Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”
Arriving on the 48th floor we walked for a bit.
As one would expect, Rafan seems to be nervous about facing monsters on this floor, as she keeps her shield up, continuously glancing around.
「Skeletons appear by crawling out of the ground. As for the ghosts, they seem to drift from somewhere when they notice a fight.」
「I know, but it’s still scary.」
Rafan said while trying to keep a calm expression.
For now, it would be nice if at least one skeleton would show up.
The 48th floor is as creepy as always.
The purple fog is blocking the vision. Even if we want to confirm our surroundings, the fog prevents us from seeing anything past a few meters ahead.
And the muddy terrain additionally decreases the speed.
Rafan’s ears suddenly shook. Though not to the level of elves, dragonborn’s ears differ from those of humans.
Then, she shook her tail.
「There is, something?」
I tried to use Detection Magic on my own, but the accuracy wasn’t that great.
But Rafan seems to be able to sense nearby enemies, though only vaguely.
She has no search or detection skills, so it’s probably something like dragon senses or intuition.
She then took a stance with her longsword and the buckler.
Earlier she said that she isn’t strong, but considering that she can wield a two-handed longsword with one hand, it’s probably not the case by human standards.
Following the direction in which her golden eyes are looking, I cast a search spell. This time I found a monster.
However, the enemy also noticed us. That’s my fault for not being skillful enough.
Proficient users don’t alert enemies with their detection spells.
The rattling sound of bones.
Judging by the footsteps, there is only one enemy.
「Rafan, for now, try to fight it.」
She replied with a tense face.
Is she nervous?
We should consider going to the lower floors if skeletons of the 48th floor will prove to be too much for her.
Rafan shuddered as the skeleton emerged from the mist.
「No need to be afraid. As long as you focus on defense you should be fine.」
If things go south we can escape via already prepared Dungeon Walk.
However, Rafan seems to be nervous…… Or better said, stiff.
Her face keeps growing paler.
Is she afraid to face a tough enemy?
The battle started.
Rafan blocked the skeleton’s attack with her shield.
But she was pushed back, staggered.
She can’t be called petite by any standards.
Probably due to the blood of dragonborn in her veins, but she is way taller than an average woman.
Even so, the skeleton manages to push her back through brute force.
However, she quickly recovered. Hitting the ground with her tail, she regained her balance.
The sword keeps shaking in her hands.
「Rafan, don’t attack. They multiply.」
I warned her beforehand.
But since it seemed like she was about to act driven by her fear, I warned her once again.
A bit surprised, Rafan nodded.
Kicking off the ground the skeleton dashed. Is this disregard for problematic terrain a special feature of those monsters?
Rafan took a big step forward. But she got herself stuck in the muddy ground.
Some moments later it seems that Rafan noticed her mistake, and looked at her feet.
……This environment is a problem after all.
The sword of the skeleton struck Rafan’s shoulder.
Rafan winced, perhaps expecting the pain that should’ve come with it.
Well, I received it instead.
It hurt, but not that much. Lightly scratching my shoulder I call out to Rafan.
「Rafan, don’t panic so much. Pay close attention to your surroundings.」
Rafan takes a careful look at the skeleton.
And with the passing of time, another skeleton showed up.
……This is one of the main reasons why I picked the 48th floor this time.
I also had to gain enough strength to withstand the onslaught of the monsters of this dungeon.
I have to train Rafan, but I also had to get stronger myself.
Although, it is pretty harsh in terms of money since we have to rely on potions for recovery……
「I will take care of the other one. Tell me if you can’t handle it. We will pull out immediately.」
Fending off the skeleton’s attack I glance at Rafan.
She was out of breath, almost hyperventilating.
Blocking the attack of her opponent with her shield she staggered. Being also stuck in muddy dirt, she then fell unsightly to the ground.
I immediately use taunt.
The skeleton that was attacking Rafan turned my way.
At the same time, Rafan got back to her feet. Her face covered in dirt and eyes on the verge of crying.
「I can’t do it anymore! Skeletons are too scary!」
Her usually cool and composed expression distorted, and tears flew through the air.
Dashing to me along with the skeleton, she jumped at me before the skeletons got their chance.
Eh? As she tightly hugged me, the only thing I could do was feel bewildered. Her chest is larger than I thought.
「W-What’s wrong, Rafan?」
「I-I can’t! I can’t deal with skeletons! I’m too scared to fight them!」
「But why didn’t you tell me beforehand……」
「It doesn’t fit with my character!」
The hell is that?!
Not caring about what is going on, the skeletons charge at us.
I spin on the spot while still holding her.
Just making sure to avoid critical hits, I take attacks with the outer shell. Then, I counter with a kick, sending one of the skeletons tumbling on the ground.
Then, another skeleton appears from the splinters.
For now, we should retreat.
Activating Dungeon Walk, I brought us to the 1st floor.
On the 1st floor, the fog is not as thick as on the 48th. But purple ground littered with trees didn’t make for pleasant scenery anyway.
Rafan sat on one of the dead trees lying on the ground.
Making a few dry laughs, she then raised her head, revealing a depressed expression.
「I’m afraid of skeletons. I can’t do this.」
「……Is there any particular reason for that?」
For a while, she remained silent, then spoke while trembling.
「A long time ago, I was attacked by a skeleton…… Since then, I can’t stand them.」
「There was a treasure chest, in the cave near my hometown. When I opened it, a skeleton popped up and grabbed my hand……」
Though it wasn’t a labyrinth, it seems that there are other idiots, aside from Marius, with similar ideas.
A trauma, huh.
But if she wants to be an adventurer, she has to overcome her weaknesses.
That’s because there is no telling where and when you might get attacked or ambushed by a monster that you can’t deal with.
I guess that’s what we will have to focus on during this training.
「…First let’s start from getting used to skeletons. I’ve been watching you during the previous fight, but you kept up with the attacks, if you weren’t so afraid it would’ve been fine.」
「Is that… really so?」
「Yeah. You are way better than I originally thought. Now you only need the spirit to go with it and we are all set.」
Perhaps feeling relieved to hear those words, but Rafan’s expression became a bit less tense.
The 1st floor also has skeletons, so we decided to fight here first to get Rafan used to them.
The location is a bit different from earlier. No monsters in sight.
Walking around while probing the surroundings with search magic we managed to locate one skeleton.
It’s surely a different type from those that we just fought, but it’s something.
「Let’s start from familiarizing you with skeletons.」
「……What are we going to do?」
「I will pin down the skeleton. You will touch it, and get used to it.」
「It’s not a dog.」
But it’s not like we have better ideas either.
The skeleton noticed us, so I used taunt on it.
Dodging its sword I swing mine.
Of course, I had no intention of hitting it.
I stopped inches before hitting it, but the skeleton already moved to evade it.
I immediately tackled it.
Grabbing the skeleton I pin it to the ground.
The skeleton trashes around, but I use my weight and strength to nullify that resistance.
In such a state a skeleton from the first floor has no chance of moving me aside.
「Rafan, here you go. The skeleton is restrained. Touch it.」
I grab the head of the skeleton and show it to Rafan.
Rafan’s cheeks were twitching as all color drained from her face.
Sweating, she slowly reached out to touch the skeleton.
And then, poked it a few times. Her expression still remained very tense.
……We have to make her get used to this.