Volume 3 Chapter 7.1


Translator: Adam Seacord
Editor: Weasalopes

“Not here?”

The report was too surprising for the man not to repeat it. He seemed to have the highest status among the people here, but he was least noticeable among all of them. He was so unnoticeable that no one would have remembered him, even after a face-to-face conversation.

“The target’s been missing since yesterday.”

“What’s happening?”

“The target’s roup left Darl yesterday morning, and hasn’t returned.”

“Anyone after them?”

“They couldn’t keep up with the speed of what we assumed to be a golem carriage, so our pursuit had to be given up.”

The man had to accept the explanation of a golem carriage, which boasted incredible top speed. There weren’t many options out there that could pursuit it.

“That being said, you must have a general idea of where they’re headed.”

“I had them search every possible location…”

“And no sign. And the golem carriage? I doubt it would have been easy to hide such a thing.”

“We couldn’t find a trace of it.”

The surprisingly troublesome situations caused the unnoteworthy face of the man to frown. When he had heard that both the team that ruined the plan of his faceless comrades in Farlane and the sisters that had to be eliminated to eliminate this plan were together, the man had believed in divine intervention, but things weren’t looking as simple as he’d hoped.

He knew that they tended a food stand for the past week. While that was a great opportunity, when they attacked the younger sister, the injury from the arrow loosed by the smallest girl in the party from Farlane was much deeper than he had thought, which resulted in a longer recovery time and being unable to go on the attack. That missed opportunity was now coming back to bite him.

“In any case, we need to keep looking until we find it.”

“Yes, sir.”

No matter how good their hiding spot was, there would eventually find it with enough people on deck. And since he had been in the shadows until now, he had plenty of hands who could take on the job. They were confident that they could smoke the party out by the end of the day.

They had no way of knowing that Hiroshi’s party was wandering around a ruins deep underground since the previous day; much to their surprise, they would end up wasting the whole day.

“This sight is vaguely familiar.”

“In some kind of audience-participation game show or somethin’?”

Once they descended the staircase, they found a giant area divided into several zones. The first zone contained a giant pond that divided the floor into two.

“We just had Professor Jones 101, and now this Japanese-looking pond?”

“Who knows, but I get the gist of the pitch, here.”

“I mean, yeah.”

The objective was as plain as daylight. They had to walk through the stepping stones protruding in the middle of the pond to get to the other side. There were a few things they had to make sure of first, though.

“My guess’s there’s a few rocks that just floatin’ on the surface.”

“Yep. Given the unnaturally opaque water.”

“And the weirdly choppy pond.”

Hiroshi and Haruna calmly noted things that they’ve observed. They were assuming that they would continue through more obstacle-courses, but it was dangerous to act on assumption. It was definitely safer to hammer out everything they could confirm.

“Nothin’ like a clue in this area.”

“Or any explanations of the rules.”

As if they were saying ‘it’s just as it looks.’ Of course, maybe most ruins were designed like this.

“Sensei. Tatsu. I recognize this level a little.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Spill it.”

“It’s from Takeshi’s Castle…”

“The hell’s that?”

Mio mentioned a game show that was popular back when their parents were children. It was a sort of predecessor for shows like Ninja Warrior. Of course, there was no reason for Hiroshi to know that, let alone the Norton sisters who didn’t understand the very concept of game shows.

“A popular show. A blast from the past. It might have been before my parents’ time.”

“…I’m getting tired of asking this, but where do you find out about this stuff?”

Tatsuya asked with a stink eye, but Mio turned away, miming to smoke a cigarette without an expression. It was getting really dubious that she was really a teenager.

“Anywho, I’ll look into this water here, just in case.”


Hiroshi approached the pond with a bucket, rope, and the tried and tested ten-foot pole. He stuck the pole in the pond to check its depth before scooping up a bucket of its water to assess it. Then, just in case, he weight the bucket down before tying it off with a roped, and slowly lowered it to the bottom. The water would go up to Hiroshi’s waist. Even if there were spots that were a little deeper, it would be no deeper than a meter. If there were no tricks at the bottom of the pond, they might even be able to walk across it, even if they fall in.

“Nothin’ too bad in the water. Even if we swallow some, there ain’t any fast-actin’ toxins.”

“So there are some slower-acting ones?”

“Can’t expect a water this murky to be completely harmless.”

“Yeah, I get it, but how harmful are we talking, here?”

“If ya got a weak stomach, ya might need to go the bathroom pretty quick… but that’s about it. To be honest, it’s much more drinkable than the water in some third-world country. It’s all ‘bout the quantity. But don’t worry too much about swallowing a few mouthfuls when falling into the water.”

In short, it was pretty much harmless.

“The other thin’ I’m worried ‘bout…”

After checking a sample of the bottom of the pond, Hiroshi cleared it, and mentioned his biggest concern.

“This seems too easy if we can use our ten-foot pole. Is it really that simple?”

“…I think it’s my job to find out.”

Mio spoke up, producing her ten-foot pole. It was the rogue’s job to step up to the frontlines in times like this.

“Why you? Any one of us could do it.”

“Going by the books will be funnier.”

Mio said, as if she was some comedian. Makoto couldn’t help but look exasperated. Mio had always had these quirky qualities, but ever since the Miss-Perfect Haruna had begun showing some of her quirks, Mio was no longer trying to hide them. Truth be told, Makoto was worried about the romantic prospects of these girls… oblivious to herself, of course.

“Oh, but just in case…”

With a lightbulb, Mio took out her bow and attached a rope to an arrow before loading it. The group caught on.

“If you can do that, things would be a lot easier.”

“I doubt they don’t have some sort of protection for that, though.”

Even Mio did completely agree Tatsuya, but only a meathead would run in before making sure. Even if they ended up doing the same thing in the end, checking avenue and preparing as much they could was day and night in terms of mentality and results than running in thoughtlessly.

“Well, Shoot.”

With a lazy tone, Mio activated the best penetrative skill in her arsenal that didn’t wear her bow or break the arrow. She considered using an Extra Skill, but with her current technique and with her self-made bow, one shot would damage it to the point of needing repair. It wasn’t worth it. Furthermore, she didn’t know if the rope would survive such a skill.

Despite having shot it lazily, the arrow flew off with incredible speed and incredible energy. Just as it was getting to the halfway mark of the pond, it crashed into something, and shattered into pieces with a loud smash.


“As expected, fair to say. How’d it feel?”

“An Extra Skill could probably break through it.”

“We better play by the rules, then.”

Considering his experience of using his own Extra Skill, that was Hiroshi’s conclusion. The other members agreed.

“In any case, a technology that completed negates an attack like that? Scary.”

“Sis. I’m more scared that such technology is used for a game like this.”

The Japanese members couldn’t help but chuckle at the comments made by the Norton sisters. Japan, after all, had the tendency to use state-of-the-art technology for trivial matter, and put maximum effort into everything. If they were the ones building the ruins, they would have done at least this much without a second thought. Because they knew that, none of the Japanese members could say much about whoever built this place.


“Yep. Last one.”

There was one more avenue to check: could they clear it with the ten-foot pole? Seeing how throughout the design has been to prevent loopholes though, everyone expected some sort of protection in this department, too. They all knew it, but there was always that thought of ‘maybe…’ If they could use the ten-foot pole, this level was pretty much done. Even if it was a no-go, the worst that would happen is the tester falling in water.

“No traps on the first one.”

The first rock they could poke from the shore was a regular, sturdy footing. Upon closer inspection, they could see that the stepping stone was cheap-looking and sloppily painted, but if it worked as a footing, they had no complaints.

“…Just like it looks, I guess.”

When it came to the choice of a second stepping stone, two out of the three options were moving slightly, but enough that it could be observed upon looking at them closely. When Mio poked them just to be careful, they easily moved. If she had stepped on them, she would have fallen straight in. The last one looked like a proper stepping stone.

“And the third one…”

The instant she poked the rock with the pole, the rock below her feet vanished. Mio couldn’t react at all. She fell straight into the pond.

“…Seems ‘bout right.”

“…Yep, seems about right.”

A little touch of mischief that the trap didn’t activate until the third step. Meanwhile, Mio managed to crawl back up to shore, pulling her feet through the slimy bottom of the pond. With her long black hair soaked, she looked like she came out of a horror-movie.


“Right. We’re playin’ by the rules, then.”

Even as Mio declared with a strange sense of victory, Hiroshi couldn’t think of any other avenue. At the end of the day, this was all they could do. Once they were sure of that, they decided on their order. For now, for concern of her making the rocks slippery, Mio would standby until she dried.

“Um, what if we tie off the rope on this side, and have the first one carry it across?”

“If we play tricks like that, I think the rock would disappear in a snap. Let’s not.”

Tatsuya immediately shut down Primula’s suggestion from the events so far. The rock disappearing was one thing, but if some force were to tug on the rope while running across, they could drown, worst case scenario.

“Alrighty, Haruna-san. Lead us off!”

“All righty!”

Before she started, she observed the rocks carefully, and pictured her steps across. After casting a supporting spell to be sure, Haruna took a running start and leapt across the stepping stones.


One Comment

  1. This has gotten old.

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