Section 1: Dungeon Exploration
We found ourselves beneath the castle early the next morning before the sun even had a chance to rise up.
Oh, even if I say we’re underground, it’s not like Larpis’s foul mouth has gotten us tossed into prison okay?
[Yuhanna]: “Then if you’d please.”
At the request of Eleonora Academy, we will be stepping forth into the vast dungeon beneath the city.
[Saluena]: “Since it is a request we have voluntarily taken on, we will put all our strength into seeing it done.”
[Yuhanna]: “It’s reassuring to hear that from the Dark Violet Knight.”
[Saluena]: “I was once called as such, but I am a member of the Goddess’s Knights now. Please call me Saluena.”
[Yuhanna]: “It would be an honor. Then Saluena-sama, you may call me Yuhanna…….no, I suppose you have been addressing me by my first name since we met. Fufu……”
We’re three floors down a fort-like building in the middle of the castle’s huge backyard. We passed through a pair of sturdy iron doors closely guarded by knights around the clock. We then traveled further down a long stairway located in the back of the building.
We eventually came to a room about as big as the one we are using inside the castle with a plain yet thick door resting at the very far back.
[Yuhanna]: “You be careful too all right Rosalith? It wasn’t that long ago that this was a low rank dungeon where the worst you’d find is a couple goblins. As it is now though the place has become a den for higher level monsters.”
[Rose]: “I will watch myself Auntie.”
[Yuhanna]: “…….well despite what I said, you are an orange rank adventurer party, so I’m not too worried about it.”
Yuhanna-sama’s laughter rose up above the crackling of our lit torches.
[Ashel]: “If what they say is true, then I shouldn’t be not going as well…….I am sorry to have to leave all this to you.”
The next person to speak up was Ashel-sama.
Maybe it’s just a trick from the torch’s light, but it looked like she had that same sorrowful look on her face that she had on when we first met.
[Carol]: “There’s not much you’d be able to do by yourself.”
[Toslin]: “Why can’t you think about what you’re going to say before you say it!!”
Toslin quickly threw her hand over Carol’s mouth.
[Ashel]: “Ahaha……..it’s really okay. I would prefer if you spoke with me without reservation. Because, we’re already friends. Right?”
However contrary to her morose expression, Ashel-sama’s tone was much lighter and friendlier. It must be difficult being a member of the royal family. Couple that with her having to pretend to be a gender she’s not, and that kind of expression kind of ends up being set as the default.
I hope we can help alleviate as much of that burden as possible.
[Toslin]: “Y-Yeah……I mean sure…….. But this girl will run a mile if given an inch, so it’s probably for the best that we draw a line.”
Ashel-sama laughed while watching the usual quarrel unfold between Carol and Toslin. That was when Litzreich suddenly popped her head out from behind Ashel-sama’s back.
[Iris]: “Woah, what? You came too?”
[Litzreich]: “That should be obvious.”
[Lapris]: “You’re here too you perverted bastard?”
Lapris popped out of my hair, welcoming Litzreich with her patented crude insults.
[Litzreich]: “No need to be so on guard. I wouldn’t push Iris down in a place with no bed like this.”
[Lapris]: “So you would push her down if there was a bed here? How does that not make you a perverted bastard?”
[Litzreich]: “Such a fine how do you do. Even though I came all this way to deliver these to you.”
Reaching into her pocket, Litzreich pulled out the pair of magic glasses I gave to her.
[Iris]: “Oh, you’ve already finished repairing them?”
[Litzreich]: “Hmhmm. I have fixed the distorted frames and replaced the old core. With this, the massive amount of magic power needed to use them should have been mitigated to a point. With that being said, it does still take an awful lot of mana to use, so keep them out of reach from other people okay?”
[Iris]: “I will. Thank you Litzreich.”
I accepted my glasses from Litzreich and immediately tried them on.
It used to take a moment for them to boot up, but these modified pair instantly formed up their lens giving me a clear field of vision.
[Iris]: “Wow, amazing, this is really amazing!”
[Rose]: “The glasses have been fixed? Thank you Litzreich-san.”
Rose-san came over while I was glancing all around the room marveling over my glasses.
[Litzreich]: “No thanks are necessary. Nothing is more meaningless than a tool nobody can use. I’m sure Iris being able to use them like this is the happiest thing for the tool as well. It also allowed me to try out a new feature.”
[Iris]: “Eh, are you talking about the x-ray function!? Did you put it in?”
For reasons completely outside of my control, my gaze naturally moved towards Rose-san.
[Rose]: “If so then why are you looking at me Iris-san!?”
[Iris]: “I-I’m sorry! But I didn’t see anything, so it’s okay!”
[Litzreich]: “I’m not sure what you’re misunderstanding here, but the glasses now have a special cat search function.”
[Litzreich]: “Indeed, cats. Put on those glasses, and with a thought, you will be able to sense any nearby cats. Convenient, no?”
Litzreich crossed her arms and stuck out her chest with a proud expression.
Now that I think about it, she gave me a ribbon that makes cats like you when we first met in Soletta Ritta, so perhaps……..
[Iris]: “Do you like cats Litzreich?”
[Litzreich]: “Mm, I love them!”
The place where the hero Ranroot and the Evil Dragon Osnell had their climatic final battle a thousand years ago. That is where we are now stepping in to.
The dungeon, said to be the oldest in the country, is wider than I thought it would be. I can walk side by side with Goldmund in here.
The walls are made of stone, but they look polished and brand new. You wouldn’t know this place was built almost a thousand years ago.
Carol told me dungeons usually have mildew with moss growing all over the place, but I can’t find anything of the sort here.
The air is fresh and not nearly as stifling as what the mine was. However…….
[Iris]: “S-So cold…….”
Spring is here, and the temperature has been going up and up with each passing day. The cold down here however is probably like this year round regardless of what the outside world is like.
[Carol]: “What floor are we on now?”
Carol is wearing as light of equipment as ever, but she doesn’t look particularly cold. I’m relatively strong to the cold and shivering, but she’s moving forward with a firm step.
[Rose]: “The fifth floor. If we turn right here and continue on for a while, we should come across the stairs going down to the sixth.”
Rose-san glanced down towards the map we received from Litzreich before turning back towards me right behind her.
[Rose]: “Iris-san, if you are feeling cold, would you like to borrow my coat?”
[Iris]: “No, I’m okay. No need to worry about me. I’ll warm up as we keep walking.”
After Ashel-sama and the others saw us off, we entered the dungeon that stretches out below Osnell.
My very first genuine dungeon crawl as an adventurer began inside a surprisingly easy-going atmosphere, and so far the biggest enemy I’ve come to face is this cold.
[Rose]: “Are you sure? You don’t have to push yourself.”
A bright smile crossed her face as she spoke to me. Meanwhile her spiked mace was already dripping with a red liquid.
It’s blood obviously. Specifically, the goblins’ that we came across on our way here.
We’ve been attacked by monsters five times so far, but they’ve all been low ranked monsters no tougher than a goblin.
There would always be several of them in a group, but these guys wouldn’t have been much of a threat to Rose-san and the others two months ago let alone now when they’ve become orange rank adventurers.
Because of that, I haven’t done much of anything besides stand back and watch.
(……if I could use magic without my grimoires, I could be more helpful to everyone……)
Phoenix was in her small bird form, something Carol had decided to name Feniko, and was flying overhead. Her body shone a bit brighter, raising the heat around us a few degrees.
[Toslin]: “Oh, that feels nice. A bright and warm light. Much more useful than a certain fairy we have with us.”
[Lapris]: “What’s that!? You mocking my light!!”
Lapris was dozing off while riding on Plushie Unicorn’s back, but after hearing Toslin’s light jab, she woke right up. And then like you’d imagine, she started barking.
While Lapris rushed Plushie Unicorn forward, forcing her to gallop between Toslin’s feet so that the little fairy yap some more, Saluena quietly muttered something aloud.
[Saluena]: “However, these monsters are more docile than we heard.”
[Iris]: “Ah, now that you mention it…….”
Litzreich and Yuhanna-sama both told us this place had become a den for high level monsters, but so far the only monsters we’ve seen are goblins.
[Carol]: “Maybe we just haven’t run into any of the high level monsters yet? Well we’ll get our reward no matter what happens.”
We continued down another ten floors.
It wasn’t until around then that Carol’s words started to have some weight behind them.
[Carol]: “Hm? Wait. Everybody stop.”
Carol brought us to a halt from her spot at the front.
[Carol]: “Apparently, our work starts here.”
She then pointed forward.
Following her gaze, I saw two knights in full-body armor standing at attention as if to block our path.