Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”
The three of us head to the northern labyrinth of Karde.
First, we have to find the means to go to the 48th floor.
「Labyrinth, labyrinths, sounds like a lot of fun.」
Marius walked beside me, humming under his nose.
He keeps playing around, throwing his freshly issued guild card into the air.
「Which reminds me…… Is that going to be okay? You, raiding other labyrinths?」
「No idea. Well, I also have an outer shell. For the other side, I’m a perfectly fine guest, no problem here. ……Ah, but it’s so hot.」
Marius keeps fanning his face with one hand.
…Well, if he says that it’s fine, then I have no other choice but to trust him.
「Master, how hard is this labyrinth?」
「Karde’s northern labyrinth is a well-balanced one. As they say, it can be used by anyone, from F to S. The lower floors have weak monsters, gradually introducing stronger monsters as one goes higher. ……I tried to look into it, but there was almost no information on the 48th floor.」
Though it is a bit unpopular with a certain portion of adventurers…… Since the monsters there tend to be of an undead type, in other words, ghosts, skeletons, zombies, and such.
「Anyway. There is no need to strain ourselves. Taking down the three of us is no easy task.」
You never fought monsters from labyrinths, smartass.
But being optimistic is indeed important.
If one can’t move freely due to nervousness, then it’s simply counterproductive.
「Right. I actually can use…… Dungeon Walk magic. But I’m not good at it and can bring 2 people at most. ……Luna, can you assist me in casting?」
「If it’s about Dungeon Walk, then I can use it. I learned it after watching the skill earlier.」
「What did you say?」
「……Are you a genius or something?」
She said that she can learn skills by copying them from other magic stones, but perhaps there is something similar for magic.
Luna puffed her chest, looking incredibly smug.
「Well, memorizing spells is nothing for homunculi. Humans can also cram and memorize them, right?」
「……Well, yes. It’s not something that can be learned instantly.」
「Homunculi can copy information from magic stones. You, Rude, wouldn’t forget something if you make a memo of it, right? It’s the same here.」
Then, Marius’s eyes shone up, completely drowning out my amazement.
「OOoh, is that a labyrinth?! Isn’t it quite similar to mine?!」
「I never heard of a labyrinth that would have an unusual entrance.」
「I see, I see. Then let’s decorate mine a little bit. Wouldn’t it stand out if I embed magic stones or something into it? 」
「I think it would be better if you don’t.」
It might stand out, but it would look very creepy.
Two adventurers stood at the entrance.
On their waists, they had an emblem indicating that they belonged to『Black Dragon Fangs』.
「Excuse me. We’d like to go to the 48th floor, can you take us there with Dungeon Walk?」
Adventurers guarding the entrance also have the role of guides for adventurers challenging the labyrinth.
The adventurers furrowed their brows.
「48th floor? What is your rank?」
「D rank. But we just registered…… So we should have more ability than the rank would suggest.」
「Hey hey. There are plenty of adventurers that die just like that. The 48th floor is not for you.」
「Well, we just want to take a look. We have no intention of challenging it right now. Can you take us there?」
「Don’t blame me for this later.」
After paying gold to the adventurer, we went to the first floor and then had him carry us to the 48th floor.
It doesn’t look that different from the first floor. But it feels a lot more ominous.
「I’ll tell you just in case, but this labyrinth has poisonous mist on the floors 30 and above. If you have no countermeasures then you will lose your outer shell to that alone.」
「……That seems to be the case. Luna, can you try to use Dungeon Walk?」
Luna activated Dungeon Walk.
The four of us went to the first floor. No problem here.
「Then, bye. And, well, don’t hold it against me if you kick the bucket.」
He rushed to escape.
We returned to the 48th floor with Luna’s Dungeon Walk.
The floor is covered in a purple mist. So this is the poisonous mist.
「How is your outer shell?」
「Same here. Which reminds me, you are immune to the abnormal status effects, right? Master?」
「Aah, 『Idiots don’t catch cold』that type of thing?」
「You are the last person I want to hear that from.」
This unexpectedly solves the problem of the poison mist.
Now we have to check what kind of monsters appear here and the situation on the floor.
Marius stomped on the ground.
「I see. They raise the difficulty by altering the footing. So there was such an approach.」
「Adventurers aren’t too happy about this. It’s hard to fight and leaves shoes dirty. Though it is not a bad trick to raise the difficulty.」
「So the guardian here might have no sentience. Well, it’s only expected, since most don’t have it.」
That’s probably true.
Until now, I never saw one capable of such coherent speech.
And most of them look like monsters. And none of them had pages of the magic tome.
I feel like this floor was made to resemble a swampland.
There are mires here and there, making the place quite hard to walk.
But it’s not like the whole place is muddy.
There is some solid ground, and it’s important to be able to find it.
Thanks to our outer shells we are quite suited for the investigation.
We can press forward by sacrificing our outer shell.
But there could be a reason why such an approach can’t be taken here.
Luna readies a spell to check the surroundings.
I assist her, trying to locate enemies and the magic circle leading to the next floor.
「The mud ahead of us shows signs of monster presence.」
「They’d probably show themselves when we approach. Rude, leave this to me.」
I’d like to know how strong the enemies are. And also, how strong he is in the human form.
As I reply to him with a nod, he happily dashes off.
The monster that came out was a skeleton.
Bones floated up from the mud on the ground.
The bones that rose one by one eventually formed into a humanoid.
I wonder if this purple tint on it comes from the mist or it’s just that type of monster.
The eye sockets of the skeleton shine with an ominous light. There, it had a magic stone embedded, which served as its source of energy.
Then, the skeleton raised a hand, and a sword appeared in it.
「Luna, just in case, keep the dungeon walk ready so we can go back any moment.」
The skeleton dashed, while Marius put a hand onto his katana.
And, one slash.
An attack so fast that I couldn’t catch even a glimpse of it. And yet, it was blocked by the skeleton’s sword.
The skeleton staggered for a bit, but immediately regained its posture and swung its sword at Marius.
Marius smiled with his eyes.
Running his tongue across his lips once, he fended off the attack with the handle of the sword in the scabbard.
Then, another instantaneous attack. That iai slash hit the skeleton in the temple.
Marius hummed, somewhat impressed.
That attack was probably aimed at the skeleton’s magic stone.
The skeleton, aware of its weak spot, dodged the fatal strike at the last moment.
Putting the sword back into the scabbard, Marius froze in place.
Another skeleton appeared at his feet. It gradually formed from the splinter of the slashed off bones lying on the ground.
Do they multiply by taking damage? They have to be killed in one hit, or they will become a real problem.
Additionally, another skeleton appeared. Now there are three of them.
「Marius, shouldn’t we help?」
「Ugh, no choice. Aggro two of them, I will handle it in the meantime. Let’s go!」
Going forward, I use『Taunt』.
Two of the enemies turn my way.
Using the shield I block a slash from a skeleton.
I felt like my arm was about to break. They are stronger than they look.
Well, that’s to be expected from the monsters on the 48th floor.
I take a swing with the great shield, but the skeleton is not there anymore.
As the skeletons attacked me from two sides, I, unable to fully evade the attack, took them, only making sure to avoid getting hits in vital areas.
Then, immediately counterattack. The skeleton that took a hit with the shield fell to the ground.
Since I held back, it shouldn’t have produced any additional splinters. I hope there won’t be any more clones……
Then, Marius made his move. Let’s leave that one to him.
I then block a series of attacks coming from the left flank.
I counterattack, but once again, miss. It’s fast……
As the skeleton evaded my attack with a backstep, I charged at it and thrust at it with the sword.
My aim is of course set on the magic stone, in its eye area.
But once again, it evaded in the last moment. On top of that, the skeleton grasped my sword and pulled it with all its might.
Since I didn’t expect that, I also get pulled forward.
I immediately put my strength into it and tried to yank it back, but the skeleton already let go of it.
To hold myself from going too hard after it, I bite my lip. The pain brought me back to my senses.
Though my posture was a bit off, I managed to block an incoming attack with the great shield.
Sliding my sword on the ground I throw dirt at the skeleton.
The skeleton easily avoided that.
Marius approached us. His high-speed iai, that already took down other skeletons, hit this one right into the eyes, where the magic stone is located.
The body of the dead skeleton sunk into the ground, disappearing from sight.
No drop at all. ……This monster is just the worst.
「They are pretty strong.」
Each of them are clever and have a certain degree of skill. And what’s even worse, were one to deal with them in the wrong way they will multiply.
Marius was about to say something but closed his mouth.
A bump appeared on the ground, from which new skeletons appeared.
This time, two of them. On top of that, space somewhat ahead of us distorted after which a monster teleported to our location.
Specter-type, a ghost.
It’s the 48th floor, so it’s probably a high ranked variation of a ghost. But I can’t tell which one it is from its appearance.
Spotting us, it emitted a ghost out of its body.
I swing the great shield, charging it with magic power.
Without that, the ghost will simply bypass shields and weapons.
Being hit, the emitted ghost violently exploded.
I don’t have time to be staggered by the shockwave. A skeleton charged at me right away.
Attacks by ghosts and the enemies spawn rate.
As expected, we can’t handle all of this with only 3 people.
If we want to attack skeletons, the ghost gets in the way.
And if we aren’t fast enough, new enemies will appear from under our feet.
More ghosts are gathering.
That’s about time.
「Marius, Luna, retreat.」
「Eeeh, that’s where the fun begins?」
「I don’t want to lose you here. Come on, let’s go.」
「Rude! I’m quite happy to hear these words!」
「Stop, you are getting dirt on my clothes!」
Luna approached, and activating her Dungeon Walk, brought us to the first floor.
……I understood the reason why they can’t get past floor 48. Really well.