2019’s Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 7 is the seventh tankōbon of Ryoko Kui’s secondary-universe comedic ecological-fantasy manga. Originally published as Danjon Meshi, Delicious in Dungeon appears in Enterbrain’s Harta. Volume 7 was translated into English in 2019.
In this volume, Laios and his companions (half-elf mage Marcille, halfling security expert Chilchuck, dwarf fighter Senshi, and new party member beastkin-chimera-ninja Izutsumi) go deeper into the dungeon. Up on the surface, unwanted visitors arrive.
The party finally reaches the deepest level previously achieved before their near-total party kill, which happened way back in volume one. They can now recover goods lost during the confrontation with the red dragon. However, it also means that what lies ahead is completely unfamiliar territory.
As self-centered as a cat, the beastkin is baffled by the concept of altruism. Luckily for the party, Izutsumi sees her companions as a chance to be cured of her unwanted condition. Unwillingly merged with a great cat long before meeting the party, Izutsumi’s enhanced agility and homicidal abilities are quite useful for dealing with roaming monsters.
The dungeon is home to the Golden Kingdom, an ancient community of unwilling immortals. In this volume they finally have the chance tell the party about the history of the dungeon and its creator, Thistle the Lunatic Magician. They also predict the future: one or more of the group may be the prophesied liberators of the Golden Kingdom.
Meanwhile, up on the surface: alarmed at the dungeon’s recent transformation, the elves have dispatched a group of specialists to deal with the problem. The Canaries are skilled, goal-oriented and inclined to see local casualties as acceptable collateral damage. It’s not at all clear exactly what the Canaries plan to do, but it’s unlikely to benefit the locals.
I need to find a new series to follow. I am almost caught up on this one.
In the Canaries’ defense, magical dungeons can be an existential threat, should the monsters exit the dungeon to eat mortals living nearby. The beings living on the surface above this particular dungeon happen to be short-lived races, tallmen and the like. Many elves believe that the ephemeral races are inherently childlike, thus inferior. Thus expendable. It’s OK to risk the locals’ lives, who would not live long anyway, if that is the cost of protecting the greater world from the dungeon.
Izutsumi may also seem unsympathetic, but she is, after all, part non-social great cat. Also, those people in a position to teach her better behavior settled for slapping a cursed obedience collar on her. She’s not learning anything that way. However, Chilchuck is trying to tame her and he may turn her into an amicable pussycat. In time.
This is yet another manga in which immortality is a curse. In this case, it is because the residents of the Golden Kingdom are trapped in unchanging bodies which have lost any ability to appreciate life’s pleasures (for example, food no longer has taste). While they can kill their bodies, their spirits will turn into a melancholy ghost that is slowly losing all memories.
Volume 7 is that necessary evil, the infodump instalment. Despite that, there’s lots of action, perhaps even the terrible death of a beloved character. Oh, and also a cliffhanger.