Hi guys, decided on a whim to translate this work as a teaser for maybe 2-3 chapters. More of a game-like story with a lot of game/MMORPG terms in Japanese that I had to look up for >.< haha but the writing is excellent, on par or even slightly better than Invincible Saint from first impressions but that also meant it was even harder to translate than Invincible Saint >.< Enjoy and let me know what you think about the novel!
The free-to-play MMORPG with the aim to capture the dungeon and reach the lowest floor, Live Dungeon. Living alone in an apartment, Kyotani Tsutomu booted up 5 laptops and today as well, continued to develop his character with the same name.
Sucking on a jelly drink, Tsutomu looked at the characters displayed on the 5 laptops. The first character he raised had a healer profession. Followed by a tank and an attacker and they all reached counter stop. The last one he raised was a magic tank which would soon reach counter stop as well. (TL: Counter stop = Level cap)
The game’s aim is to conquer dungeons and reach the lowest floor but it is an MMORPG so naturally the basic action was to form a party with others. Thus, about 2 years ago, Tsutomu also formed parties with guild members, friends as well as people he did not know and dived into the dungeon.
However, the passage of time is cruel. Live Dungeon, an MMORPG which began service 7 years ago, will stop service in a month.
When Tsutomu acquired his first computer when he was a high school student, Live Dungeon was the first game he played. Tsutomu had played the game for approximately 6 years. It is appropriate to decorate its final journey. Tsutomu thought.
To conquer the dungeon’s lowest floor solo. However, Live Dungeon is an MMORPG. It was designed such that it is impossible to conquer a dungeon solo. Hence, Tsutomu bought a second-hand laptop and borrowed the remaining 3 laptops from his university friends and seniors. As expected of a game from 7 years ago, the required specifications for the laptops was low so even worn-out laptops could run the game without a hitch.
(It’s over …)
Tsutomu confirmed that his final character’s level reached counter stop and he casually threw the empty jelly drink into the rubbish can. And then, as if to spur his motivations, he clenched his fists and cracked his knuckles. From here on will be the real thrill of Live Dungeon.
Just like how Live Dungeon is named, the game had the function of transmitting the dungeon conquer online. The setting was that the gods managing the dungeon furnished the functions to kill time by watching humans fight. Incidentally, that functions can be updated repeatedly and transmitted over the net, resulting in large bulletin boards that showed 「God, net launch」.
However, Tsutomu only went to those that were delivered by the game. Those services were usually left to bots but it was more relieving. Since there would be the criticizing eyes of others toward his solitary play if it was transmitted over the net.
“Well then, shall I begin.”
Tsutomu tightened his face that his friends always tells him to pull himself together and connected each of the characters to the same server. “I’ll be in your care”, he typed the stereotypical expression in the party chat and applied to enter a party.
The roles in a party are categorized into 3 main roles. Tanks (shield-bearers), attackers (damage-dealers) and healers (healers). Tsutomu had 2 tanks, a physical tank and a magic tank, and 2 attackers, a physical attacker and a magic attacker. Together with a healer, he challenged the dungeon.
The dungeons mostly change environment every 10 floors and the 100th floor is the lowest floor. There, the final boss, a Festering Ancient Dragon would appear.
There were also back dungeons but it is obviously not possible to do so while running 5 laptops alone. Hence, Tsutomu aimed to conquer the dungeon from the beginning. (TL: Back/reverse dungeons = Same dungeon with higher difficulty I think)
Nevertheless, the dungeon conquering plan was drawn up when he molded his characters during character creation and it was his first real attempt. Well, it would somehow work out if I spend his whole summer holiday, Tsutomu muttered to himself and pressed the enter key.
The first floor’s grassland. The 10th floor’s forest. The 20th floor’s swamp. The 30th floor’s wasteland. He had some trouble with the abnormal condition poison, but he could still barely bulldoze his way through relying on his level. The problem was the 40th floor’s beach. To defeat the boss on that floor, the Shell Crab, he had to come up with a strategy to prevent it from burrowing into the ground.
Theoretically, it is possible to kill the boss before it burrows into the ground but it was too difficult for Tsutomu to do so alone so he had to anticipate where the boss would burrow out of. There were 3 locations the boss would move to depending on its percentage of stamina, knowing about them beforehand, he could prevent it from fully recovering and he planted himself before 2 of the locations and succeeded in bringing the boss down quickly.
It was instant death if one fell off into the depths in the 50th floor’s canyon. There were various traps and densely packed mobs to cause him to fall but thanks to the wind magic applied to the entire party, he could nullify most of it. Tsutomu carefully advanced while making sure not to get targeted by the flying dragons flying about.
The boss of the canyon was a Fire Dragon. If he did not have flying tools he would have had to count his blessings and fallen to hell, but with range attacks, he weakened the wings and ganged up on the boss after it fell to the ground, obtaining victory.
The 60th floor was a volcano. There were plenty of instant death gimmicks here as well so heat countermeasures were required. He had to change to heat-resistant equipment. The boss, a titan swimming in lava, sprinkles lava that causes instant death to tanks but with heat-resistant countermeasures, it could be endured without issue.
The 70th floor’s snowfield. This area was not as terrifying with protection against cold and measures against freezing but the thing to look out for was the perpetual spawning of the trash mob, Snow Wolf. Mainly in terms of operating. It was possible to face multiple opponents but operating 5 computers alone was harsh after all. That was the place that Tsutomu was the most fearful of.
As the suspended finger moved incessantly, Tsutomu somehow broke through and his hand trembled when he imagined a glimmer of hope for him to clear the dungeon. The end of this game was in sight.
The 80th floor was light and darkness. Used by the gods that made the dungeon, the main enemy mob were devils that self-proclaim themselves to be angels and fallen angels that kill the devils to create unspeakable undead. Here, it was required to have a means to attack monsters with holy and dark attribute. There was also a need for countermeasures against confusion and silence abnormal conditions.
And the boss was the ruin of what once was an archangel. Boasting a complex range of holy and dark attribute attacks as well as the abnormal condition silence that seals the use of magic. Mainly famous as the killer of healers, the lives of healers depended on their ability to evade or prevent the boss’s attacks.
And the 90th floor was the ancient city. The door was opened by presenting the items dropped from the bosses. It should be noted that the boss drops are weapons and armor. In cases where an individual used them for materials, they would have to go through the bothersome process of hunting down the boss once again. Within the ancient city, every enemy mobs that have appeared until now spawned.
And then, the 100th floor appeared as an arena and the dungeon would be conquered if the Festering Ancient Dragon within it was defeated.
It had numerous ranged attacks with its breath that shaved off the durability of weapons and armors. Every time you attack it, your weapon’s durability would decrease as well. It boasted high magic resistance so it’s called a killer of attackers but in exchange holy attribute attacks can damage it. Healers could participate in attacking as well so there would not be a fall in attacking power.
Rely on his familiarity with operating the characters, Tsutomu moved unconsciously and defeated the Festering Ancient Dragon. Tsutomu confirmed the 4 characters displayed “Back Dungeon unleashed!” and looked with a weary and dazed expression.
(I’ve been through all kinds of situations huh.)
He had the tables turned on himself when he dived solo into the dungeon for the first time. He was enraged when he faced provocative actions after he died in the dungeon and was sent to the respawn location.
When he first joined a stray party and took on the role of the healer, he garnered so much hate that it became his sensitive topic.
The first guild he joined split into a voice chat group and a non-voice chat group and disbanded. The next guild encountered a troll and disbanded. Finally, he made his own guild and struggled with it but he continued until there was nobody left in it.
During his first defensive war, he was PK-ed and lost everything except for his rare items.
The first time he conquered a dungeon by leeching, he was verbally abused over voice chat by the attacker and tank.
(Eh? Pretty much nothing good happened!)
No, no, there were good memories as well. Once he memorized his role, he enjoyed playing as a healer and the attacker and tank had some fun as well and had to forcibly acknowledge him, he thought as he returned to the plaza. Upon arriving, there was an individual doing a clapping motion in the middle of the plaza.
(There’s no name display … NPC? He should not appear even after conquering a dungeon.)
He made his 5 characters gesture among themselves and he received a personal chat.
“Congratulations on conquering the dungeon alone! Allow me to present this to you!”
Along with that chat, the NPC performed a handing over motion. Tsutomu stopped at the word ‘alone’. He immediately thought of the reason why he knew he was alone.
(Was he watching? ….)
After playing Live Dungeon for a certain period, you would be able to infer that it was a solo player from the stiff movements. However, this person did not have a name above him, he could only imagine that he was a bot of a person in the server.
(Perhaps he is an admin … ? Uwah. What sophisticated arrangement.)
The faint-hearted Tsutomu was moved to tears and he wondered if he should write on the nostalgic bulletin board to boast as he received the item from the admin.
“Acquired the invitation from the gods.”
The instant he received the item, the laptop forcefully emitted light.
(Eh! Did the computer freeze!?)
Along with that thought, Tsutomu’s consciousness, like upon severing the power source of a laptop, ceased.
The ancient city that people have long forgotten about. Tsutomu woke up at the arena of the forgotten ancient city.
“Ugh. This is?”
He restlessly looked around but the surrounding was awfully dim. His fuzzy mind thought that the surroundings look similar to Live Dungeon’s 100th floor.
(A dream huh.)
Tsutomu concluded and stood up, patting his behind to brush off the dust. He was surprised by the rattling of his clothes and looked down to see red leather pants. His upper body wore a chainmail together with a robe. Even brown shoes and a black gem inlaid cane.
(Uwa my ability to recall is great. Let’s try to strike with magic!)
Raising his cane and performing various poses, Tsutomu was surprised by a guttural roar. Tsutomu fell over from the shock and looked toward the cloudy sky.
In the beginning, he saw a distant small speck of a black object in the sky. He saw that it was gradually becoming larger as it rapidly fell toward him.
Tsutomu blocked his ears against the roar that it had not yet bellowed out as he unsteadily stood up and ran away from that spot. He forcefully moved the foot he stumbled on and ran with all his might. Then, something gigantic gave out an enormous pressure of wind as it descended onto the center of the arena.
Rotten fallen pupils. The decayed body of an ancient dragon with numerous holes. Tsutomu’s legs trembled at the sight of the creature that was way too large beyond the norm and sat down on the spot.
(I’m guessing … it’s the Festering Ancient Dragon.)
Even though his teeth were chattering he still maintained that this was a dream. While gripping onto the earth on the surface, Tsutomu mouthed that this was a dream. Feeling the earth crumble within his hand, the thought that this might not be a dream crossed his mind.
Tsutomu was dominated by such thoughts. The pupil-less eyes of the Festering Ancient Dragon looked toward him. Then, the Festering Ancient Dragon curled its nauseating body and released a breath toward the ground. A breath with vomit that corrodes everything it touches. The immobile Tsutomu squarely received the surging tidal wave-like breath.
The moment the breath touched the arms he held in front of him, they began to dissolve into something like a syrup. Within the blink of an eye, everything from the wrist down decayed and fell down.
The breath immediately covered his entire body and the pain felt like insects swarmed his entire body and began biting down on it. His body gradually fell as if he was sinking into a swamp. His face also received the breath and began decaying, causing him to lose his sense of sight, sound, and smell. All that remained was pain.
That feeling of pain suddenly disappeared from Tsutomu.
Then, Tsutomu’s body emitted pale light particles and disappeared from the arena of the ancient city.
All that remained was the Festering Ancient Dragon that nestled in an unknown location as well as the equipment that was worn by Tsutomu.