The next week took no time at all. Literally. Kyuu would diligently level in the labyrinth, pushing his way as high up as he could go in the time it took him to learn all of the skills pertaining to whatever class he was, then he’d reset the time back to his ‘birth’ in this world. Though he was a level 1, he had the stat gains from over a hundred level ups, as well as over twenty class skills. Reena and Lola had leveled to over forty, and spent their spare time charging the slime battery while Kyuu and Guppy rolled through each floor, maxing out the revenge before obliterating the boss. It didn’t matter how strong a max revenge floor boss was if Kyuu could just chain cast high grade spells without fear of ever running out of MP. They got loads of weapons, armor, trinkets, and especially Leet.
It was also tedious, and Kyuu had come to hate this game. No matter how many times he met with Enigma, he always had more changes to make to the game world in the hopes of making it more fun. But at the end of the day, how can any game be fun without challenge? It didn’t matter how many quest giving NPC’s were created, how many scripted events took place, or how many customizations he could make to his equipment, once you were OP, there was no more joy to the game. Just mindlessness. Kyuu was really just grinding out the floors in the hopes that there would be a big boss fight and he could finally wake up from his dream.
All it took was one simple miss use of a game mechanic and Kyuu went from being an ‘in the way cartographer’, to being a totally game-breaking ‘facerolling dungeon slaying demon’. Of course, the mapping skill was game-breaking to begin with, and it was an inevitability that Kyuu would become rich and powerful while using it. Without it, dungeon crawling would have been a miserable slog. With it, dungeon crawling lost all value and feeling of accomplishment.
There was also no one to share his achievements with, since everyone in the game, Reena and Lola included, were just figments of his dream. He had decided that they were created by him because they remind him of his nieces. Really, all they did was make him miss his real family.
<Kyuu> “So in conclusion, I want to wake up. How do I do that, Enigma?”
<Enigma> “Eh?! Even after all the changes I made, you still are bored? You want to leave my beautiful game world?”
<Kyuu> “Sword fighting has been fun and all, but its not like its real. The monsters always move the exact same way, I’m way over-tuned, and my skills mostly bisect whatever they hit. Magic is cool too, but there is no downside for me to constantly use my most powerful spells, I didn’t even have to earn them in a meaningful way, and my passive abilities make me almost indestructible with too high of resistances to status effects and outrageous regeneration of both health and MP.”
<Enigma> “So… it’s your fault?”
<Kyuu> “Yes. I’ve ruined the game for myself. Tell me how to wake up.”
<Enigma> “On the fiftieth floor, behind the boss is a portal that takes you to the final encounter. After you clear that, you get the choice to start the game over again with all of your collected items, skills, money, and experience.”
<Kyuu> “I already do that!”
<Enigma> “True. Or, you can start over without all that and just replay through the story.”
<Kyuu> “There is no story to speak of! It’s just a grind!”
<Enigma> “Finally, you can give yourself a pat on the back for finishing the game, and then never come back to this world again. Unless I make another one in the same continuity of course. You have to invest your time beating that game too.”
<Kyuu> “I think you might be the worst.”
<Enigma> “You could always just choose to wake up.”
<Kyuu> “Ugh… you know I can’t do that. I’ve put in too much time and effort to just leave this world without wrecking the final boss and showering in all the sweet, pointless-at-this-point, loot.”
<Enigma> “Pointless!? The final boss’ loot is amazing! It’s not pointless at all! You could farm the final boss for months before running out of new stuff to drop.”
<Kyuu> “Is there another enemy even stronger than the final boss?”
<Enigma> “Eh… not right now? There could be! Just say the word!”
<Kyuu> “No need. What floor is the final boss on?”
<Kyuu> “I just cleared 40 before I came here. Do I really need to clear 10 more floors?”
<Enigma> “The final push might seem tedious to you, but if you had played my game properly from the beginning than it would be enjoyably difficult. On the 39th floor boss, there was a neat mechanic where the boss would, after about 15 seconds, change colors based on their elemental affinity and if you hit them with the same element that they were, they’d heal health. But no, you strolled in, and shot fireballs at the poor thing like you were a mounted minigun, completely destroying the boss before any mechanics could be realized.”
<Kyuu> “First off… I didn’t know that boss did that. Second, really? An elemental roulette boss and you called it ‘neat’? Every rpg has that boss in it, and it has never been fun. It’s just a slightly, and I really want to emphasize ‘slight’ here, slightly more irritating boss than the other simpler fights.”
<Enigma> “You only think that because you only ever fight bosses after you’ve level grinded things to being too easy! If you’d fight them lower level then it would be different!”
<Kyuu> “Not really… at any rate, get the final boss ready. I’m going to go sweep these last 10 floors.”
Fortunately, since the exp given to a level 1 on the 40th floor was enough to level to 25, Kyuu just reset the day after each floor. Kyuu’s agility had gotten so high, that each floor was completed in around 20 minutes, while he and the girls could rapidly charge the battery to reset again. Within 10 hours of experienced time (zero hours of actual time), the last ten floors had been cleared. Standing before Enigma before leaving the challenge the final boss, Kyuu didn’t request any changes. He just stood silently.
<Enigma> “So you’re actually going to fight the final boss. After hundreds of level ups and learned skills, you have the strength to kill the boss in a matter of seconds. Was it really worth it after all this time?”
<Kyuu> “Not especially. But it was a decent time while it lasted. I have one last surprise for you personally, Enigma.”
<Enigma> “Eh? For me? What surprise would that be. You’ve already broken the game.”
<Kyuu> “True… but since I’m already here, I’m going to show you how a troll beats a game like this. I’m going to properly utilize a mechanic that you put in place for me… that has nothing really to do with me… and completely faceroll the final boss without lifting a finger.”
<Enigma> “Ugh. Fine. Show me.” Enigma waves his hand in a shooing gesture while the ground continues to fly up at them.
First thing to do was to allow the prick Ian to actually put the collar on Kyuu. Then, immediately, Kyuu paid the debt off and removed the previously mentioned collar. Walking off, Reena and Lola follow behind, also removing their collars and throwing them into a pile next to Ian. Tomorrow morning, Ian would be a rich guy. Unfortunately for him, tomorrow the world wouldn’t exist anymore.
Like usual, when the party entered the portal, Kyuu summoned his faithful slime companion Guppy. This floor was a little different than usual, though. It was only a short hallway of thirty feet before coming to the boss door. Kyuu walked up to the door, and stopped before opening it.
<Reena> “Seems kinda anti-climactic, doesn’t it?”
<Lola> “Yeah… we haven’t done anything in like a week. Big brother just one-shots everything. What’s the point of even coming to the last boss?”
<Kyuu> “To be honest, even I don’t need to go to fight the boss.”
<Lola> “Eh? You don’t mean to have us fight do you? Our stats and strength are very conventional. We couldn’t duo the final boss…”
<Kyuu> “Huh? No no no… we three won’t be fighting. Guppy will.”
<Reena> “That’s stupid Kyuu. Guppy is still a level 1 slime. Even with its thirty different moves it won’t be able to help.”
<Kyuu>” You’re right. Guppy is level 1. Since I always have him out while I clear floors, he gets bonus exp for fighting enemies far stronger than him… without ever leveling. He was getting around 12000 exp a kill on the fiftieth floor.”
Reena and Lola just stared at me blankly.
<Kyuu> “Introducing! The one! The only! The totally OP! GUPPY!”
Guppy jiggled a little in acknowledgement.
<Reena> “This plan seems really poorly thought out.”
<Kyuu> “Nonsense. Guppy is level 99, with my stats boosting him to well over that. The MP drain is pretty stupid though, so let’s go kill a boss, eh?”
Kyuu opened the door, pointing forward into the darkness with only one command.
<Kyuu> “Sic em, Guppy!”
Morning came, and it was much like any other. My children sneezed in my face and kneed me in the groin while ‘climbing’ on me until I got out of bed and made me play with them. My wife, laughing at my plight since she had gotten up an hour earlier with them, asked me if I slept well.
“Not especially? I feel like I had a pretty violent dream… but I don’t remember any of it. I’m not very rested, to be honest. Thanks for letting me sleep in though!”
I gave her a peck on the cheek before sitting down on the floor and rolled a ball back and forth with my three year old. My one year old would occasionally cry out in happiness and head butt me with a hug, interrupting the game. Being cute can get you away with anything in this house.
I do love my family.