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Chapter 28


“You don’t have to worry about balance.”

I’ve had my fair share of MMORPGs.

I played when my friends needed someone to fill a role.

But I couldn’t always play with my friends.

Right now, our problem is filling whatever gap we have in our party, but we’ve got our assumptions wrong.

Certainly, specialized classes are ultimately stronger than regular classes and it may be good for team comp too.

However, if we lose any party members, we stand to lose a lot.

It might be easier to explain this way. Imagine a party of three: a Warrior, Priest, and Mage.

The party definitely looks well-balanced. Everybody has their own role.

But what if you take out the Priest? Would they lose the ability to make battle?

The team’s ability to heal is now very limited and that would make fighting difficult.

If you split everyone up to specific roles, you create a dependence on your teammates. It’s got its pros and cons.

It might be good to be able to help out when needed.

Perhaps instead of a Warrior, you can have a Paladin who can do some light healing as well. Or maybe have a Red Mage, who can use both black and white magic. 𝓲𝐧n𝚛𝐞𝒂d. 𝑐𝗼m

When your Warrior is wounded and out of the fight, your Priest might fare well if they have proficiency in close-quarter combat.

There’s no rule about how you absolutely have to specialize in your role.

No one said you can’t be a jack of all trades.

Well... it would be nice if a single person can do everything, but realistically, that’s a little naïve. And if you could, you wouldn’t need comrades.

“You also don’t need to try to merely support how Muu and I already are. It might be easier to think of how you can add yourself in.”

Of course, this party is only until they figure out and prove that I’m the guy on the wanted poster.

It wouldn’t be bad for us to experiment with different formations for experience’s sake.

“I’ve only been the rearguard up ‘til now, but I can leave the back to you and take the middle. It doesn’t really matter either, since I can be effective at both the front or the back.”

“Muu, muu.”

Muu agrees with me as well.

“If we have Muu fight in the front the whole time, he’d probably get worn out and we’d have to head back home. So, it’s not that we don’t need a healer either.”

“... alright. Then I’ll be the rearguard and support you and Muu with magic.”

“Great. Then let’s head back to town and change jobs... no, then we’d have to double back. I’ll just have you remain as a Chemist for now and we can slay and harvest here in the swamp.”


With that, we walk into the toxic swamp.

Normally, we only go until the entrance of the dungeon. But the swamp is pretty big after all, so there’s still more to the back.

I was thinking it’d be nice to slay and gather in the dungeon, but a warning came from Veno.

Arleaf’s equipment won’t protect her from the toxic gas around the second floor.

Even though her gas mask seems pretty heavy-duty...

Though it wouldn’t be impossible for her to head in the dungeon, she’ll have a hard time fighting down there. So instead, we compromised and headed deeper into the swamp.

The monsters in the back of the swamp only differs a little than the ones we’ve already seen.

A floating cell-like monsters called Burnt Umber Volvox appeared, and along with it, a Reed Grey Roach... manhole-sized nightmarish monstrosities.

The former is a ball that moves by jumping around and was easily pierced through by shots from my crossbow.

Poison was somewhat effective against it as well.

The Reed Grey Roach... hmm, it moves around quickly, making it hard to deal with.

It’s good at dodging too.

It doesn’t seem too aggressive though, so as long as we don’t get too close to them, we should be fine.

Muu cleaves with his axe and misses. Seemingly as retaliation, he sprayed his spores as an area of effect attack and then gave the roach an uppercut with its right fist. This turned out to be such a fierce fight.

“Fire Bullet!”

From behind me comes a fireball launched by Arleaf, heading towards the Reed Grey Roach.

It missed... but the fire seems to be chasing the Reed Grey Roach. The fire blazed a trail on the ground and burnt the roach to death.

‘Reed Grey Roaches secrete a large volume of oil on their surface, making fire attacks more effective physical attacks. It matters not how quickly the roach moves; it still secretes oil while doing so. Hence, it is easy to ignite and burn. Thou must think it to be an insect, however, it is a viscous fluid... a type of slime.’

That’s quite the strange list of attributes.

Where does the oil come from, where does it go?

‘The oil is a part of its body. It does not disappear. The core simply bears an uncanny resemblance to an insect.’

Whatever it is, it gives me the creeps and I don’t really want to fight another one.

But more importantly, I got to see Arleaf use magic. Pretty impressive stuff.

‘Fire Bullet. It is beginner’s fire magic and not a particularly difficult spell to use.’

Veno pulls up a bunch of information regarding the spell Arleaf had casted and begins to explain.

I’ve said it before, but I need to sit down and process it, so show me later.

‘And this is Flame of Megiddo.’

As he says that, Veno shows me the difference between Fire Bullet and Flame of Megiddo in a zoomed-out point of view.

A hundred Fire Bullets couldn’t even compare to a single Flame of Megiddo.

I know it’s amazing and all but show it to me afterwards.

Veno acts like he’s been alone for too long. Finally, he’s made a friend and so he’s always trying to get more attention.

‘Hmph... I am not needy! I desire not attention from thee!’

That totally doesn’t prove my point.

‘It seems like no matter what I say, thine opinion of me shall change not. Thou shall see! Do not make light of a dragon!’

Yeah, yeah.

You’re helpful at explaining stuff to me and I’m grateful for you, so please, save your lecture on magic for later.

But... how and what should I say to Arleaf?

If I show that I was moved because it’s my first-time seeing magic, she’ll definitely suspect something.

‘Thou may not have seen it much, but magic is not that uncommon. Avoid showing how thou truly feel.’

As I thought.

In that case...

“Mm. Good teamwork there. Just be absolutely sure to not hit Muu with it please.”

I assume Muu is weak to fire since he’s a mushroom.

If he gets roasted to death, it’d be a sad situation.

In more ways than one.


“I’ll be fine!” is what I can only assume Muu is meaning by his shadowboxing.

“Okay! You’re really something as a Poison-Wielder too, Yukihisa.”

Arleaf is probably talking about how I can condense the swamp’s toxins and release it as a poisonous mist, right?

It’s not like I was sniping my targets from far away. I was standing somewhat close with my crossbow and hitting them with poison, but that’s only easy ‘cause of the distance.

Maybe it’s thanks to Arleaf’s cooking, but I can nimbly move around.

I get quite a bit of experience too. Not bad at all.

“I’m just alright. There’s a lot I had to figure out on my own. I’m learning as I go along.”

“Besides firing your crossbow, it seems it’s all magic for you... but that’s probably not the case, right?”


I create a sphere of toxin with Poison Release to show her. The blob floats on my hand.

I think Veno said that it’s not magic, but I don’t exactly understand the reasoning behind using it either.

Maybe it’s due to Spirit Link or perhaps, as Veno theorized, it’s something I was born with.

Which reminds me, some time in the future, we’re probably gonna encounter monsters capable of magic too. But how about those guys? Are they learners of magic too?

‘I can only say that it depends on each circumstance. Of course, there are beings who are born knowing magic.’

“Well, it’s just powers of my class. Now then, let’s continue exploring.”


Let’s store away the defeated monsters before we move on.

We’re obviously not taking the ashes of the burnt Reed Grey Roach.

‘Did Muu not slay a monster? The oil extracted from it would be useful.’

... not for cooking, right?

Something like lamp oil, I hope.

‘Though it is edible?’

No way in hell that’s happening. I don’t want to eat anything fried in that grease, for my sanity’s sake.

‘Understandably difficult. But if thou cook it well, it turns out nice and crunchy.’

Those are chips that I absolutely do no want to eat.

Don’t you dare share the flavor with me. No, actually, I’ll just stuff my cheeks with Arleaf’s cooking at the same time.

‘Darest thou threaten me?! Good grief...’

I’m not that picky of an eater, but I hate stuff like stewed grasshoppers.

Just thinking about the salty-sweet soy sauce flavor makes me want to gag.

‘Again with the pickiness... I am not demanding anything that absurd from you. I do have an interest in delicacies, but this is not much of an acquired taste, aye? By the way, is sweet soy sauce delicious?’

Veno is a dragon with a sweet tooth. No surprise he’s interested in sweet soy sauce.

Unfortunately for you, the soy sauce-side is a bit strong, so you can’t call it a dessert.

But people dip mochi in sweet soy sauce too. Which side would you put that on?

And then there’s mitarashi dango, which should be a dessert.

It’s hard to draw the line... but let’s save the sweet soy sauce talk for later.

Not to mention that I don’t even know if there’s soy sauce in this world.

‘Going by thy memories... I remember seeing a similar condiment.’

And as I’ve said, we’re not talking about this anymore!

While we were talking, Arleaf and I were picking herbs as we progressed deeper into the swamplands.

And then...

“We should soon be able to see the main entrance to the dungeon,” said Arleaf after going fairly far into the swamp.

“Oh, was this side the proper entrance?”

The entrance with the altar that Muu and I changed jobs with was originally just a separate cave. Now its remains are connected to the dungeon.

So it makes sense that this should be considered the proper entrance.

“Yep. It would be easier to go to deeper levels through this way too.”

“Is that right?”

The altar connects to the second floor, but to get to the third floor, you’ve gotta use this entrance, I think.

“Do you tend to explore dungeons, Yukihisa?”

“Hmm... to tell you the truth, I don’t really think of it like that. I only come here because it’s easy to fight.”

I can’t forget the real reason why I’m here.

We’ve got to find a way to free me from this Forced Possession Summoning while escaping the people chasing me.

That’s also the reason why I’m trying to level up.

It’s not like my goal is to explore dungeons.

I mean, not that I’m totally uninterested though.

“I see. It would hard for me the way I am right now... and I would only drag you down.”

“Then consider us to be on a stroll until the sun goes down.”

I can’t push her too hard either.

Sure, she’s a comrade to us, but only for a limited time.

“Do you wanna fight a few more monsters before we go home?”

“Yes. And before we return... are you planning to go for a soak?”

She’s still hung up on that, eh?

“Umm... I wouldn’t do so since you’re here with me, Arleaf.”

Since it turns out there are people watching me and I don’t know what they’re scheming...

But I can’t deny that soaking in the toxic water feels as fantastic as soaking in an onsen.

I was considering to maybe just dip my toes in, or maybe I’ll get a little cheeky and have Muu stand guard for me, when all of a sudden...

“Let’s get the hell out of here.”



“I know!”

Oh? There are a few adventurers over by the entrance of the dungeon that ran past us.

‘Beware. It is possible that they are in midst of fleeing from a monster.’

Ah... that’s certainly a possibility. Maybe it’s time for me to bust out some poison again.

Seems like Arleaf immediately noticed them run behind us.

She looks like she’s ready to hightail out of here too.

Maybe I can let out a toxic mist to cover our back.

But... I can’t sense any monsters around here.


In the end, the adventurers left, and peace returned.

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