Chapter 3 : Path of Escape
“Damn it, why isn’t it there……”
It has been three days since he killed the Talon Bear. Hajime had been searching for the route leading to the upper floors and had already finished exploring eighty percent of this level. Eating the Talon Bear caused his status to jump again, and there was no longer anything that exists on this level which could threaten Hajime now. This allowed him to hasten his search of the vast area in a quick pace, but despite that, nothing was found.
No, it is wrong to say that nothing was found. More precisely, it is the path “upstairs”, the path “downstairs” had been discovered two days ago. The Dungeon’s structure which consists of many floors will definitely have a path leading up, but no matter what he did, it simply couldn’t be found.
Furthermore, ignoring the strange dungeon, the method of directly creating a path upstairs through transmutation had already been tried. In the end, no matter it was upwards or downwards, he found out that after advancing a certain extent, somehow the walls become unresponsive to transmutation. There were no limits as to how much he transmuted within the level, but it might be covered in some sort of protection in regards to upwards and downwards. This 【Orcus Great Dungeon】 is a dungeon created since ancient times, and full of mysteries. It is hardly surprising.
That’s why, he could only honestly search for a path up, but a decision has to be made should the path not be found. That was, to dive even deeper into the Great Dungeon.
“…… Dead end huh. The branches have all been searched. What the heck is this. Sigh~”
Hajime let out a deep sigh while resigning himself that a path up couldn’t be found. Then, he headed towards the room where he discovered the stairs leading down two days ago.
That staircase was extremely poorly constructed. It might be more accurate to call it an uneven hill road rather than a staircase. From that point on, there were no longer any Green Light Stones, plunging the area ahead in complete darkness and oozing an ominous aura. It was like looking into the mouth of an enormous monster. The feeling of “It’s impossible to leave once you’ve entered’ naturally arose.
“Ha~! Bring it on! Whatever it is, if it hinders me, Kill and Devour.”
Hajime snorted at himself for thinking as such, the corners of his lips curving into a fearless smile. Then, he stepped into the darkness without any hesitation.
This level was very dark. It’s natural for an underground dungeon, but all the levels that he had been to so far had Green Light Stones, and though those levels were dim, it was not so much that he couldn’t even see ahead. However, it seemed like this level did not have any Green Light Stones. Stopping for a little while, Hajime was expecting his eyes to somewhat get used to seeing in the dark, but no matter how long passed, there were no differences. As a last resort, he took out the Green Light Stone to serve as a lamp from the improvised backpack he made with transmuted wires from the Talon Bear’s fur.
Bluntly speaking, possessing a light source in the darkness is equivalent to suicide if there were magic beasts around. However, since he wasn’t able to even move on without this, Hajime could only take the plunge. As such, he couldn’t advance with his right hand occupied, thus attaching the stone to his left elbow which was missing its forearm.
After progressing for a while, noticing something shining within the passageway, Hajime raised his awareness to the maximum. Advancing while staying hidden under the shadows as much as possible, he suddenly felt an unpleasant presence from his left. He instantly jumped back and pointed the Green Light Stone towards the presence. There was a gray lizard approximately two meter in length stuck to the wall, glaring at Hajime with its golden eyes.
Those golden eyes flashed momentarily and in the next instant…
Along with a cracking sound, Hajime’s left arm began to petrify. The petrification immediately spread to the Green Light Stone as well and within seconds, there was a creaking noise as it completely shattered. With the light source gone, darkness set upon the area once again. The petrification of his arm was already encroaching his shoulder.
Hajime clicked his tongue and took out a bottle of sacred water from his holster; which was made from wires of magic beast fur, and drank it in one gulp. As expected, the petrification came to halt, and the petrified part returned to normal in the blink of an eye.
“How dare you do this!” While cursing inwardly, he took out a 【Flash Grenade】 from his waist pack and tossed it towards the golden-eyed lizard. At the same time, over in the darkness, those golden eyes started to shine once again. Hajime didn’t appear to care as he instantly retreated from the area by using 【Ground Shrink】.
Then changes appeared on the boulder behind where Hajime originally stood, and subsequently, it crumbled as if it has been weathered. It seems to possess considerably powerful Evil Eyes of Petrification! In RPG terms, this is probably a Basilisk.
While thinking of such things, Hajime pulled out Donner and held it up before his eyes, shielding his closed eyes. And “Bang!” The surroundings was bathed in an intense light, painting their vision with light.
Perhaps it had never experienced such an intense light up till date, the figure of a disoriented Basilisk emerged in the darkness. Hajime fired without hesitation. The tremendous power hidden within the bullet without aiming, bore into the Basilisk’s head and pulverized its skull, completely ravaging the insides. The bullet pierced through the head left a deep hole on the wall and “Shuuu~”, leaving behind the sound of burning rocks.
As a result of the electromagnetic acceleration, the location that was struck was emitting high temperatures. This is probably the power of the Tauru Ore which strengthens when heated.
Hajime while still keeping a lookout on his surroundings, approached the Basilisk, quickly tore off its flesh and retreated from that location. As expected, it is impossible to leisurely eat when faced with such a situation where he was practically blind. For now, Hajime chose to continue exploring.
Hajime kept walking in the darkness. Despite feeling as if he had continuously searched for several tens of hours, yet the staircase leading down was still nowhere in sight. Along the way, he has defeated many magic beasts and collected many ores and it was gradually becoming an inconvenience to carry. Thus, Hajime decided to construct a base.
After finding a suitable spot, he place his hand on the wall and began transmuting. There wasn’t any particular problems opening up a hole in the wall, and he went even deeper into the passage. Hajime continued to transmute and a six tatami space was formed. ⌈1⌋ Then, taking out a bluish-white crystal the size of a basketball from his backpack, he attached it to a dent in the wall. What was taken out, was the God Crystal. He also set up a container below it to collect the droplets of water.
By the way. Hajime named the God Crystal as 【Potion Stone】, and the Sacred Water as 【Potion】. It is indeed a representation of restorative medicine in games, but due to the vast differences in effects, it is rather pathetic for it to be simply called a potion.
“Well, then, time to eat.”
Hajime took out the meat from the container (made with transmutation) in his backpack. Using 【Lightning Clad】, he cooked it evenly. Today’s menu included: Whole Roast Basilisk, Whole Roast Owl; which fires its feathers like a shotgun, and Whole Roast six-legged Cat. With no seasoning.
While eating with munching sounds, pain began to gradually course through his body. That is to say, his body has been strengthened. If that was the case, it means that the magic beasts here possess strength equal or higher than that of the Talon Bear. The combination of the dark environment and unique magic will definitely prove to be a problem. But Hajime’s true feelings were that, as long as a shot from Donner hits, everything will be smashed into smithereens.
Hajime continued to eat while ignoring the pain and drinking Sacred Water. The continuous pain starting from the phantom pain had made Hajime extremely resistant to pain.
“Chomp, Fu~u. I’m done. Now then, my status……”
While saying that, Hajime took out his status plate. Hajime’s current status is……Nagumo Hajime17 Year oldMaleClass: Synergist Level: 23 Strength: 450 Vitality: 550 Resistance: 350 Agility: 550 Magic Power: 500 Magic Resistance: 500 Skills: Transmutation [+Mineral Appraisal] [+Precise Transmutation] [+Mineral Investigation] [+Mineral Separation] [+Mineral Fusion] • Magic Manipulation • Iron Stomach • Lightning Clad • Divine Step [+Aerodynamic] [+Ground Shrink] • Air Claw • Night Vision • Presence Perception • Petrification Resistance • Language Comprehension
There was a substantial rise just as expected. Even the number of skills in the skills column increased by three. Looking around carefully, he could certainly see further into the surroundings as compared to before. It appears to be the effects of 【Night Vision】.Since the magic beasts of the abyss had faint presences, it is incredibly advantageous in this level. ⌈3⌋
Lastly, was the literal skill. Regrettably, Basilisk’s unique ability was 【Resistance】 and not 【Petrify】. “Evil Eyes of Petrification! Sounds kind of cool……” Hajime was slightly disappointed.
Then, Hajime began transmuting to replenish his consumables. Creating even a single bullet required immense concentration. At any rate, it is an ultra precise product. The rifling carved on Donner was meaningless if the size was not a perfect match. The amount of compressed explosives permit no room for errors. Therefore, producing a single bullet took nearly thirty minutes. Even he himself considered it a job well done and was amazed by the display of extraordinary strength by humans facing death.
Although it was time-consuming, its power was undisputed and since he could also greatly increase his proficiency of transmutation at the same time, there was nothing to complain about. Thanks to his skills, removing the impurities within the minerals has become an easy task, and conversely, even fusion could be easily done. In reality, Hajime’s transmutation skills now is comparable to the top Synergists of the Kingdom.
Hajime kept on transmuting silently. Besides, he has only descended one level. It was impossible to estimate how much deeper this abyss stretches. He planned to set out to search immediately after finishing transmuting for the sake of returning home even a little bit earlier. There was no point in lingering around. In the lonely abyss, the God Crystal’s pale light illuminated Hajime’s resolute expression, who is just beginning his Dungeon capturing journey.
Other than using transmutation at his base to replenish his consumables at times, Hajime was constantly on the move. Taking a short rest during his search of the vast dungeon, he have no idea how long had passed. With help from 【Night Vision】, he no longer had to worry about the darkness and with 【Presence Perception】, he was able to sense any magic beasts within a ten meter radius. Hajime advanced his search quickly.
Then, the stairs leading to the lower floor was finally discovered, which Hajime unhesitantly descended.
On this level, the ground was entirely covered in tar like a sticky swamp. Since it stuck to the legs, it was dreadfully hard to move. Hajime frowned as he used the protruding rocks or 【Aerodynamic】as footholds and began his search.
While using the 【Mineral Investigation】skill to examine the surrounding minerals while advancing, he discovered a very interesting mineral en route.Flame OreA black shiny ore. It becomes tarry when heated. Its melting point is at 50 Degree Celsius, incidentally, its tar form ignites at 100 Degree Celsius, reaching up to temperatures of 3000 Degree Celsius. The burning duration depends on the amount of tar present.
Hajime’s expression stiffened into a smile as he slowly lifted his legs. Then having stepped several times on the tarry substance that covered the entire level just now, the semi-liquid dripped from Hajime’s shoes with a wet sloppy sound.
“Fi-Firearms are out……”
Considering its ignition temperature at one hundred degrees, it probably wouldn’t catch fire that easily. If it ignites, the chain reaction will cause the entire level to be engulfed in high temperatures of three thousand Degree Celsius. In that case, he wasn’t confident that he could survive even with his stockpile of Sacred Water.
“Both railgun and 【Lightning Clad】can’t be used……”
Donner is a powerful weapon. Even without electromagnetic acceleration, just the explosive made from the Combustion Stone alone, displayed more than enough power. However, that was the case for ordinary magic beasts only. For example, against the Skeleton Soldier, it will be enough without electromagnetic acceleration and even towards Behemoth, it is expected to deal decent damage, but the magic beasts of this abyss are abnormal. The magic beasts upstairs doesn’t appear to be only at the level of an ordinary monster. Therefore, would the magic beasts of this level be taken down simply with the power of explosives…..?
Putting aside that sort of anxiety, the corners of Hajime’s lips lifted.
“Come, it doesn’t change what I’m going to do anyway. Kill and Devour.”
With both his railgun and 【Lightning Clad】 in a sealed state, Hajime restarted his exploration.
Advancing for a while, he reached a three-forked road. Following the theory of leaving a mark on the nearby wall, he stepped forward planning to explore the left passage.
At that instant, Gachin!
With rows of countless sharp teeth lining its opened huge jaws, a shark-like magic beast jumped out from within the tar. Aimed at Hajime’s head, the jaws snapped shut as a resounding sound of teeth striking each other was produced. Although Hajime managed to dodge by bending his body at once, he shuddered.
(【Presence Perception】 didn’t react!)
Well, ever since he obtained the 【Presence Perception】 skill, he had kept it continuously active. He should have been able to detect any living thing within a ten meter radius without fail. Despite that, he completely couldn’t sense the shark from a moment ago until just before it attacked.
Missing its bite on Hajime, the shark dived into the tar with a Plop and disappeared once more.
(Damn, as expected, its presence can’t be grasped!)
Hajime gnashed his teeth at the incomprehensible situation. At any rate, to prevent any damage, Hajime resumed his movements using 【Aerodynamic】. ⌈4⌋
Almost as if waiting for that instant, the shark jumped out once again.
“Don’t look down on me!”
Hajime somersaulted in the air, and fired towards the shark which was passing overhead in his inverted field of vision. The bullet released from Donner which was meant to tear apart its foes cut through the air and accurately landed on the back of the shark with exquisite timing.
“****! It was repelled!”
The moment the bullet hit was as if striking rubber, the shark’s skin depressed and easily reflected the bullet. It seems like the shark’s skin has the property of Physical Impact Mitigation.
Thinking that it was natural for it to dive back into the tar after passing through, the shark made an astounding movement. Landing for a single instant, the shark turned around and leapt towards Hajime again. ⌈5⌋ Hajime somehow managed to dodge by twisting his body, but his side has been lightly gouged. The impact causing Hajime to fall into the tar. Despite having his entire body dyed pitched black, he hurriedly got up and skipped into the air once more. Immediately following that, the shark’s jaws materialized directly below where Hajime stepped out from, and with a loud Bakun!, snapped shut.
Cold sweat began to flow from Hajime who was skipping in the air using 【Aerodynamic】. Nevertheless, despite being driven to a corner, his lips had his usual fearless smile.
“Bring it on!”
Using 【Aerodynamic】 again, Hajime bounded in the air, never stopping at any location while waiting for the attacking moment. Fully demonstrating his concentration during his transmutation training, the surrounding landscape gradually faded out of sight. (……It’s not a problem to be unable to detect its presence. I didn’t have this skill initially either. Even if I can’t sense its presence, it will definitely be there at that instant it attacks)
Hajime was so focused on his thoughts while jumping that he accidentally lost his balance. The shark didn’t miss this opportunity and instantly leapt from a blind spot at the back.
“Saved by your simplicity!”
Hajime who was supposed to have lost his balance immediately righted himself and fended off the attacking shark with a mid-air side flip while swinging Donner which was in his right hand.
In the next moment, the shark was spraying blood from a deep cut on its side as it fell into the tar. The shark splashed about in the tar as it struggled in agony.
Hajime’s deliberate act of losing his balance and exposing his back was to provide the time, place and opportunity and incite an attack. Then, wrapping Donner in the Talon Bear’s unique magic 【Air Claw】, he tore it apart.
Hajime approached the squirming shark and swung Donner down at its head. 【Air Claw】 cleanly bisected the shark’s head. Though he wasn’t able to form three Air Claws like the Talon Bear, its sharpness has far surpassed that of famous swords. It is a truly reliable unique magic for close quarters.
“Now then, let’s confirm the reason why its presence can’t be detected?”
Hajime said that while licking his lips.
After that, the shark meat was removed and stored before continuing with the exploration, and finally, the staircase leading down was discovered.
～～～～～～～～～～～Nagumo Hajime17 Year oldMaleClass: Synergist Level: 24 Strength: 450 Vitality: 550 Resistance: 400 Agility: 550 Magic Power: 500 Magic Resistance: 500 Skills: Transmutation [+Mineral Appraisal] [+Precise Transmutation] [+Mineral Investigation] [+Mineral Separation] [+Mineral Fusion] • Magic Manipulation • Iron Stomach • Lightning Clad • Divine Step [+Aerodynamic] [+Ground Shrink] • Air Claw • Night Vision • Presence Perception • Hide Presence • Petrification Resistance • Language Comprehension CX: 6 tatami ≈ 2.73 m × 3.64 m CX: If you don’t understand this, god help you. CX: 奈落の魔物にしてはショボイ気もするが、この階層においてはとんでもないアドバンテージだ。後は、文字通りの技能だろう。 I’m not too sure about the correct translation for this part, but I’m going with my gut here.. CX: ハジメは理解不能な状況に歯噛みしながら、とにかく止まっていてはやられると“空力”を使い移動を再開する。 A bit different from my interpretation CX: 通り過ぎタールに飛び込んだ勢いそのままに、サメが驚異的な身のこなしで反転し、再度、宙返りから着地した瞬間のハジメを狙って飛びかかる。 I’m interpreting the first line differently… If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.