the match, repeating those words in his mind several times.
The spark that had lit the fuse was the appearance of Masatsugu.
The hero Masatsugu had appeared in K-Town.
Haruki was excited about having such a celebrity so close to him, but the moment Masatsugu said “Let’s have a practice match” made a chill run down his spine.
That’s not what I wanted from you…
Nooo… All I can see happening is him knocking me out cold in a single move…
Haruki tried to refuse the match with Masatsugu, but before he realized, Karen was standing far away from him, as if she was in spectator mode.
Rhea quickly got off his backpack and rode Esta towards Karen.
“W-Wait a minute! Why are you leaving!?”
Haruki stood in complete shock as he saw Rhea wave her leaves as if she was saying “Bye bye!”.
He could almost hear their silent voices saying “Don’t you dare get us involved in this, okay?”
Behind Haruki’s mask, tears had started to well up in his eyes.
I thought we were friends!
You heartless people!!
“Well, let’s do this!”
The hero Masatsugu had a refreshing smile on his face.
Even though he was making such a face, Haruki’s ears can only hear “Let’s do this!” as “I’m going to destroy you!”
“Why me, though…? There are many others who are stronger than me.”
“It’s my job to haul up the next generation of adventurers. I heard from Shigure that you seem to have some pretty nice moves on you.”
He seemed very keen on fighting Haruki.
Certainly, Haruki had fought against Shigure.
But he didn’t think he had done that well during that duel.
After all, his opponent was Shigure, who was said to be an “undefeated PvP adventurer”.
To her, fighting Haruki would have been the same as fighting a tree.
And yet he said that he had “some pretty good moves”. Had Shigure really said that?
Haruki was completely puzzled.
“It’s not like that at all, though…”
“C’mon, don’t say that. Having a friendly match with another adventurer is a great experience.”
He was right about that.
If he were able to imitate Masatsugu’s movement just as he had done with Shigure back when he fought her, he might be able to grow even stronger.
Especially now, Haruki wasn’t able to move as well as he wanted to.
And besides, he felt like he had met a small roadblock after realizing that his skill growth was slower than Karen’s.
Having a match against Masatsugu might just be a chance to break through that situation.
Thus Haruki changed his mind about it.
After borrowing an idle plot of land from Mr. Kitora, Haruki started to check his gear.
Masatsugu also started to take a lot of equipment from his large-size Magic Bag.
A blue-sky colored armor and a small shield. His defensive gear was just as usual.
But his weapon of choice was the only thing that was different.
He wasn’t holding Excalibur, but a black wooden stick.
“Are you going to fight with a wooden stick?”
“Oh, yeah, I am. But you can use your usual weapon if you want.”
“Eh? But, isn’t that dangerous?”
“It’s okay. I’m sure this branch won’t break.”
What he had in his hand was a branch taken from the Dungeon Lord of “Kamui Kotan”.
Though Van had taken all the thick boards, the twigs and small branches remained.
Even though it was a small branch, it was thick enough to be swung about without bending.
It was about 1 meter long.
That made it about the same length as his main weapon.
Certainly, if it was a branch from the Dungeon Lord, it wouldn’t break easily even if he were to cross swords with it to some extent.
But that was not all there was to it.
Haruki noticed that the branch of the Dark Giant Tree that Masatsugu had a small amount of energy poured into it.
He had reinforced it so that it wouldn’t break even if he were to use it like a real sword.
If it had been normal material, it would have been much harder to get his energy poured into it.
There is no doubt that that was the reason why he had chosen the branch of the Dark Giant Tree as his weapon. It was because he could get his energy through it easily.
The flow of energy was very natural and made Haruki feel like Masatsugu had a high degree of training.
(After all, Masatsugu can freely use his energy as well, huh…?)
Haruki himself was an intermediate adventurer, and he was just getting used to using it.
It would only be natural that Masatsugu, who was considered as the strongest advanced adventurer, could use it as well.
Knowing how to use energy might even be essential to perform properly as an advanced adventurer as well.
That branch of the Dark Giant Tree was reinforced with energy.
Haruki understood that Masatsugu fully intended to use it as his weapon for this duel.
At the same time, Masatsugu seemed to consider the difference in ability between the two of them.
Haruki was reminded about his skill tree as he had seen it back in “Chikaho”.
Kujuu Masatsugu (23) Gender: Male
Skill Points: 72
Class: Longsword and Shield Holy Hero
Divine Protection: God of Military Arts <Mars>
├ Stamina 12
└ Natural Recovery 7
├ Strength 11
└ Physical Manipulation 9
├ Quickness 13
└ Dexterity 9
└ Equipment Mastery
├ One-handed Sword 8
│└ Holy Sword 3
├ Shield 8
└ Light Armor Mastery MAX
└ Light and Heavy Equipment 3
├ Intuition 3
├ Detection 3
└ Discernment 5
└ Divine Protection MAX
Masatsugu surpassed Haruki in every aspect.
Even Haruki, who could freely distribute his own skill points, wasn’t in the same league as Masatsugu, who couldn’t distribute points.
(Okay, how should I fight this guy…?)
Having realized that he had come to think about that…
…Haruki started laughing.
(Why am I even thinking of a way to defeat Masatsugu?)
Haruki was an intermediate adventurer.
Masatsugu, on the other hand, was the best among advanced adventurers.
It would be presumptuous of him to think that he could win against him.
It would be much more appropriate to take this as him being allowed to practice with someone of much higher skill than himself, and accept he would lose no matter what.
As soon as he realized that, his shoulders suddenly lost strength.
After all, it seemed that he was a little nervous.
After his shoulders dropped, Haruki’s consciousness spontaneously increased.
Weeds bathing in the setting sun.
The playful wind that left its marks on the grass.
The dark green of the forest marking the horizon against the sky.
The rising columns of clouds.
The blue of the mountains.
The red of the sky.
The shadow of the clouds.
Haruki’s consciousness followed each of them frame by frame.
And before his gaze…
Masatsugu stood ready.