We stored the 『Magic Stone (nil) Rank: F』 inside Hotaru-san’s pouch. My pouch was was almost full just carrying the flame fang magic stone.
I re-sheathed Sakura-chan and my bastard sword before walking over to Sistina who was using her healing arts.
「How is it Sistina?」
「I think they’ll live…just they’ve lost a lot of blood so they’re in danger of bleeding out.」
Sistina said while looking at the explorer lying on the ground covered in blood. This one must have taken a hit from the hide bear right before we arrived.
Her leather breastplate was torn through and her well rounded chest was deeply injured all the way down to her abdomen. Even so, Sistina’s healing arts must be working since I could see the wounds slowly knitting together.
「Please! Please save Ari! She covered for me and…she’s my precious companion…please…」
The long sword guy knelt with his head against the floor as he begged Sistina.
I wasn’t the one saving that girl, so I couldn’t do anything. I decided to leave them alone and moved to take a look at the last person.
This one was also badly injured and covered in blood. Looking at the body shape it was probably a man.
「Hey, you okay?」
I approached and called out…but then I noticed. The man in front of me wasn’t breathing.
I must have looked stunned standing there talking to that unresponsive corpse. Before long I felt Hotaru-san approach and put her hand on my shoulder.
「It wasn’t as though we didn’t make it in time ja.」
「True, just a little while ago he was still alive…but from what I can see, even if we got here a little earlier his wounds would be too much to recover from ja.」
I see…that’s why Hotaru-san hesitated back then when she said she sensed 2 or 3 people. His life force must have been so weak that it was barely detectable.
True, in that situation no matter how good Sistina’s healing was it was probable that we were far too late.
Actually, I wasn’t extremely shocked. I had seen the corpses of criminals and the corpses of nobles when I saved Sistina, so it wasn’t my first time seeing or dealing death.
If I had to come up with a reason then….『I wasn’t able to save someone that I wanted to save』 was the emotion that welled up within me. A very strange and complicated emotion that I couldn’t really sort through.
Well this was just what I thought it was.
「…Bakuu saved me and Ari….」
Sistina had finished her treatment of the girl and moved to check whether Bakuu was truly dead before dropping her shoulders. The longsword man spoke in halting sentences.
Tor was part of a three man party of fledgling explorers.
At first they searched and hunted for monsters out in the field while doing some guard jobs and escorting merchants from town to town. They weren’t able to get enough money or combat experience that way so they were nearing the end of their rope.
However, their last guarding job took them to the city of Reitoku and they decided to try and explore the tower.
That was around 100 days ago. Ever since then they entered the tower nearly every day and were able to secure a fairly good life for themselves.
However, suddenly they heard that now was the time to easily pass through the first floor.
The three of them hadn’t pushed themselves and continued to hone their skills on the first floor and improved their teamwork. They had already been considering whether they should move on to the second floor, and when they heard this news it was truly as if they had been given a perfect sign.
Once they entered the Tower they saw that there were barely any monsters. They were happy since they would be able to face the Floor Boss with their full strength.
Things had been going well until they reached the Floor Boss area and saw the party in front of them successfully defeat the boss. The other party called out a greeting before moving to the second floor. This meant that the stairs would disappear and the boss wouldn’t appear for a while.
The stairs only appeared when the floor boss was spawned. Once the party who defeated the floor boss moved on the staircase would disappear until the next boss spawned.
By this time they had arrived here by fighting a few weaklings without having to use any of the medicine they prepared. Tor’s party also had plenty of information about the First Floor Boss, so even if the fight was difficult, they would be able to defeat it.
They simply waited there for the boss to spawn. After a while the stairs appeared from the ceiling and the boss appeared from the ceiling as well.
「I thought it was strange. According to our information the Floor Boss should always spawn from the ground. But we were already so excited about going to the second floor that we managed to shake off our doubts…」
Tor lamented as he clenched his fist tightly. He looked as if he was confessing his sins to us.
And so the doubts that they had unknowingly shaken off…bared their fangs on his party.
The Boss was a completely different creature from what they had expected, they had only gathered information up to the third floor so they had absolutely no idea what it was.
They felt an overbearing pressure from the monster and could sense from its presence that they could not handle it. They immediately gave up on the fight and retreated, but because they had decided to wait in the spawn zone they were in extreme danger.
In order to retreat from the Floor Boss you had to leave their territory. Usually this territory extended 25 meters in all directions.
Trying to escape from such a powerful irregular monster in this situation was nigh impossible.
But at that moment, when they had given up hope, Bakuu kicked them into gear and forced them to run.
Bakuu used up the different attributed magic stones they kept for emergencies (each of them small and low rank) without any hesitation.
Throwing light magic stones at their feet to blind the creature, throwing overheating fire magic stones at the monster directly, he bought time for his companions to escape.
Thanks to that, the two of them were able to escape the Boss zone, but since Bakuu was slightly behind he ended up taking a blow from the Floor Boss. The one bit of luck in this, was that the attack managed to send him flying outside of the Boss’s area.
They rushed to grab him and used all of their healing items to secure his life. Unfortunately their cheap medicines were only able to barely prevent his death.
They planned to run and escape with the slowly dying Bakuu…but he stopped them. Bakuu barely managed to whisper 『There’s something strange happening on this floor. If you take me and move around then we’ll die together. I’ll be okay…just don’t move.』 They believed in him and hid around here.
The result was…despite their desperate care, Bakuu slowly passed on. Then, just as they were going to make a break for it, a hide bear attacked and Ari was taken out…that’s when we appeared.
「Bakuu used his own life to protect ours…and he cared for us such that he held on until he saw that help had arrived…」
Tor collapsed to the floor not even bothering to hide the tears overflowing from his eyes.