2021’s Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 10 is the tenth tankōbon in Ryoko Kui’s secondary-world fantasy manga series. Originally published as Danjon Meshi, Delicious in Dungeon appears in Enterbrain’s Harta. Volume 10 was translated into English in 2022.
Laios has a plan to save his monstrously transformed sister Falin. With the help of his companions (half-elf mage Marcille, halfling security expert Chilchuck, dwarf fighter Senshi, and cat-beastkin ninja Izutsumi), he is determined to put his scheme into action.
There are one or two minor impediments to the plan.
The group needs to locate the Winged Lion, the entity that powers the dungeon, wherever the Lunatic Magician (who is currently in control of the dungeon) has trapped it. Finding the Winged Lion is easy enough … except the party only locates one of the two grimoires in which it is trapped1. This limits its utility.
Then there’s the matter of the local monsters. The ever-living phoenix is easy enough to handle, thanks to Laois’ go-to solution for everything; the party simply eats the bird in the interval between death and resurrection. The swarm of ferocious killer rabbits proves more challenging, forcing Marcille to resort to very dark magic.
The next step — luring dragon-form Falin into a food-baited trap and then killing her — goes more or less to plan… except dragon-form Falin is far too large for the next step in the plan, which was to eat her monstrous bits before resurrecting the human remainder. Nothing for it, then, but to defeat the Lunatic Magician so that Laois can become master of the Dungeon to save his sister!
How convenient that the Lunatic Magician, infuriated at the party’s activities, should appear just then to rebuke them. How inconvenient that he so grossly outpowers the party. Defeat and final death appear inescapable.
The killer rabbits are equipped with leg-knives, which is both cool and something that makes me wonder if the author has ever taken a close look at a rabbit’s mouth. Sure, those teeth are herbivore teeth, but an angry rabbit can take a nice chunk out of someone if it is sufficiently motivated.
Laois’ conviction that all problems can be solved simply by consuming the source of the problems is … quirky. Readers alarmed at the prospect of discovering just how widely he will apply this tool in this volume can take comfort from the fact that aside from eating the phoenix2, and turning the rabbits into a tasty stew, the group only eats most of the beings they encounter, not all of them. This allows the author to focus on something even more disturbing: Marcille’s impressive aptitude for necromancy, which would have traumatized her friends if they had not been too dead to notice.
Also, this volume isn’t all weaponized gourmands and the dark arts; we learn enough about the Lunatic Magician’s backstory and motivation to understand why he does the things he does. This does not make him less of a monster but it does make him more sympathetic, as well as raising serious concerns about whether Laios will withstand the demonic pact required of the dungeon master any better than the Lunatic Magician did.
This would all add up to nightmarish body horror and mental trauma except somehow the author manages to make the above hilarious. It’s all very wrong but also terribly funny. Literally terribly funny. So much terror. So much fun.
1: Extra dimensional entities — demons for short — are beyond good and evil. They also do not exist in a dimension that features linear distance as mortals understand it. Being stuck in two books nowhere near each other is easy for a demon.
2: I am not going to explain how they avoid having the phoenix resurrect itself inside their tummies. Just know that they foresee the issue and deal with it.