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Volume 4, Afterword

That was Volume 4.

This is Kamachi Kazuma.

Time for the climax of the Sage Arc! Or so it seemed, but we went even further than that!! I think Ground’s Nir – Abyss’s appearance in Volume 4 will really change how people view this series. Yes, I’ll admit it: I absolutely love twists like this. I agonized over whether it was better to have the lifeless girl be able to speak or not, but I finally settled on not letting her speak but having the entire facility announce her actions like a good old RPG command battle. So-and-so did such-and-such! But so-and-so is in such-and-such a state!? Like that. But you might not see that as much now that the characters can actually “move”.

The overall theme would be Experience Points. What Sibyl was using in the beginning is technically different, but I chose it as an alternative because residual memories are a lot like the experiences residing inside objects. The other bosses were more straightforward.

The Boo Boo series features several different interpretations of “strongest” each time, but I pictured Abyss like a self-growing monster that wanders the dungeon on its own and levels up when the protagonist isn’t looking. I hope that provided a different sort of fear to the horned king waiting patiently in the demon king’s castle, but what did you think?

Speaking of Experience Points, I also approached the Sage in a different way. Usually being able to reallocate your Experience Points on the skill tree in exchange for having to level up again is a privilege exclusive to the protagonist, but what would happen if you let the boss do that? I feel like I could have a lot more fun with that. ...In a way, it’s like being able to infinitely redo what kind of adult you want to be. And if those experiences can also change your apparent age, it could probably be developed into some love comedy skills as well. There’s still plenty to mine here!

For some even more meta fun, I dug into the standard RPG action of “sleeping”. If you sleep, you’re immediately fully healed. I think that’s another interesting distortion unique to that culture. Plus, I made sure to use pajamas to include some Dengeki Bunko-style moe.

From cute costume pajamas to a sexy baby doll, pajamas are not just normal clothes. They hold a strange position halfway between clothing and underwear and they can draw out a character’s personality, so I had fun with this chance to put all the characters in them. It was a new experience repeating the thought experiment of “I want to have this character wear this, but why would the character choose that?” It didn’t take up many pages and it had little to do with the story, but my favorite was Maid Haruka’s self-indulgent behavior. I treated it like a gag, but I think it’s realistic to find someone who can’t get motivated when the person they like isn’t around. The problem is that the cruel real world refuses to see that as a good thing.

I give my thanks to my illustrator Mahaya-san and my editors Miki-san, Onodera-san, and Anan-san. A lot of this volume took place in the Labyrinth for once, so unlike the battles in an open space, it was important to keep track of where the characters were. That may have been a lot of trouble. Thank you very much.

And I give my thanks to the readers. A sweets labyrinth, an internal organ labyrinth, and a casino labyrinth. What did you think? I’ve been using the trial and error method to keep the length of the books down while effectively explaining what it is Beatrice and the others normally do, but part of that actually appeared in the book this time. Having fun filling in what isn’t seen is the essence of reading. I hope you enjoyed it.

And I will end this here.

I think a weapon girl is wonderful form of Japanese Fantasy.

-Kamachi Kazuma

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