Chapter 1: Let’s wake up in a new Dungeon, Part 3
Feeling a sudden rush of dizziness, Aur leaned against the wall. He was able to recall the affliction symptoms of which he was displaying.
Magic Loss. Not only he has been separated from his Dungeon, but the reserves he was storing inside of his body have also been lost. And since he used a little magic for that little power display, his physical condition deteriorated that much more.
However, it was really strange for him to be in such a state in the first place. Well, to be fair, he did expend some of his magic when he was messing Marina up for an entire night without stopping and replenishing it, but that shouldn’t be enough to make him feel this sick.
Froro told Aur and left the room. Aur used that time to wait patiently until his sickness settled down a little, and in the meantime, Froro returned to him with a cup of water and some bread.
She gently passed both of them to him. Looks like she wants him to eat and drink. Perhaps she’s thinking that his sickness was caused by malnutrition or a lack of rest? In any case, the food contained little magical power, but in his current state every little bit of it counts, so he accepted it gratefully.
The bread was completely dry and hard like a stone. The water was no better, seeing how it was littered with impurities that kept floating up from the bottom of the cup to the top. He honestly couldn’t believe that people here, wherever that [here] was, drank something like that. In Aur’s honest opinion, this was even worse than leftover food. So he made a decision not to drink it. He placed the plate on the floor and looked around for his belongings. Fortunately, he was able to find a bag with dried meat and cheese which he was carrying around as emergency rations.
He tore all of them into small pieces and threw into the cup, and then used heat magic to boil the contents. The Heat Magic was somewhat difficult to control, but it uses less magical energy than Flame Magic and it holds no risk of accidentally burning the wooden cup.
The bread tased only slightly better when he soaked it in his makeshift soup. It would have been better if he had carrots, onions or pepper with him, but in this current situation such things are nothing but a luxury that he simply cannot afford.
Then, when Aur was about halfway done, he heard a strange noise that was reminiscent of a rolling thunder. Slowly turning his head towards the direction that the noise came from, he saw Froro holding her belly with a face that was flushed red with embarrasement.
Aur was overcome with a sudden urge to him himself in the face. Why didn’t he realize that sooner? This girl didn’t bring him food, she gave away her own share of it to him.
「I’m sorry. Here, you can have the rest.」
Aur shoved the plate and the cup towards Froro. She shook her head and wanted to give them back to him, but he just leaned against the wall, crossed his arms on his chest and closed his eyes, pretending that he does not see her. Having no other choice, she had to eat the rest of the food herself.
She murmured something that was probably the words of gratitude and started eating. All his time, Aur remeined motionless, meditating.
How the hell did he wound up in here? And where is this place? Why did his body lost so much of its magical power? The quickest way to get the answers he wanted would be to ask Froro, but he cannot communicate with her at all. Maybe he could try communicating with her the same way he once did with Yutsu and Zana back in Yamato, but in order to do that he would have to have sex with her, but even Aur, being called the Demon Lord and all, would not stoop so low as to outright rape the person who probably thought of him as her life’s savior. The very idea seemed preposterous to him.
He turned towards her when she spoke his name, she stared at him with outstretched hands in which was the plate that still had some bread on it.
「Nyorubapaku, njanobu, savahi, vu.」
「Don’t worry about it. I might have saved you, but also saved me by sharing your food with me.」
Once again, he has no idea what she is saying, but nevertheless he responds with what he thinks is appropriate.
She left the room, leaving with the same words as before. Maybe they mean 「Please wait here」? Aur sighed deeply. Looks like he will have to learn the language little by little, word by word.
For now, he learned that 「Oganasarepurama」 is some kind abusive word and that 「lovunobu」 is something that roughly corresponds to 「Please」. But proper communication will most likely be futile with just those two words. How much more of them will he have to learn to hold a proper conversation?
When he was busy thinking about that, Froro came back once more, but this time it took her longer than before. She had something that looked like a Blue Quartz Crystal in her hand.
「What is that?」
That word again. Froro handed him the crystal, and made a gesture that seemed to suggest that she wanted him to put it in his mouth.
「No way… you want me to eat something like this?」
Paying no heed to Aur’s question, she pointed at his mouth and repeated the same words again. Looks like she wants him to do exactly that. However, if she wanted to harm Aur, then she would have done so while he was still asleep and defenseless. There was always a possibility that she might have came up with a method of harming him in an indirect manner, but at this point thinking about each and every such possibility was too much of a hassle, so Aur reluctantly placed the stone in his mouth.
He expected it to be hard, but the crystal melted inside of his mouth almost instantly, like ice. It didn’t have any particular taste.
「Can you understand my words now, Aur?」
But in the next moment, when her words reached his ears, Aur grabbed Froro by the neck.
「You… what did you do to me?!」
「I… made you… learn… the words…」
Froro says so weakly as Aur strangles her.
The words he could hear were 「Njotulov, Ar, Shinreli, Mu」. However, their meaning was now clear to him.
His body has been remodeled, but he didn’t feel like anything changed in him at all. There was no pain, no shock, and the magical power inside of him continued to flow undisturbed. But this made it all the more disturbing.
「Now answer me. What…」
Before he could finish what he initially wanted to say, something has caught his attention.
「What the hell is wrong with that eye?」
Froro’s left eye. One of her obsidian-like eyes was not working properly like the other one. It wasn’t focusing the same way the right one did.
Freed from the grasp of Aur’s hand, Froro gently turned away. She didn’t act like that before.
「Show it to me.」
He touched her head and scanned her eyes with his magic. Out of all the different kinds of magic, Medical Magic was his strongest point.
「What is this?」
And when he scanned her, he realized that he has never seen something like that before. That was his first time witnessing eyes in such an irregular state.
Froro’s left eye is completely blind, but neither the eyeball nor its nerves were damaged in any way. It was as if her eye has been replaced with a very elaborate prosthetic.
Aur has never seen something like that himself, but he knew of only one way something like that could happen.
A deal with a demon. Usually they demand things like blood, magical energy or the soul of their contractor in exchange for their services, but in some rare cases they also demanded abilities or parts of the body. He heard that this is what happens when people paid for the contract with their eyesight.
「You… have you sold your sight?」
Why did she do that? He understood that with little thought. How did such a simple girl who gratefully darnk a soup that was mostly made of dirty water and scraps of food could get her hands on a stone that can make people [remember] words? Most likely because…
「It’s alright. I have two eyes.」
Froro must have realized that Aur realized it as well, but she still replied with a smile.
「But, this was the only way to show you. Aur, no matter what you do, don’t show to the others that you can cook.」
「And why is that?」
Such an ability is not that big of a deal in the first place. But the next moment, Aur’s eyes blinked rapidly when he heard the words that he didn’t expect to hear.
「Because you will be robbed of it.」
「Just like you with your eye, huh?」
Aur said, and Froro closed her eyes.
「So, have you sold your eye just so you could convey that to me properly?」
Even if he were to lose his cooking skills, it wouldn’t impact him that much. He wasn’t that much of a good cook to begin with, and even if he ended up losing that skill, all he had to do was to learn it once more.
「That’s not it.」
However, Froro denied that.
「Aur, you saved me. I have to make sure to repay you for that. With that skill of yours, you will be able to leave The Bottom, I am sure of that.」
Aur asked, parroting back what Froro said.
「This is the lowest level of the World Wall, the Bottom. It is a place where all those who were robbed of everything they had end up.」