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Vending Machine – 129 – Division of Roles

Chapter 129: Division of Roles


Author: Hirukuma

Translated by Zzonkedd

Edited by Gumihou


After a restful night at the inn, with refreshed minds and bodies, the reformed party set out for the Labyrinth again.

This time, Hyurumi came with us. She was tasked with the job of opening the treasure chest. Also, she was the only one who knew just how many magic stones would be needed to activate the teleportation circle. It was only at that moment that I learned that Hyurumi happens to know how to open treasure chests and has the skills to disarm traps and open locks. 

Still, even if we had known about her skills, we could not have taken her with us in the beginning because the risk was just too high. However, we now have more fighters on our side and a cart to move our luggage (and me) around with ease, Hyurumi could come with us without being a hindrance.

I, Kikoyu and Hyurumi ride on the cart. If a battle happens, I can protect the cart with my <Barrier>. Hanging out with a little girl and a beautiful woman isn’t bad. Since I can’t feel it when people touch me, there were no weird feelings.

In Kikoyu’s case, the greatest feeling that she rouses is a sense of protectiveness for a little kid.

Our progress went forward quite smoothly as we crossed out places we travelled through on the maps as we went along. Just as we crossed one of the major pathways, I suddenly remembered something and looked up. There was nothing above us but a clear blue sky with not a single cloud in sight.

However, I distinctly remember falling through a crack in the ground at the floor above us to this floor. I tried to look for the spot where I might have fallen through from Clear Flow Lake Floor but could not see anything but blue skies from this side.

Come to think of it, what would the floor above be like after the crack? Maybe Director Bear would know.


“What is it, Hakkon?”

Director Bear, who had been taking the lead, slowed down until he was walking right by the cart.





“How cra-ack?” Director Bear tilted his head to the side, frowning as he pondered over my limited vocabulary. As expected, I don’t have enough syllables to properly form the necessary words, let alone proper sentences to convey my thoughts.

“Director, Hakkon probably wants to know how the Floor above was fixed after he fell through it.”

Hyurumi got it right in one go. I was kind of surprised by this. I wonder how much of it was her natural genius and how much has to do with her hanging out with Ramis? Either way, it was a great help.

“Oh, so the ‘cra-ack’ is the floor break, huh? I see.”

It was kind of embarrassing to see someone trying to decipher my gibberish with such a serious face.

“Well, the ‘crack’ has repaired itself and the ground is now healing. Still, we have cordoned off the area since the crack has made the ground more brittle. There was a depression where you had fallen through, water had filled up the spot, turning it into a shallow pond. The floor is unlikely to break again unless someone dives under the water and deliberately strikes the ground.”

That was a relief to hear. Anyone falling from that height could die in an instant. It’s not a height that anyone could survive unless they have some kind of special tool or ability.

“Since most people would die if they fall through splits between floors, I have been working on a magic tool that could help someone survive a fall from a great height. I have been researching tools that freeze water in an instant and some self-repair garments. Hakkon, please come and have a look at it later since the creation of the tool is inspired by your method.”


Wow, did Hyurumi really make a tool that could help people survive a fall from a great height? I wonder what kind of principles it uses. Zero gravity? Some sort of special magical ability?

I would be glad to have a look at it once we return to Clearflow Lake Floor.

“Director, according to the map, we shall soon come across a room with a treasure chest inside.”

“Is that so? Let’s talk more about it on our break.

Director Bear switched back to combat mode and headed out alone. Kuroyata swooped down and landed in front of Kikoyu. She stroked him, the look in her eyes indicating that she was reading his thoughts.

“Looks like there are eight Fat Hog Demons in front. Thank you, Kuroyata. Please assist the Director next.”


Kuroyata takes flight, its powerful jet-black wings propelling it effortlessly into the air. Back in Japan, I had never been particularly friendly with crows, but Kuroyata is such a handsome and dignified creature that I could not help but be impressed by how cool he is.

By the time the cart turned a corner, the battle was already over and the floor was littered with Fat Hog Demon corpses.

While Kikoyu hopped out of the cart with her ball of dirt to process the corpses, Hyurumi checked the treasure chest sitting in the corner of the room.

“Well, it’s locked and trapped as expected. Since the trap is a simple one, there should be no problem opening it.”

She quickly worked two thin metal rods in the lock and with just a few turns, we heard the ‘kacha’ of a turning lock. I know that Hyurumi is a genius and good with her hands, but I did not think that she could so easily pick the lock that Director Bear struggled so much with.

“I’ve also disarmed the traps, so don’t worry.”

The casual smile and the ease with which she easily solves problems could not help but make me think ‘Elder sis is the best!’ although I have a feeling that I would be scolded if I were to voice my thoughts out loud. The last time I addressed her as ‘Elder Sis’ she became very moody for some time, so I didn’t want to offend her. According to Hyurumi, she probably wants me to come up with a cute nickname for her.

Unfortunately, I am limited in terms of the number of [1] sounds and syllables I could use. I had to be creative with my limited repertoire and luckily, Hyurumi could decipher my cutesy five-syllable ‘sentences’.

If I were to include parts of her name in my ‘sentences’ would it be easier for her to know when I call her name?

I could say [2a] ‘sen-si-ble’, but that’s far from being cute. [2b] ‘Go-od he-ad’ is also another option, but it’s not cute either, and she might smash me to pieces for indicating that she is good with head and not simply have a ‘good head’ on her shoulders.

Haahh… it’s surprisingly difficult to balance out cuteness with character. In the end, I still think ‘El-der sis’ is the best one of them all.

“It’s a miss,” muttered Hyurumi.

Oh? A miss? What was in the chest then?

It turned out to be a dagger with an elaborately decorated handle. “The quality is not bad, we could probably get 1 gold coin for it, but it’s kind of useless to us now.”

Right, because we are after magic stones. Every chest that yielded something that’s not a magic stone would be a ‘miss’. I guess it would be too convenient if we hit the jackpot right away.

It was a credit to Kuroyata’s efforts that we were able to locate three treasure chests in half a day. After knowing what we were after, he flew high in the sky to look for treasure chests and guided us through the shortest paths to them.

That night, we looked through the loot after dinner and found that we only collected one small magic stone along with several weapons and magic tools.

Fumu, while I don’t expect to get a hit right away, the situation doesn’t look good.”

“We’ve covered most of the map. Didn’t you once say that treasure chests take six months to respawn after it is opened?”

“That’s the information we have thus far…”

“If that’s the case, we can’t expect to get anything from the treasure chests we have opened during our exploration.”

Wait, so there’s a possibility that we won’t be able to find what we want even after opening all of the treasure chests? Everything is still dependent on luck? If only there was a better way…

“There is a sure way to obtain large magic stones, but I can’t recommend it.”

Eh? Really? There’s really a way? However, Hyurumi was sitting with her arms crossed and groaning to herself. Wow, what could be so bad to disturb the ever-stoic Hyurumi?

“Recommendation aside, what is this method?”

“If you remember, there is a type of demon on this floor that’s even more troublesome than the Floor Boss.”

“Lava Demons…” muttered the Director. Then, he too crossed his arms and groaned.

“That’s right. I heard that if you defeat one of these, they would drop large magic stones.”

“Although, I must say I haven’t heard of anyone slaying one of these in the past 10 years. Not for the lack of trying. Hunters have been going after them to try and strike it rich quick, but no one’s been successful yet.”

“What kind of monster is a Lava Demon?” asked Kikoyu.

Nice, Kikoyu just asked the very question that’s on my mind.

“It’s about three times taller than Hakkon for one thing.”

I did a quick calculation and concluded that the Lava Demon must be about 5 meters tall.

“As the name suggests, it’s vaguely human shape and made of partially solidified lava.”

“The problem is that it’s not made of fire, but of pure liquid flame that’s almost impossible to put out. So regular methods for putting out fire won’t work.”

In short, previous strategies like dropping the Floor Boss (Giant Flaming Bone Demon) into a hole and then covering him with dry ice won’t work? Wow, if the demon really is made of pure lava… I have seen footage of lava continuing to burn even when it spread under the sea. Shooting it with water probably won’t be better than squirting it with a handgun.

If this was a game, the classic strategy would be to use ice magic. However, I have a feeling that even ice would evaporate in an instant.

“That’s quite a powerful enemy, but surely someone has defeated it before. How did they do it?” The way Kikoyu tilted her head when she asked questions was really cute even though her words were really serious.

“Probably by overwhelming it with powerful magic or pulverizing it with overwhelming force.”

“If we have to fight this thing, we must first cool the surface of the Lava Demon with water first, harden its surface and then deal a crushing blow. I can take care of the last blow.”

Director Bear unhesitatingly assigned the most dangerous role to himself. Still, would the surface be so easily cooled? Even if the surface is cooled down, the internal structure and joints would be made from lava, right? Once Director Bear strikes the solid surface, he could still suffer a backlash.

“Director, I believe it’s best to leave that as a final resort. For now, let us search through the treasure chests.”

If nothing else, I could probably crush the Lava Demon from above. I could use <Barrier> to block the heat so that the melting lava bits won’t hurt me. That would probably consume a lot of points. For one thing, I would need to change into <Giant Vending Machine>. After that, once my <Barrier> touches the lava, it would probably consume a whole lot of points.

There’s still the issue of how to trap it before I can hit it. It would be great if we could force the Lava Demon into a pit first. However, there is no telling when or where a Lava Demon would appear.


[Gumihou: Who wants to bet they would have to take on a Lava Demon sometime soon?]

[1] The direct sentence is non-transferrable since the Japanese language is syllabic and represented by symbols 「あいうおかくこさしすせにねのたちてとまもらりよをんがござだでぽっゃゅ」, (a i u e o ka ku ko sa shi su se ni ne no chi te to ma mo ra ri yo o n ga go za da de and small chi ya yu) derived from the Japanese language of ‘welcome’ or ‘irrasshaimase’ and ‘arigatou’ etc

[2a] ‘sen-si-ble’ is actually ‘ta-i-ra’ which also has the meaning of ‘flat’ as in flat-chested, so yeah, a girl may smash your head in for calling her that.

[2b] ‘go-od he-ad’ is actually ‘a-ta-ma-ii’ which has a less weird connotation in Japanese, but has a weirder connotation in English, so, swap the ‘oh no, she might smash me to pieces’ dilemma has a new Membership System!!

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