Through the glass window, the rain was falling. While lying on the bed of the inn I’m lodged at, I stared blankly at my status window. Written there was Level 43, along with my various parameters such as my STR and AGI and… My skills.
What a troublesome thing. How much hardship have I gone through all because of this?
Things such as Skills… No. The Status itself — I wish it never existed.
According to what Magi of the long past have discerned, this world seems to be a simulation.
The reason we have statuses.
The reason monsters drop loot when they die.
The reason it sometimes rains like this.
The reason people cry and laugh.
Is because this world is a simulated ecosystem. A miniature garden, if you will.
I close my status window and sigh.
So what? It doesn’t matter.
Whether or not this world is a simulation, the reality in front of us remains the same.
I’ve never heard of an adventurer who cares about the truth of this world, and I share the same sentiment.
All that matters to me are my present concerns.
-I hollowly muse. It’s a simulated world, yet I’m hungry. I don’t even have the energy to put anything in my mouth right now.
How many times have I got kicked out of a party?
To be frank. I’m strong.
Having a level of 43 is the standard number that most adventurers would barely even reach by the time they’re considering retirement.
On top of that, thanks to parameter increasing skills like Strength Buff: “Large” and “Agility Buff: Medium”, my stats are higher than what my level is supposed to have.
I can even dive into the deeper levels solo. Although it’s me saying it, as a swordsman, you couldn’t hope for a better person.
I should have been a highly sought after vanguard… If only I didn’t have such a huge drawback skill named Drop Rate Reduction.
That’s right. Skills.
I was born with seven of them.
A normal adventurer would have two or three at most. Most people even have a flat zero. So having seven is extraordinary.
It looks like people blessed with skills like me, sometimes appear in this world.
It’s just that… as if to balance out the numbers, such people always possess a “special” skill that’s not found in others.
And that’s what’s called a “Minus Skill”.
What’s a “Minus Skill” you ask? It’s simple, really.”
You can say it’s a skill that brings about a disadvantage.
Parameter reducing types like “STR Reduction” is not uncommon. There are also things like “Clumsy” which inhibits the success of specific techniques.
Those with minus skills like “Experience Decrease” and “Level Limit” rarely become adventurers but end up plowing fields or become apprentices at a workshop or a merchant instead.
My “Drop Rate Decrease” is essentially one such skill.
Being strong as an adventurer isn’t there to be all and end all, they need to make a living out of it as well.
There’s a reason people with skills such as “Drop Rate Increase” or “Money Luck” or even people good at bookkeeping are much appreciated in any party.
Looking at it from that angle, my existence is like a plague incarnate.
After all, the drop rate of items and coins decreases by 80% when I kill a monster.
Getting kicked out of parties is logically sound.
It doesn’t mean I’ll stop from adventuring because of that..
I wish there was no such thing as a status.
If this was a world where everything is decided by effort…
How great it would have been?
It’s been five years since I became an adventurer at the age of fourteen. I’ve reached this high of a level mostly solo. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve worked harder than anyone else.
It’s of great fortune that I have died so far with my reckless way of leveling. I don’t have the “Luck” skill.
There’s no two ways about it, even if I am rotten.
I’ve had enough. I need to break out of this situation.
“This is the only way I guess…”
I picked up a piece of paper from the table by my bedside.
If there was a way to get out of this rut. It’s there.
On the piece of paper was a note scribbled in my handwriting.
Information about a recently found dungeon was copied into it from the bulletin board in the Adventurer’s Guild.
Dungeons can disappear as new ones can be created.
Aside from the large dungeons that a lot of adventurers make their living off of, smaller ones were often born near its surrounding areas and disappear if the boss monster is defeated.
One of those small-scale dungeons was recently discovered, and a rumor about it has been on my mind.
They say that one of the items dropped by the boss monster——
Removes a skill that one possesses.
In these dungeons, there are times when cryptic clues on how to clear the dungeon are written on its walls or in scraps of paper inside a treasure chest and the like. From what can be decoded in the “flavor texts”, there’s apparently a description that can be interpreted as such. After that fact was established, the number of parties trying to clear the dungeon has dropped dramatically. It’s even courteously written as a hint so that item would be one of the main drops, no doubt about it. But… There’s no such thing as a person who would bother removing their skill.
That is… except for the ones with a Minus Skill such as me. Because there are no rare monsters that appear, and the value of the boss drop is unknown. There were almost no parties diving into that dungeon nowadays. So I can’t expect someone to beat the boss and sell the item on the market.
I have to do it myself.
Since I can’t form a party, I have to go about it alone. I know that it’s practically a reckless endeavor. Even if my level is high, and the dungeon isn’t all that large, it’s still insane to challenge the boss solo. It may be so… but this was the only way for me to continue living as an adventurer. Rather, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Once someone has cleared the dungeon, a second chance won’t come around.
A bit lost in thought, I get up from my bed.
—Before I go on an adventure, I need to stock on potions and foods.