「What is it? You talk as if you’re hiding something.」
「Sorry, I thought that I certainly already gathered a little bit more information. Well, usually, people who are determined to go to that city which is filled with lots of questionable rumours are brave after all.
Most of the rumours about that city that I heard in the capital are all shady. I’ve meet people who came in and out from the Labyrinth City, but there are rumours that once you enter that city, you won’t be able to come out again.
But well, that’s right. After listening to you, I realized that I didn’t consider that kind of possibility as well.」
「It seems like you know some secrets, huh. Considering our connection as the people who come from the same country in our previous life, can you tell me about it?」
「Hmm, we already left the capital, plus we have reached this far anyway, so I think it should be fine. …Actually, most of the documents about that city have the descriptions written in encrypted “Japanese”.」
Then everything was no longer just shady rumours or bullshits. Didn’t that prove that city really had connection with Japan?
「I see, most of my sources are from the gossips, so I don’t know about that.」
In the first place, I couldn’t read most of this world’s letters. Even if I could write, it was just my own name.
「Even if I said that, the level of encryption is that someone won’t be able to read it if they try to translate the Japanese language one by one. I can read it after looking at the whole thing.」
「As expected from a merchant’s kid, your caliber sure is different.」
Since I was born in this world, I only started to see letters after going to the capital city, of course except my own status.
By the way, the store’s sign board where I worked as a servant was the first letters I saw in the capital. I even used to think that books didn’t exist in this world. …When we were applying to enter the capital, it was also through an amanuensis.
「You know that the one who conquered the labyrinth would be granted great power, great treasure, and great glory, right?」
It sounded somewhat amazing.
「―Thus, in addition to the deciphered letters, there was『Yo~ I made Roguelike Myst○ry Dungeon[1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_Dungeon], so let’s play together, everyone! (・∀・)b』written there.」
Yuki said so, opening the book that had those unreserved words written just like that.
Even though I was sitting down, I felt like I would slip down after seeing this. What the heck. There were the Japanese characters I haven’t seen for a long time, complete with an emoticon.
Although the words were mixed with the standard language and mysterious characters used in this kingdom, I could understand them just by reading the Japanese characters.
Yuki laughed at my shocked expression. Oi, of course I would be surprised when looking at this, okay!
「This is one of the simplest example, but it seems like this is hard for most people to decipher, especially for the emoticon part. Not to say, the writer likes to make their pronunciation long without any purposes.
The expert said that they think of this as ancient letters. Now that I think of it, people who don’t know about emoticon might not understand what this means, since emoticons basically have no meaning.
By the way, encrypting this is easy. It’s a level that even children can understand as long as they know Japanese. We can understand the words just by skimming this, and other than the Japanese characters, it’s mostly from mysterious language anyway.」
Why did I suddenly have this feeling of exhaustion?
「Ah, what you are saying here is that you don’t want to increase your competitors, right?」
「That’s right. Other than someone like you who have decided to go, people who just want to live normally after going to the Labyrinth City might happen to ride this carriage too. I don’t think it’s necessary to kick people out, but I also won’t kindly tell anyone about my information.
Also, I don’t know how amazing the labyrinth is, but we will have to battle against the monsters. It’ll be better if I could live as normally as possible. …I also didn’t tell my family about this.」
That might be true.
Ignoring those ruffian people like the mercenary or adventurer in the streets, people who had proper job would never bother making painful experience.
I didn’t think anyone would want to become those ruffian people anyway.
「Do you have any other information? …Ah, do I have to pay for that?」
I still have some money since this carriage was free, but he probably wouldn’t tell me anymore than this.
「I don’t really care about the money. Well, it will be helpful if you can make a party with me in the Labyrinth City. It’s written that the labyrinth is rogue ‘like’ after all, so we don’t have to go solo.」
「By the way, what is ‘rogue’?」
Oh? Yuki-san completely stopped moving.
Eh, I knew about the Myst○ry Dungeon, okay? It was a game where an uncle who had his belly exposed and was holding a bread in one of his hand had to attack zombies on the dungeon which structure would change every time he entered it.
「I see, maybe it’s not really that well known…」
Yuki’s expression becomes tired in a blink, and he explained the term to me.
“Rogue” was a MAP auto-generated dungeon searcher RPH displayed in text base. Myst○ry Dungeon was a variant of it.
Yuki was a fan of those rogue games, and even if the graphical version of the game came out, he kept playing the game with the text display.
By the way, he also told me that there were various clones that was called as roguelike, but I couldn’t understand the difference even after he explained it to me. In the first place, I didn’t understand the difference between the exposed belly old uncle and the sandogasa[2. A type of Japanese traditional hat][3. This whole ‘exposed belly old uncle and sandogasa’ might refer to the versions of the Mystery Dungeon. I’m not too knowledgeable about this.].
「I didn’t have a game console at home when I was a kid. I started with a UNIX machine that was dusty in my warehouse. I didn’t know what it was at first, but then…」
「No, you don’t have to tell me about your gaming experience at your previous life, okay?」
If an addict to this sort of thing started to open up, it had been decided that there wouldn’t be ends to his ramblings. I knew that very well since I’d met such people in my previous life.
「Rather than that, this means that the structure of the dungeon in the Labyrinth City will change every time we enter it, right?」
「Well, I don’t know about that. I haven’t seen them with my own eyes, and I don’t have any detailed information. However, I think it will be advantageous to know about the inspiration for the dungeon. Don’t you think so as well?」
Hmm, I hadn’t played the game before, so I didn’t really understand.
I couldn’t get over the idea of returning back to level 1. But there was no concept of level in this world, so it shouldn’t be possible.
In the first place, I didn’t play a lot of those computer games itself, other than the classics such as those super masterpieces. There were times when my colleagues who completely didn’t play games told me that I was always playing games, but I considered myself as a quite light gamer.
「By the way, if there’s a thing we know from this information, it seems like we “won’t die” inside the dungeon.」
「Eh, isn’t it amazing that we won’t die? What kind of skill is that?」
「I don’t know how it works, and I don’t know the details, but it seems like that’s the case. I also met some people who had actually died inside the dungeon.」
So if it was okay even if I died, that means I could also face those zombie attacks?
Ah, but this was not a game, so I would have to experience a lot of pain and suffering before I die, huh…
「Eh, then if we do our best, we will be able to clear the dungeon easily, right? Well, it might be a system where there’s nothing to clear, though.」
「If we won’t die, the meaning can also change if we see it at the other side. That means the difficulty is so hard that it’s only natural to die a lot of times. There’s a synonym for “rogue” games, which is “A game where you learn as you die”.」
That would be difficult.
But, was it better than dying? …Anyway, was it really okay for us to die?
「Oi, young lads. We can see the walls now. It’s still a little far, but that’s the Labyrinth City.」
The lizardman driver said, while turning his head towards us.
When we looked out of the wagon cart, it was already completely dawn.
What we could see ahead of us was an excessively huge and profound wall that was called as a provincial city.
It looked like a huge fissure in this wilderness that was empty as far as I could see, and the wall ahead of the bridge gave off an overwhelming presence.
「That is… the Labyrinth City.」
I wasn’t sure who was the person who said that.
It’s just that, both of us were overwhelmed by the profoundness we had never seen even in the modern Japan.