You are currently viewing Vending Machine – 146 – Cause of Fire
Forest fire burning trees at night.

Vending Machine – 146 – Cause of Fire

Chapter 146: Cause of Fire


Author: Hirukuma

Translated by Zzonkedd

Edited by Gumihou


Hyurumi’s seemingly reckless plan was going better than expected.

As the strong winds persisted, fanning the flames, Hyurumi’s fire started to spread, leaving a trail of charred and blackened trees in its wake.

Thinking that we could escape the main fire from the front by moving to the already burnt area. However, just as some of us started to sigh with relief…

“Damn it, the fire’s coming faster than expected!” Hyurumi shouted.

While we were working, she had been observing the fire with narrowed eyes. Indeed, the fire was racing towards us with so much force that it looked like it would reach us at any moment.

Our strategy wasn’t bad, but the reality was cruel.

The burnt area at the rear and the space we had desperately cleared would help us avoid the worst of the flames, but we could still die from the heat and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The only solution was surrounding everyone with my <Barrier> just before the flames reached us.

However, with so many people around, the one-meter barrier extending from my normal-sized body could not fit everyone.

I had only one option left.

“Gr-ow Bi-g”


I knew my words were inadequate, but there was no time to pick out the best wording. I’m sure that Hyurumi would understand.

“You want to grow big, so… we should move away?”


As expected, Hyurumi immediately understood my intent. She had everyone moved away and I transformed into the tall vending machine that would not budge even with two people shoving me from one side.

I would like to transform into the biggest vending machine in Japan, but doing so would drain my points like water and I was not confident I could maintain the shape along with my <Barrier> until we are all safe from the forest fire.

This version also consumes a lot more points, however, how could it be compared to my comrades’ lives? There was really no question of what I should do now.



Everyone responded to my call and gathered around me. [1] Luckily everyone understood my intent and knew about my <Barrier>. I chose a tall machine so that people could not only gather around me for protection but also stack on top of each other under the <Barrier>.

The cart would not fit under the <Barrier>, so Hyurumi emptied the stuff inside and everyone helped to tip it upright so that it barely fit under the <Barrier>. The spilled-out things were grabbed by people who had nothing in their hands.

Director Bear lifted Ramis and Hyurumi, sitting them on his shoulders. Kikoyu and Kuroyata perched on top of Botan while the elderly coupled huddled close together. Shui was pushed up to sit cross-legged on top of me.

With everyone pressed as close as they could against my body, I activated <Barrier>. Just as the flames were right in front of us, a blue light enveloped everyone.

Our temporary party had cleared over a meter radius of trees, creating a large clearing with me right in the centre.

I stood tall in place, my comrades’ backs against my body as we waited for the flames to pass us by under the protection of the <Barrier>.

While we were completely protected, my points started to fall like water being drained out of a tub. The flames were more intense than I had thought and the words indicating points being spent were flowing like a waterfall in my head.

Looks like I would have to give up a lot of points earned through defeating monsters and doing business.

However, this is not the time to be stingy. I can only deactivate the <Barrier> after the fire filling my view has disappeared. When the blackened trees around us collapsed, I temporarily removed the <Barrier>.

I watched my companions, waiting to see if they looked like they suffered something like a lack of oxygen or inhaling poisonous gasses. If anyone looked like anyone was suffering, I would immediately put up the <Barrier> again.

“It’s still a little hot, but everything looks alright now. Thank you, Hakkon.”



With Hyurumi’s confirmation, I returned to my original vending machine form.

The points that I had saved up were almost gone. It looks like I had fallen below the 10,000 mark for the first time in a while. Even though it was to save everyone’s life, I wouldn’t be able to use my abilities freely for a while.


“Ne-ed mo-re”

[1] This time, not even Ramis or Hyurumi could fully understand what I meant. Finally, through Kikoyu’s powers, I was able to properly explain how my powers work and why I could not be of much help for now.

As expected, my companions were very understanding.

“I see… Thanks, Hakkon, for doing this for us. Once we’re safe, we’ll load you up with lots of coins,” said Hyurumi.

“I’m sorry, Hakkon. I’ll smash my piggy bank later and help too!” said Ramis.

Hyurumi, Ramis, your feelings are more than enough.

“I’m sorry. I only have one gold coin on hand right now, but I hope it can help even a little,” said Director Bear as he removed the coin from his wallet and inserted it into my coin slot.


Nice, I can now handle a standard form change at least.

Thank you, Director Bear.

“Well now, I shall pay you in gold coins as well once we get back to the village. Money is important, but now is not the time to hoard coins. People would think that the Dark Forest Floor is stingy for not properly rewarding our saviour and being shamed for life. I may look black-hearted, but I’m not actually a blackened character.”

The Director of Darkness also inserted a gold coin into my coin slot. Also, it looks like I can look forward to some monetary reward later.

Right, now that I have replenished some points, I could still be useful.

“Everyone, please be careful of the remaining flames and the trees that haven’t collapsed as you move forward,” said Hyurumi. “There’s also a risk of harmful substances being emitted. Everyone, cover your mouths with a wet cloth as you proceed.”

I took the initiative to dispense some towels soaked in water. This small action consumes negligible amounts of points, so it was not a problem

Now that I had returned to my regular form, Ramis carried me on her back and everyone began to move.

[1] Instead of moving towards the village as I had expected, we were moving towards the charred Elderwood. That’s right, we still have to check on the Elderwood’s condition and see if we can find out how it caught fire.

Most of the trees around us have burned down. A few standing figures were charred, their roles as living beings ended.

White smoke rose around us and was blown back by the constant wind. [1] In fact, the wind felt stronger now without the cover of trees.

“If the Elderwood had been defeated, it would resolved the problem on this floor, but the damage was too great…”

“Whoever that idiot is, I won’t let them get away with it. I’ll shove my hand up their ass and rattle their teeth,” Director of Darkness said through gritted teeth, the surface of his black shadowy shaking like black flames.

The floor under his care had turned into a scorched field, of course, he would be furious.

Just who set the Elderwood on fire?

Was it a hunter who had been exploring the forest without noticing the recent anomaly encountered the Floor Master and committed a taboo in order to survive?

Or, had they deliberately set the forest on fire just as a way to defeat it?

We cannot discard either possibility. However, if someone with the power to survive the Dark Forest Floor where monsters suddenly become violent would have returned to the village or dealt with the Elderwood in a different way, right?

It’s not like setting the forest on fire is something they could get away with. Could there be some unimaginable reason for doing this? No matter how much I thought about it, I couldn’t seem to figure out what the reason would be. I guess we would have to all go to the original scene of the crime and gather as much information as possible.

Visibility was now much better in the black-and-white world of what was once the Dark Forest. This meant that we could easily see our target, the Elderwood.

All of its leaves and smaller branches appeared to be completely destroyed. The only thing remaining were its thick trunk and two large branches.

It looked like a gigantic figure reaching towards the skies with its arms outstretched.

A massive black giant standing in the scorched field. It’s a sight that makes you think of the end of the world.

“Hakkon, Hyurumi, that thing’s dead, right?”

“Just because the outer part is burned, doesn’t mean the inside isn’t safe. Don’t let your guard down.”

“Okay, okay.”

Trees have strong vitality, and if it’s the Dungeon Master, it is at a level that can’t be considered normal. However, even if it’s still alive, it should be significantly weakened.

If by any chance it was still not yet dead, we can finish him off ourselves.

“We need to hurry, it would be too late once the fire reaches the village,” Director Bear fell on all fours and ran towards the Elderwood. Ramis followed quickly with me on her back.

Botan easily kept up with us, despite carrying several people on its back. Its speed really surprised me.

We ran towards the charred Elderwood, and unexpectedly, our entire front view was nothing but that pitch-black trunk.

The closer we got, the more I realised just how incredibly huge it was. It was truly like looking up a skyscraper. Could we really have defeated this thing with just a couple of barrels of herbicide?

Surely that can’t be enough to make the Elderwood wither up?

“This… I didn’t expect it to be this big…” Hyurumi muttered as she tilted her head back to stare up at the tree.

It was quite a big difference seeing it this close. It really can’t be helped.

The Elderwood did not move all this time, so, how do we determine whether it was dead or alive?

“Ah, I can’t hear anything. Looks like it had passed on,” said Kikoyu with her hand on the blackened tree.

I see, she could tell whether something was alive with her touch. I guess we can conclude that the villagers would have returned to their normal form and escaped, right?

“Just to be sure, hit it with all your might, Ramis.”

“Okay~ Then, here I go!”

Are we really going to have Ramis punch it to make sure it was really dead?

Ramis pulled her right fist back, lowered her hips and twisted her body to the point that she practically bent backwards.

Then, with a step forward, her body unwound, her left arm swung back and her right fist snapped forward in a full-powered thrust.

The charred bark splintered, leaving a large indentation that looked like it was hit by a specialised building demolition tool.

The pressure from the punch caused wind pressure to roar across the scorched field. I thought I saw the Elderwood swayed a bit, but it could be my imagination.

Despite the impact, there was no response. In other words, it must be dead.

Does this mean our mission is accomplished? Now all we have to do is check if the villagers have escaped safely, and the commotion on this floor will be over.

“Right, let’s go back–”

“Who dares disturb this lady’s nap?!”

At the unexpected voice, everyone’s gaze turned to the sky, and saw–


[Gumihou: Uh oh, this style of speaking, how obnoxious]


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