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Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 152

 

Let’s Enjoy A Fascinating Meal!

 

 

While still trying to recover from his mental trauma from that morning’s incident, Haruki took Karen to the 18th floor.

They were going to explore new floors from that day on.

 

Haruki would always be excited about exploring new floors.

However, that day was special.

 

He had had several duels against the hero Masatsugu just the day before.

The duels had been quite severe, but there had been so much to gain from them.

 

Haruki wanted to try and put the movements learned from Masatsugu into practice.

How strong would he become if he managed to imitate his movements perfectly?

He was as excited as a kid on the day before a school trip.

 

“What kind of monsters will appear on this floor?”

“Hmm. Maybe some kind of big monster will come out?”

 

There was a slight difference between the distance between the trees on the 17th floor compared to the 18th floor.

The trees on the 18th floor were a little farther apart.

 

From that observation, Haruki thought that maybe the monsters on this floor would be bigger than those he had encountered up to the 17th floor.

 

But was that prediction correct?

He would only know as soon as he found one.

 

Haruki quickly activated his Detection skill, looking for signs of monsters.

 

Soon enough, the sign of a monster came in contact with his expanded sensory range.

 

In an instant, Haruki pulled out his short sword.

Karen also took out her staff without delay.

 

Thanks to the fact that they had been working together as a team for so long, they had become able to communicate what they had to do without actually saying a word.

 

Haruki’s chest was filled with joy, but he knew that a battle was near.

He had to stay calm and wait for the monster to appear.

 

The footsteps of the monster echoed from the other side of the forest.

 

That sound gradually approached Haruki, finally revealing…

 

“…A Minotaur.”

 

Haruki’s lips shivered slightly.

 

What appeared before his eyes was a demihuman-type monster.

A bull’s face with two short horns.

A black-haired, muscular body.

The monster was equipped with a worn-out ax.

 

The monster, snorting as he approached Haruki, was reminiscent of the famous bull-headed monster in Greek mythology.

 

“Muuuhhhhrrr!!”

 

The Minotaur’s roar was full of hatred.

The next moment…

 

“–Whoa!”

 

In just one step, the Minotaur was swinging up his huge ax as he approached Haruki.

Haruki sidestepped to avoid the attack.

Having missed its mark, the ax crashed into the ground.

 

The impact caused a shockwave that sent bits of soil flying.

 

The Minotaur’s attack dug deep into the ground where Haruki had been standing, creating large cracks around it.

 

After seeing such an attack, Haruki’s spine shivered.

 

This is good.

This is really good!

 

Haruki licked his own lips behind his mask.

 

This was his first fight after his duels with Masatsugu.

There were many things that he wanted to try out, which he wouldn’t be able to by fighting weak monsters.

But this one seemed to be just about right.

 

“Please don’t die too quickly.”

 

The Minotaur swung down his ax once again.

Haruki put up his short sword against the attack.

 

His short sword touched the ax.

At that moment…

Haruki softly twisted his wrist.

 

It was the soft parry that Shigure used.

He imitated it, using it to repel the Minotaur’s attack.

 

The Minotaur’s ax was turned far away from Haruki.

Haruki used that gap to approach the Minotaur.

 

From the Minotaur’s blindspot, Haruki delivered a powerful roundhouse kick.

 

“Murrrooogh!!”

 

The roundhouse kick’s power was added to the momentum of his missed swing.

The Minotaur lost his balance and fell.

 

“Alright!”

 

That kick had been an example of Masatsugu’s technique to create a gap by using the slight inclination of the opponent’s center of gravity.

With that kick, he could do away with his opponent’s posture by exerting just a little force.

Haruki remembered Masatsugu using this same kick against him during their duels, and imitated it.

 

Then, right after the Minotaur had been knocked down…

 

*Vroooommm!!*

 

Karen’s lighting bolt crashed down.

The Minotaur’s muscles got cramps all over.

 

However, that wouldn’t last long.

The Minotaur got back on its feet, its eyes burning with hatred.

 

It didn’t seem that the Minotaur had been affected by the usual paralysis that came with Karen’s lighting attacks.

However, damage and movement obstruction seemed to have gone through without any issues.

The movements of the Minotaur seemed to be a little clumsier than before.

 

Haruki launched an attack on the Minotaur, being wary of a counterattack.

 

Slash, stab, cleave, kick.

Block, dodge, counterattack.

 

Matching Haruki’s offensive, Karen followed with a lightning strike and Rhea fired a barrage of potato bullets.

 

The coordination of those two’s attacks reminded Haruki of Masatsugu.

Being aware was to follow the flow of Energy.

 

To move his Energy according to his body movements.

From the beginning of a movement to its end, the movement of the muscles and the flow of Energy had to be in perfect coordination.

 

This technique was also used by Masatsugu.

However, it was a very difficult thing to do.

Haruki couldn’t move as smoothly as Masatsugu.

 

Also, if he were to make a single mistake when using his Energy, his body would spiral out of control in the blink of an eye.

It seemed that it would take more time to completely imitate Masatsugu’s technique.

 

“–!!”

 

Haruki’s Magic Sword came into contact with the light that appeared on the Minotaur’s chest.

The tip of the Magic Sword smoothly slid into its chest.

 

He twisted your wrist, making the Magic Sword twist as well.

The Minotaur immediately broke away from it.

 

“Mmmrrrgggooohh!!”

 

The Minotaur screamed loudly and fell to the ground.

At the same time as the Minotaur’s death, Haruki felt a slight level-up sickness.

 

It hadn’t been a very strong monster, but it seemed to have yielded a considerable amount of experience points.

 

“…Phew. Good job.”

“Good job. That was a monster with quite the high physical strength.”

“That’s right, but at this level, we might be able to reach the 19th floor soon.”

“Yeah… By the way, this monster was a bull demihuman, right?”

“Hmm…”

 

Was it okay to call the Minotaur a “bull”? Haruki tilted his head to the side.

The Minotaur was a monster with a bull’s head.

It was just a tradition of Greek mythology after all…

 

“It’s not a bull, but a bull-headed humanoid… Hmm?”

 

Haruki stopped speaking.

He felt that something important was caught somewhere in his mind.

 

They were on the 18th floor.

The monster was a Minotaur.

Even-numbered floors, food…

 

“Karen, do you think… Do you think we could eat them!?”

 

Haruki’s joy exploded when the word “beef” came up in his mind.

 

Ever since the first Stampede, there have been almost no opportunities to eat beef.

That rare beef might be just within his grasp.

 

Besides, this bull wasn’t just any kind of bull.

It was a black bull!

 

*Slurp*

 

Haruki’s mask began to flicker in response to his wearer’s excitement.

Haruki looked at the dead Minotaur, and then into the depths of the forest.

 

Just you wait, beef!

Filet, bone rib, steak, and sirloin!!

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

“Ouch!!”

 

A shock of non-attribute magic hit Haruki right on the buttocks, causing him to let out a shriek of pain.

 

What? Who!?

Confused by the sudden pain, Haruki looked around.

 

“…What’s this!?”

 

There was a huge amount of dead Minotaurs.

The dead Minotaurs had been piled up high.

 

“Who on earth did this…?”

“It was you, Karaboshi.”

 

A freezing voice echoed behind him.

Haruki took a deep breath and looked behind his back.

 

Karen was there with a big smile on her face.

She was smiling at Haruki with her head slightly tilted to the side.

It was a smile at absolute zero…

 

“Karaboshi.”

“Yes!?”

“Try not to overdo it, okay?”

“Yes!!”

 

He became Karen’s obedient servant.

Haruki put all of his effort in trying to keep his head low so as not to incur Karen’s wrath any further.

 

“Umm… I’m sorry…”

 

He apologized with all his heart.

 

My bad.

It was my bad, so please.

Please stop holding your staff as if you were ready to bring it down on my head at any moment…

 

Haruki imagined that he had been hunting for quite a long time, based on his sweat and physical tiredness.

 

Looking at his wristwatch, the hour hand pointed at the 6 o’clock mark.

It was the same time that Haruki and Karen stepped into the 18th floor.

 

But it couldn’t be the same time.

So it had to be 6 o’clock in the evening.

 

So that’s it. He had been hunting Minotaurs for 12 hours in a row.

Haruki could understand why Karen had approached him with that smile and holding her staff above her head.

 

Haruki quickly took the Minotaurs apart while feeling Karen’s strong gaze on his back.

Even though he wasn’t in battle, he couldn’t stop the cold sweat from running down his back.

 

After dealing with the Minotaurs’ remains, they returned to the surface.

The sun was going down in the opposite direction of when they entered the dungeon.

As Haruki imagined, it seemed that it really was 6 o’clock in the evening.

 

“Karaboshi… I want to eat some steak.”

“Got it.”

 

A good meal should be good enough to be back on Karen’s good books.

Haruki returned to his home, and took the charcoal brazier and some hot stones to the garden.

And one more thing.

 

“What is that stone, Karaboshi?”

“It’s a lava plate. I’m going to roast meat with this today.”

 

The lava plate Haruki was carrying was literally a rectangular plate made out of lava stone.

 

It was easy to use.

All he had to do was to throw the ignited hot stones into the brazier and heat the plate on top of it.

 

Haruki had bought that lava plate some time ago for roasting meat.

It can be used to slowly roast meat. Smoke hardly ever comes out of it. He had been convinced by the slogan that mentioned something about “far infrared rays” and ended up buying it, but nowadays it was just collecting dust in the storage room.

 

Haruki hadn’t had a single chance to roast meat since the first Stampede happened, and being single, he didn’t even want to roast meat using the lava plate. It was just a hassle.

 

Haruki began to prepare the Minotaur meat while heating the plate.

Rib roast, shoulder roast, and sirloin.

 

The meat was surprisingly tender.

It was hard to believe that it had been a giant ax-wielding creature while it was alive.

 

The meat had a beautiful marble pattern on it.

The heat of Haruki’s hands started to melt the fat from the meat as he prepared it.

 

He served the prepared meat on dishes and headed outside.

Karen was filling up glasses of water from her canteen while sitting in front of the lava plate.

 

And right next to her…

 

“Oooh, I’ve been waiting for this!!”

 

Akane was clapping her hands, sitting opposite from Haruki.

 

“…Why are you here?”

“I was thinking of closing the shop and going home, but it seemed that something was going on here when I passed by your house. So I asked Karen, and she told me you were going to have some roast beef! So let me have some of that!”

 

But why though?

I definitely don’t want this woman eating any of it.

 

Haruki suppressed the hot urge that sprung up from the back of his chest all while his forehead began to twitch.

 

“Come on, Karen, let’s enjoy some beef. Which part do you want to eat?”

“Umm… I’ll start with some sirloin first!”

“Hey, wait a minute! Are you ignoring me? Are you two guys ignoring me right now!?”

 

Just as she felt she was being left aside, Akane protested with teary eyes.

So, if you feel shame, how come you’ve shown such a shameless attitude so far?

Can’t she see herself being turned down?

 

Perhaps she had little experience about being considered a pest and being rejected because of it.

Akane was a good-looking woman after all, so Haruki’s assumption could be surprisingly correct.

 

No matter how ill-willed she might be, Akane could always start crying uncontrollably.

Haruki sighed and arranged the meat on the warm lava plate.

 

When he put the meat on the plate, the fat started to dance with a crackling noise.

At the same time, they were enveloped by a fragrant scent.

 

“…Wonderful!”

“What a nice smell!”

“This smells so good you could have only three bowls of rice with this!”

 

Haruki checked how well roasted they were as he sprinkled salt over them.

As soon as one side was finished, he flipped them over.

When the surface became brown, he served them on a plate before the inside was completely cooked.

 

When all the meat was cooked, Haruki put his hands together.

 

“Okay, let’s show our gratitude for this great meal!”

“”“Thank you for the meal!!”””

 

After saying that, Haruki took a bite out of his steak.

At that moment, the fatty meat filled his mouth.

 

The meat was so tender that it melted into the mouth without having to chew it.

The fat was silky, very rich, and extremely tasty.

 

“So yummy!!”

“Munch munch!”

“Delicious!”

 

The three of them expressed their delight at the meat’s taste.

Then…

 

“Omnomnom! Mmmhohoo!!”

“…”

 

Before they realized, Chep was there as well.

 

(This fish… You think she’ll behave for a moment, but then she’s secretly after our meat…)

 

There was a lot of Minotaur meat for all to eat.

However, if someone wanted to eat meat, they would at least have to have done a minimum of work for it.

 

Rhea and Esta weren’t interested in the meat.

Maat lightly pecked a piece of meat, shook her head astonishingly, and hid inside the feather ring.

It seemed that she wasn’t too fond of that fatty beef.

 

First up was sirloin.

Then, shoulder roast.

Lastly, rib roast.

Haruki and the others ate a total of 5 kilograms of meat.

 

Haruki never thought that the three of them would be able to disappear all of the 5 kg of meat.

However, having already tasted this meat, Haruki found himself unable to stop eating it.

 

As the hot stones became colder, three blissful sighs echoed in the air in Haruki’s house.

Everyone enjoyed some delicious beef for the first time in a long time, and smiled with happiness.

 

Haruki put his chopsticks down.

Then he put his hands together in gratitude.

 

“Thank you for this meal.”

“”Thank you for this meal.””

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