So the pace of one layer a month was slow?
「That’s why, he is looking forward to the new winds. Basically, those who grow up in Labyrinth City are no good. They are often above average, but no more than that. Because they adapted to the environment where they were brown and raised, they will compromise somewhere.
I’ve been watching the top guys since I was a kid, so I knew that they are mostly, “that dungeon is the highest aimed peak, but we don’t have any more talents, so we just have to aim for this one and do our best.”」
Was he talking about the people like the students who we saw before entering this dungeon?
They knew about Bacchus. They grew up seeing such existence. That’s why it “became” their goal unconsciously.
「Is that no good? That means their goal is being updated every day, doesn’t it?」
「It seems like it’s no good. I don’t know where the dungeon master is aiming, but I have heard him telling me many times to capture the dungeon faster than this.
In other words, I haven’t heard about the exact goal, but the infinite corridors won’t end in one hundred layers. But I don’t know how far it will last.」
If it’s like this, there was almost no meaning to shorten the capture of one hundred layers dungeon that could be reached within a year to the point of blasting newcomers.
Did that mean that the adventurers we met at the front of the city outside were called here for that kind of meaning?
「That’s why, you are calling new winds from the outside and have expectations on them. …That means not everyone is good, right?」
Otherwise, there was no reason for this old man to especially aim at us. If he was expecting the winds from outside, other adventurers should be fine.
「Of course. You said this in the carriage, but both of you came from “Japan”, right? It was the dungeon master’s hometown, so of course I expected much from you. I didn’t know how amazing that country was, but I felt like you can do this just with that birthplace.」
No, what’s with that? Wasn’t he expecting too much from Japanese people? Even Japanese people weren’t superhumans. I was starving in my village because I couldn’t do anything, and I was even an apprentice at the bar.
Rather, the dungeon master was really a Japanese, huh.
「It’s no like I am telling you guys that you must do this and that. You might be able to do it, so I’m waiting for you to prepare for your “study”.
If I train everyone who looks like they have potential, some of them will improve unexpectedly, right? I’m alright with anyone after all. 」
When I listened to him, what I could understand was just that he had a parental love, and he would ‘teach’ people with potential and train them. My tears were about to come out.
「I want to ask about something, but is it okay, uncle?」
「Sure, what is it?」
「Did lizard uncle cannot to the dungeon blasting instead? 」
Was it Yuki’s provocation? Or did he just want to confirm it?
「Yeah, it’s impossible for me. This is shameful, but the superior guys in this Labyrinth City won’t improve much.
As we get older, we can see the limits of our talent. This is not about physical age. Even though I am still active, it took me ten years to get to the fiftieth layer, the place where I am at now.
I won’t say that we can’t capture more than this, but to be honest, we won’t be able to go any further. There is a wall from here. It’s a huge wall that can’t be easily broken by ordinary people.」
「That means, are you giving up?」
「I’m not, it’s just it can’t be helped that we can’t go ahead anymore. The air has been stagnant for a long time. Only a few people keep going ahead in the stagnation.
I’m looking for a way to do something about this. I want wind to blow off this stagnant air.
…That’s why, think of this as an old person’s nonsense and follow my training on the juniors, rookies.」
I couldn’t think of this lizard old man as someone who was procrastinating or wasn’t a big shoot.
Despite his limited level and reduced physical ability, the pressure I felt in front of me was something that I had never felt before.
From now on, we would have to confront an opponent who was a superhuman, a great person, or even a hero, even with limited abilities and limited time.
The time that reflected in my vision only had a little remaining.
When I looked at Yuki, Yuki was also looking at me.
『You aren’t thinking of, “we can just start over if we lost this one”, are you?』
『No way, if we think about the fifth layer, this is a chance for us to train here. Our goal is to break through this trial for the first time.』
『I haven’t heard of that goal before, but you’re right. We might be able to beat this old man.』
『Ah, just in case, it’s just our short-term goal.』
『Got it, got it.』
For some reason, I felt like we were communicating just by using our eyes. It was a super mysterious phenomenon.
I personally would have liked it I could do this with a girl, but let’s leave it at that for now.
The countdown was almost over.
The lizard uncle drew his sword. It was not a trial provision item, but a worn-out sword which was probably his possession. There was no gorgeous decoration, but I knew that it was a good weapon.
I didn’t even have to confirm that with Yuki.
…Well then, let’s take the challenge.
The countdown was over, and the display switched back into 10:00.
The first one to start was Yuki.
It was his throwing knife. It was the largest number of his simultaneous throws, a total of three. He shifted the timing and entered his short bow stance. His motion was fluid, he definitely had mastered it.
I adjusted with him, closing my distance with the old man.
Of course, I didn’t think that the knives would hit, but I needed to hold him by doing something, no matter if he avoided the knives or repelled them off. Attack him within the gap.
At the moment when the three knives landed almost simultaneously, everything was repelled with a single swing from that old man.
Before I could start my violent attack, the old man was already moving to counter attack me. All of the timing we matched for the impact was useless.
Damn it, it would be better to shirt the timing of all three knives.
But I couldn’t stop now. I swing my sword to match the remaining gap that we could make.
It was a flash that would surely reach any opponent that I had fought against with until now.
However, the old man swept that away in a more elegant way than I expected, and my posture easily collapsed. It didn’t mean that he just accepted my attack or he brushed me off. With that momentum, he shifted his attack in a different direction.
The sword-swinging by the retaliating action approached me who had lost my posture.
You must be joking, oi!!
I forcibly twisted my body and avoided it, but the blade grazed me at the last moment and cut up my skin shallowly.
The moment I thought I had avoided him just barely, the old man had already moved on to his next slashing action. His movement was too fast! There was no waste in his moves that occurred in each action.
It was a blow that I couldn’t avoid if this kept going on. The image of me who was cut into two parts passed my mind.
However, his slash didn’t hit me, since he was avoiding the arrows fired from Yuki.
I made a distance from the one-second gap that Yuki gave to me.
「…This is too much.」
We wouldn’t win like this. What was this master?
In just a move, he was able to show the overwhelming difference in our ability. No matter how I compared it, he was too different from the boss fight we had until now.
Yuki also didn’t have all sorts of long-ranged attack s, but it was reckless to have Yuki challenge this old man in melee combat.
That made me have to stand in the front no matter what, but I couldn’t see a way to break through the wall of that sword.
Without giving me any time to think, that old man closed in the distance between us.
I coped with his attack, and it seemed like he wanted me to sustain or brush off his attack, not aiming to hit me. Even so, I still barely dodged it. I matched my sword with his storm-like assault, not having a moment of peace.
Each of his blow was extremely heavy and sharp. I could easily get swept away by his sword if I relax. There was no timing to counter-attack.