The Depths of the Dungeon – Part 02

The sun was already setting. The gigantic White Dragon had been slain, and although monsters still attacked Cotton Elka sporadically, it was safe to assume that the biggest threat had been eliminated.

“I went to the entrance of the dungeon and checked inside,” Sara said after returning from her recon. “There was no sign of any monster, and the air flow was stagnant. I think the dungeon’s dead.”

The villagers erupted in joy. Selyse furrowed her brows. She, Sara, and Serika had already recovered thanks to Sophie. Most of their arms and legs were badly burned by the flames, but Sophie’s Healing Magic managed to fix even that.

Priscilla was also healed by Sophie. Pia, still asleep, had suffered surprisingly light injuries, which Paula healed. She would have to explain things to her friend later. Paula herself woke up as soon as she recovered a bit of her mana.

“Does that mean the Dungeon Master is dead?” Selyse asked.

“I guess,” Sara replied. “A dungeon may die when the Dungeon Master dies, like you said, or the Dungeon Master abandons the dungeon.”

“What are the chances of the latter?”

“Not zero, but it’s hardly ever happened before.”

“So, who do you think killed the Dungeon Master?”

“No idea. But I don’t think it abandoned the dungeon. They say a Dungeon Master without a dungeon is weaker than a civilian.”

“That’s true…” Selyse was still not completely satisfied.

“The dungeon being inactive is great news for us,” the village chief said. “We can’t thank you all enough.”

“I mean… the village’s been destroyed,” Selyse said.

“Oh, that is nothing. You could call it a silver lining, I suppose; the fields are mostly intact. We can rebuild the village. The fields are more important than the houses, and the people are more important than the fields.”

Several villagers had perished. Although some adventurers were injured in today’s battle, it was fortunate that there were no deaths among them. The appearance of such a powerful enemy was beyond expectations, yet Selyse couldn’t help but wonder if there was any way they could’ve prevented casualties.

“I heard that you and your team are not here on a commission from the Adventurers’ Guild. Is that true?” the village chief asked.

“It is.”

“Then would you please accept this?”

The village chief offered the white gem that was buried in the ashes of the White Dragon. It glinted orange from the light of the bonfire.

“I don’t know…”

“You’re hesitating because of the mysterious Mage, yes?”

Selyse nodded. She hadn’t seen the female Mage since the battle with the White Dragon. Serika told her earlier that there were signs of a battle on the eastern side of the village, and that an Elemental Mage, whom they knew nothing about, had killed monsters there. It was no doubt the same female Mage.

They all assumed that the elemental magic spell had slain the White Dragon.

“Lady Selyse. That person must have their reasons not to reveal themselves. In that case, I believe this should go to the brave Four Eastern Stars who fought the White Dragon.”

“Then how about this? We will sell this gem, take half of the proceeds, and donate the other half to Cotton Elka.”

“Oh… That’s an enticing offer, but are you certain? I’m sure it’s a considerable amount of money.”

“Yes. That Mage was clearly fighting for this village. They might have their reasons for not showing themselves, but they should be pleased that the reward for defeating the White Dragon would be used for the good of the village.”

“I see. We accept the offer, then. Thank you. I was thinking of sharing with the families of those who died and those whose homes were destroyed. I’ll leave the sale to you.”

The village chief left.

“Ah, my robe is burnt to a crisp!” Serika grumbled. “And I bet the money will only be enough to buy equipment!”

“I think we should be glad that we’re still alive,” Sophie interjected.

The girls were so nonchalant that it was hard to believe they were on the brink of death just a while ago.

“A mysterious female Mage,” Selyse mumbled. “Oh, yeah. There was that boy. An adventurer.”

She remembered Hikaru, whom she met in the burning hut on the way to Cotton Elka. She had not seen him since arriving at the village.

“So what’s the plan, Selyse?” Sara asked. “The dungeon might be dead, but there are still monsters that ventured outside.”

“Good question. You will scout the nearby area for a couple of days, and we’ll kill any monsters you find. Then we’ll head back to the capital.”

“Aight, gotcha. Gonna go hit the sack, then.”

“Go ahead.”

“Nighty night!”

“Good night.”

Selyse stared at the bonfire, lost in thought. Something was bothering her. There might still be something to this whole matter.

However, the Four Eastern Stars were busy; they couldn’t exactly pursue matters with no solid proof. Being Rank B adventurers meant constantly receiving designated commissions.

“Things just don’t always go as you wish, I guess.”

Selyse’s murmur faded away in the smoke of the bonfire.

Hikaru and Lavia entered the forest at night and arrived at the dungeon. It had ceased being active after the death of the Dungeon Master, and all the monsters in the dungeon had turned to ashes. In a sense, it was much safer inside the dungeon than outside.

There was a passage that looked like the entrance to the dungeon, but they passed by it and went around behind one of the countless large trees in the area.


Hikaru touched the tree, and his hand slipped through the bark.

“Found it. It’s over here.”


“It’s a magic camouflage. It’s hollow inside. Come on.”

Hikaru beckoned Lavia closer. She reached out a hand fearfully, and it too slipped through the bark.

“There’s a ladder right there,” Hikaru said.

“Yeah. There’s a handle or something.”

“I’ll go first. You follow me. It’s quite a long way down, by the way.”

Hikaru jumped into the tree. Half of it was actually fake—a camouflage. There was a wooden ladder attached to it that looked brand new, but considering that it was part of the dungeon, he was worried about it collapsing at any moment.

There were other reasons for them to hurry. News of the dungeon’s death would spread soon, which would draw countless adventurers. All the monsters inside were dead. In other words, they would be able to collect all the elemental magic stones and elemental stones buried in the ashes.

“Hikaru, is this the shortcut?”

“Yup,” Hikaru replied as he descended the ladder.

The pit was about fifty meters deep; they had to be careful not to slip. They descended the ladder carefully, step by step.

“Almost there.”

Moisture in the air meant the ground was close.

“You okay?” Hikaru asked.

“My hands are exhausted.”

Lavia did not exactly lead an active life. She had far less endurance than the average girl.

“It’s a downward slope from here on out. Let’s go.”

They walked side-by-side down the narrow, gently-sloping path, the light from their magic lamp lighting the way. The walls and floor were the same as those on the sixth level. They had come all the way down via the ladder.


They made it to a large cavern. It was where Hikaru fought the Black Dragon. Lavia was stunned when she saw a small mountain of ash similar to the one that the White Dragon left behind. Hikaru had already told her that he killed it, but actually seeing it still left her shocked.

“This way.”


Hikaru was already up ahead, on the passage leading to a back room that was guarded by the Black Dragon.

The passage was only ten meters long. They came upon a battered wooden door; it was ajar, with light spilling from inside.

On the other side of the door was a small room the size of a studio apartment. Light was coming from the magic lamp sitting on the table. In the corner of the round room was a bed with a dirty rolled-up blanket lying on top. There was a cabinet with drawers, but it was covered in dust.

There was no sign of a meal, and there was no bathroom. Although the Dungeon Master was a life-form, it didn’t need to eat; instead it converted the mana in the dungeon into life force.

Lavia’s breath caught in her throat. A person was lying in the corner of the room, clothed in a ragged robe. They had a tail. It was a reptilian demi-human, though it was hard to tell due to poor lighting.

It was the only remaining corpse of the enemy in this dungeon.

“Is that… the Dungeon Master?” Lavia asked.

Hikaru nodded. “When I came in, they were cowering in the corner, shaking. They were mumbling something, but they had clearly gone insane… I think. I thought maybe we could talk. Once the dungeon returned to normal, the problem would’ve been solved. But when I showed myself, they suddenly attacked me, so I killed them.”

“I see…”

“But the problem is what lies ahead.”

There was another door in the room. Hikaru strode toward the door and opened it.


He held up the magic lamp. There was a simple rectangular room, like a building under construction. On the other side was a staircase leading down.

The wind howled. Lavia shivered.

“Let’s go,” Hikaru said, taking her hand. “It’s up ahead. The guy that struck fear into the Dungeon Master.”

They pressed onward, huddled close. The stairway leading deeper underground was as crude as expected, as if it were still under construction. They made it to the bottom of the stairs and continued through a passageway that connected to a huge cave. Hikaru surmised that the Dungeon Master was trying to create a seventh level, hence the cave.

“Here we are.”

Standing on unstable ground, Hikaru raised the magic lamp, revealing a large cave, much larger than the sixth level.

And there was a figure occupying the center.

“That was fast.”

Its scales glowed even in the dark. Its face alone was about two meters long, with a wide mouth, horns protruding above its eyes, and wiry whiskers. It looked like a giant snake, except it had clawed feet.

“A dragon?” Lavia said.

“Yeah. But he gets mad when you call him that. Says he’s a drakon.”

Its eyes were a deep crimson. It couldn’t lift its body up as it was bound to the ground by a sinister black chain.

“He calls himself Fire Drakon.”

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