However, Haruki did not accept Karen’s words.

He wasn’t ‘amazing’ at all.

His ability was closer to the bottom. That was how Haruki rated himself.

Yes, he had improved greatly compared to where he started.

But there still much room to grow.

According to the mid-ranking Adventurers, you were suddenly on an entirely different level in terms of power.

Many of them would probably laugh if they saw how strong he was now.

As for high-ranking Adventurers, there was no point in even speaking about it.

And so he insisted that he had a long way to go.

He wasn’t trying to be modest.

It was the truth.

Haruki was not remotely satisfied with his current position.

“I have to become stronger..”

“You want to go even further!?”

“Huh?”

“What?”

The air between them was now very strange.

It seemed like something wasn’t quite clicking between them.

…Was it just him?

“Of course, I have to become stronger.”

“Uh, oh, um. I see. Because you are ‘weak,’ Karaboshi.”

“Uh…”

There was something about Karen’s words that bothered Haruki.

However, he also felt that it would best not to go digging too deep.

Perhaps it was just him.

He decided to leave it at that, and continue on forward.

They activated the gate on the 8th floor.

As he had been mapping the dungeon from the 6th to 7th floors, it had taken them quite some time to get through them.

He looked at his watch and saw that it was already 4 o’clock.

“We’ll find out what kind of monsters are here, then we’ll return to the surface.”

“Very well.”

The 8th floor was also the highest floor they had reached back at Chikaho.

And so they had to be more careful than ever.

With his daggers in his hands, he moved through the passage. After a few minutes, a monster appeared in front of them.

It had writhing vines and a heavy body.

Its arms were spread wide, and he could see balls with a netted pattern hanging from them.

“Those are…!”

Haruki leaped forward just as he realized what they were.

The distance between him and the monster shrunk.

However, the monster reacted as well.

Just like the potato monsters, it fired bullets from its vines.

—Ra-tatatatata!!

“Tsk!”

He was barely able to dodge them.

It was all he could do.

Still, he dodged and understood.

Was his body lighter?

Maybe it was because of the feather accessory.

It was as if he could now go just a little bit further than what was previously his limit.

He felt he could slow down just a little and still be able to dodge the attacks.

And so Haruki calmly overserved the enemy’s movements and dodged.

Unlike the potato monster, there was no movement when firing.

Before he knew it, the bullets came flying.

Still, as long as he dealt with it properly, he should be able to defeat it without a problem.

Yes, Haruki was sure of it.

“Here I go!”

“…!”

Haruki heard Karen’s voice and he jumped to the side.

In that instant…

Wind crushed and destroyed.

—atatann!

There were the light sounds of bursting as the magic flew.

It pierced through the monster’s body.

The impact of the magic caused the monster to lose its balance.

Haruki didn’t miss his opportunity.

He moved in immediately and slashed at its body with his two daggers.

“…!!”

The monster seemed to roar without making a sound.

It went into convulsions for a moment before falling dead to the ground.

“Haa…ha…”

Haruki kept his guard up as he approached the monster.

Then he picked up one of the balls and carefully cut it in half and brought it to his mouth.

“Karaboshi!?”

“…Mm!”

Once it was in his mouth, the intense sweetness of the fruit caused Haruki to tremble.

“…This melon is delicious!!”

The monster that had appeared before them was a melon.

“Um, Karaboshi…”

“What?”

“Don’t you think it’s a little dangerous to keep shoving random things into your mouth?”
“I won’t know how it tastes like unless it’s in my mouth, will I?”

“And what are you going to do if it’s poisonous?”

“I can just spit it out.”

“…”

Oh, this guy isn’t living on planet Earth.

That was what her cold eyes seemed to say.

“You try it too, Karen.”

“Uh, fine.”

Haruki passed her a slice of the melon, and Karen brought it hesitantly to her mouth.

And then…

Her eyes opened wide.

They quickly became filled with tears.

“…It’s so sweet.”

“Right?”

“I feel like I’m eating sugar!”

Karen breathed heavily as she approached Haruki and snatched another piece of the melon away from him.

It did not take long for the whole melon to disappear.

“…Karen.”

“…Yes.”

Haruki and Karen looked at each other and nodded.

The fire of farmers burned in their eyes.

And like that, it was decided that they would be spending some more time hunting.

The monsters on the 8th floor had two different types of melons. Orange and green.

The orange ones had a rich smell and sweetness to them, while the green ones had a refined fragrance and milder sweetness.

“…I’m so stuffed.”

“…Yeah. We ate quite a lot.”

Their passion for gathering the melons was larger than their appetite.

Had they had unlimited space in their stomachs, they might have continued hunting until morning.

After their full stomachs had put out the farmer flames.

Haruki and Karen came out of the dungeon. It was now very dark outside.

“We got both types of melons. As for today’s share…”

As soon as he said this, Karen’s eyes glimmered greedily.

She had greatly preferred the melons with orange flesh.

Yes. She wanted the orange melon. He understood that quite well.

“You can have half of the orange one. Will you let me take the green one…and the other food?”

“Yes. Of course.”

Apparently, Karen had no interest in the green melon, eggplants, or chicken meat.

But they were all delicious…

No, perhaps she felt that if he kept them, he would cook something amazing for her.

He took out the orange melon from Karen’s magic bag and then cut it in half.

Then he took the rest of the raw food ingredients.

“I’m thinking about making jam with this. Would you want some?”

“Jam! …Yes!!”

Karen’s voice echoed throughout the area.

It was clear that she really liked these melons they had gathered.

And yet, she had barely responded to the potatoes, eggplants, and chicken…

In fact, she had had the aura of a madman as she hunted the melons.

She was faster than Haruki when it came to detecting them and hunting them down.

Yes, greed could do that to a person.

Haruki swore in his heart then, that he would never allow that to happen to him.

Well, perhaps it was already too late…

It was currently past closing time for Akane’s store.

And so Haruki decided to force the materials on her tomorrow. And with that, they separated.

Haruki returned to his house and browsed the internet as he cut his melons.

He took the orange one that was cut in half and scooped out the insides.

Then he lightly mashed the flesh before returning it into the peels and then he put it away in the freezer.

As for the green melon, he took out the flesh and dumped it into a pot which he slowly heated.

Once the moisture had evaporated and the texture thickened, it was complete.

He put it in a container and let it cool off.

Then he began to cook the eggplant on a grill.

While he had already had his dessert today, this was the main dish.

It was charcoal-grilled eggplant!

When he put it in his mouth, the soft insides flowed out.

Sweet! It was so sweet!

It was so delicious that Haruki nearly fainted with pleasure.

“…I’m so happy to be alive.”

It had been a while since he had tasted this.

And he couldn’t help that tears were falling from his eyes.

In spite of his stomach being full of melon, Haruki finished the whole plump eggplant as he cried.

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